BRIDGE Model of Transformational Learning

BRIDGE Model of Transformational Learning

United StatesPomona, United States
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$250,000 - $500,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

BRIDGE Model of Transformational Learning through Supplementary Education

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The lack of “empathy” is a symptom; we need to address the root, which is in our mental models. The BRIDGE® Model is addressing this issue by helping people to see their problems in terms of underlying systemic structures and mental models rather than just short-term events. Senge (1990) questions if we are prisoners of the system or prisoners of our own thinking. This information can help in appreciating the forces shaping reality, and how we are part of those forces and we can affect them. The BRIDGE® Model facilitates participants to make that connection in order to change their paradigm.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Transformational Learning vs. Transactional Learning: Freire’s theory pedagogy of the oppressed (1970) speaks about banking. Banking is the way of teaching as a lecture; this is when the professor is in front of the classroom doing Transactional Leaning. It is a transaction of information. Currently, in schools, colleges and most professional development trainings, transactional learning is used. It is similar to tell a person: “stop smoking”, it is bad for your health; and expect this person to stop smoking. On the other hand, transformational learning is when we are capable to “see” our behavior. When we are capable to observe our own behavior and act accordingly with conscientization (awareness) to change it. To “see” our behavior, it is the first step to transformational learning.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

The BRIDGE® Model facilitates among participants, the concept of conscientization, which is at the heart of Paulo Freire’s theory pedagogy of liberation (Freire, 1970). Conscientizacion connotes both consciousness and conscience and thus captures the cognitive and normative processes that constitute this form of reflective knowledge. In our interactions, during the BRIDGE® implementation, we emphasized the learning process, such as single-loop learning, double-loop learning (Argyris and Schon, 1996) and the triple-loop learning (Torbert, 1991, 2004) with different focus on behavioral and cognitive change. Through our reflections we move from the single-loop learning, to the double-loop and triple-loop learning of where we are addressing why and how to change our taken-for-granted assumptions in order to be effective in our learning. At the individual level, interpretation of the environment leads to the revision of individual knowledge structures. As we reflect, we better understand perceived changes in “agentic” behavior that happens with the BRIDGE® Model implementation. Bandura (1986) describes “agentic” behavior in his social cognition theory perspective that views people as self-organizing, proactive, self-reflecting and self-regulating, not just as reactive organisms shaped by environmental forces or driven by inner impulses, which is in opposition to the conception of humans as governed by external forces.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Other peers and competitors will have primary activities that will use transactional learning. The staff person will “tell” participants what they should do… The BRIDGE® Model of Transformational Learning does not tell people what to do. Instead, the model facilitates participants to find their own answer by using its methodological construct that provide the space for participants to exercise cycles of reflection and action. The BRIDGE® Model is facilitating transformational learning, and changing the paradigm of the participants. Once, a person “sees” his/her paradigm, that person can address the lack of “empathy” in his/her behavior.
About You
CEJJES Institute
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Organization
Organization Name

CEJJES Institute

Organization Country

, NY, Pomona, Rockland County

Country where this project is creating social impact
Your role in Education

Coach, Parent, Student, Other.

The type of school(s) your solution is affiliated with

Public (tuition-free)

How long has your organization been operating?

1‐5 years

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How long has your solution been in operation?

Operating for 1‐5 years

Now that you have thought out your entry, help us pitch it.
Define your company, program, service, or product in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]

The BRIDGE® Model of Transformational Learning through Supplementary Education

Identify what is innovative about your solution in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]

We address lack of empathy, as we look at our current mental models.

Social Impact
What has been the impact of your solution to date?

The BRIDGE® Model of Transformational Learning intervention has been implemented with successful outcomes in four different contexts: a) with college students, b) with high school students, c) with elementary school students and d) with the Kichwa indigenous community of Rio Blanco in the Amazon rainforest. One example of this intervention happened in 2004. The BRIDGE® Model was implemented in Morris Hills High School to try to address the lack of academic success of immigrant Latino students. Their 2003 NJ Report card showed very low scores for their Latino students. However, after the intervention, by 2010 in their NJ Report Card, the same high school has the highest scores for immigrant Latino students in New Jersey (Gordon & Vergara, 2009).

What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?

At Morris Hills high school, through the diversity Committee meetings, the task at these meetings was to bring together all relevant participants through inclusive processes of 'naturalistic recruitment’. These meetings provided with the opportunity to use ‘big picture’ systems thinking to assist us to see the challenges we were facing and through collaborative inquiry enable us to draw the best ‘theoretical ’maps’ by which we could navigate until better ones were found. And despite the incessant paradoxical nature of people’s commitment to keep the status quo or to change our way of thinking, we then began to watch systemic change.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

A dominant and current research paradigm is based in studies "ON" the targeted populations. On the other hand, the BRIDGE® Model intervention is a different paradign research because involves research "WITH" the community participants, not “on” or “about” them. To change the current paradigm, Argyris and Schon (1996) call us to recognize practitioners as inquirers and encourage the collaboration of researchers and practitioners. The scholar who designed the model is a practitioner that became a researcher and through collaborative action inquiry she was able to merge both the researcher and the practitioner.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Task 1

- Get funding for scholarships for the tutors and identify resources within Rockland County, NY

Task 2

pre-assessment of students (which schools) and pre-assessment of schools (number of disciplinary incidents in school)

Task 3

Begin implementation of the model with participants (parents, teachers and students).Establish connections families/resources

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Task 1

Work with the school to develop the systemic mechanism to make the intervention sustainable within the school system

Task 2

Work with the CEJJES Parent Center to coordinated with schools the mechanism to make this intervention sustainable

Task 3

Look for more scholarships and continue monitoring the outcomes of the intervention

Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world [125 words]

In 1996, I learned about my mental models through my “cultural shock” when I arrived to the United States to a different culture, language and system. I can say that I am looking at the “phenomena” from many different lenses, such as, an immigrant parent with children experiencing the academic achievement gap, as a founder and trustee of a charter school, as program officer at WKBJ Foundation evaluating charter schools at the national level, as a educational consultant working for the NJDOE evaluating schools who failed NCLB and as a doctoral candidate at Teachers College Columbia University. Through this learning from experience process, I designed the BRIDGE® Model of Transformational Learning based on my experience implementing the model in four different contexts successfully.

Tell us about your partnerships

Dr. Edmund W. Gordon is my mentor, and he is one of the funders of the CEJJES Institute. My intention is to implement the BRIDGE® Model of Transformational Learning through the CEJJES Parent Center in Rockland County, New York.

What type of team (staff, volunteers, etc.) will ensure that you achieve the growth milestones identified in the Social Impact section? [75 words]

To make the BRIDGE® intervention sustainable, we must provide the space for participants to exercise cycles of reflection and action, which will facilitate them to “see” their mental models. Once they “see” their behavior, they will find their own solutions regarding the lack of empathy. We will use the school and the CEJJES Parent Center as vehicles to provide sustainability to this intervention at the local level.

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list

Disciplinary issues are related to children not doing well academically. In order to do the academic assessment of children, we will use the Wide Range Assessment Test (WRAT4-PMV). This assessment tool enables us to monitor academic performance using brief, repeated tests that are parallel to the multiple demands of schooling and are psychometrically sound.