Transformative inquiry is a theoretical model designed to facilitate the inquiry of important and meaningful relationships that transform and potentiate us. Creswell (2007) described the essential elements of a research agenda: the axiological, ontological, epistemological, methodological, and rhetorical. Each carries with it assumptions that hold implications for practice and research. Transformative inquiry addresses all of these elements through considerations given to deep ecology, transdisciplinarity, integral meta-theory, heuristic research, and eudaimonistic philosophy, respectively. Transformative inquiry is an approach to understanding and fostering the full range of deep and meaningful relationships from the personal to the political, and beyond. It is a theoretical model designed to support investigation into the important and meaningful relationships that both transform and potentiate us. Transformative inquiry provides a theoretical context in which to approach any question related to obtaining a deep understanding of the rich, nuanced experience of meeting deeply with (and being transformed by and with) another. What do such relationships do in the world? They transform us, and they transform the world. Understanding deep, potent, lasting transformation means to understand the relationships that foster, support, and co-create it. Such relationships generate a paradigmatic shift of consciousness. But deeply, this shift is about the uncovering of a beautiful personality, a deep goodness within, an enduring truth of self. Within this context, transformative inquiry in general and deep heuristics in particular, is designed to allow researchers to expand farther and reach deeper than our current models and methodologies require.


Leadership Education, Human Potential, Transformation, Growth, Heuristics, Relationships, Consciousness

Author Bio(s)

Mark McCaslin, Ph.D. is a career leadership educator, he has a rich history of teaching, research, leadership programming and administration. His personal and professional interests flow around the development of philosophies, principles and practices dedicated to the full actualization of human potential. The focus of his research has centered upon organizational leadership and educational approaches that foster a more holistic approach in the actualization of that potential. At the apex of his current teaching, writing and research, is in fostering the leadership of human potential. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: potentiatingarts@gmail.com.

Kelly Kilrea, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Human Sciences at Saint Paul University in Ottawa, Canada. She teaches graduate interns and undergraduate students in the university’s School of Counselling, Psychotherapy, and Spirituality. Kelly's research focuses primarily on spiritual and secular experiences of awakening (i.e., nondual realization or enlightenment), as well as on the psycho-spiritual development and transformation of youth and adults. She is particularly interested in the impacts of spiritual/secular awakening on identity, relating, emotional regulation, motivation, leadership, parenting, and human potential. In addition to her research and teaching activities, Kelly works both as a counsellor in private practice with individuals, couples, and families, and as a mental performance consultant with top performers and elite athletes. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: kkilrea@ustpaul.ca.

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