In Memory of Jack and Edee Mezirow
In celebration of the life and contributions of Jack Mezirow who passed away on September 24th 2014 and Edee Mezirow who passed on July 20th 2014, we offer this space to remember Jack and Edde.
Dr. Victoria Marsick offered the following words in a memorial letter she shared with members of the Teachers College, Columbia University and the Transformative Learning community. For the complete letter please follow the link.
Jack D. Mezirow, Professor Emeritus at Teachers College, Columbia University, passed in New York, New York. They are survived by Andrew Mezirow—Professional Captain, Maritime Studies Instructor, and Fisheries Policy Advisor residing in Seward, Alaska.
Professor Mezirow was born in 1923. He earned a B.A. and M.A. in Social Sciences and Education from the University of Minnesota, and an Ed.D. in Adult Education from the University of California at Los Angeles. He worked in many countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America as a consultant in adult literacy and community development for UNDP, UNESCO, USAID, the Asia Foundation and World Education. He was in charge of extension programs at the University of California before joining Teachers College as a professor of adult and continuing education.
At Teachers College, Professor Mezirow established and directed a pioneering alternative format doctoral program, AEGIS, which continues today. Committed to understanding adult learning from the learner’s experience, he is best known for having created a stream of scholarship on what he called “transformative learning”—involving the critical examination of assumptions that influence an adult’s meaning making and interpretation of experience, thus influencing decisions and action. His interest in transformative learning was influenced by Edee's own re-entry into college and her experiences as she gained her confidence in her academic abilities, took on new roles, and re-examined her assumptions about her capabilities and identity.
Jack Mezirow will be remembered for many things, most especially, his passionate commitment to social justice and social action. He and colleagues founded the International League for Social Commitment in Adult Education to center the field’s attention on these important issues. His scholarship, driving sense of social justice and humanity, and overall joie di vivre will be sorely missed.
A collection of Jack Mezirow's work is available in the PocketKnowledge at Teachers College.
A Memorial Service will take place at Milbank Chapel, Teachers College (125 Zankel) on Friday, October 24th at 7:30-8:30 PM in the Cowin Center with a reception following. Please join us.
Please take a moment and offer your wishes, remembrances, and stories about Jack and Edee in the comments below.