Transformational learning is a powerful and deeply impactful process that has the ability to shift our beliefs, perspectives, and behaviors. It is a journey that involves four distinct stages, each of which plays a crucial role in bringing about meaningful change. In this article, we will explore these four stages in detail, shedding light on the experiences, insights, and actions that are characteristic of each stage. So, if you’re ready to embark on a transformational learning adventure, then buckle up and let’s dive in!
The Four Stages of Transformational Learning are a model that describes the process of learning and growth in individuals. The stages are: (1) Uninformed Oblivion, where the individual is unaware of their lack of knowledge or understanding; (2) Informed Insecurity, where the individual becomes aware of their lack of knowledge and feels insecure about it; (3) Constructive Insecurity, where the individual actively seeks out new information and experiences to overcome their insecurity; and (4) Informed Obligation, where the individual has a newfound sense of responsibility to use their knowledge and skills to help others. This model highlights the importance of active engagement and self-reflection in the learning process.
Introduction to Transformational Learning
Definition of Transformational Learning
Transformational learning is a process that involves a shift in an individual’s perspective, values, or beliefs. It is characterized by a deep, personal change that occurs when an individual reframes their understanding of themselves, others, and the world around them. This change often results from new experiences, insights, or reflection. The transformational learning process can lead to a significant shift in an individual’s behavior, attitudes, and decision-making.
The transformational learning process typically involves four stages:
- Pre-contemplation: In this stage, the individual is unaware of the need for change or is not yet motivated to change.
- Contemplation: In this stage, the individual is considering the need for change and is weighing the pros and cons of making a change.
- Determination: In this stage, the individual has made the decision to make a change and is committed to taking action.
- Integration: In this stage, the individual has successfully made the change and has integrated the new behavior, attitude, or belief into their life.
Each of these stages can be further broken down into specific behaviors, emotions, and thoughts that an individual may experience as they go through the transformational learning process. By understanding these stages, individuals can better understand their own learning process and develop strategies for facilitating their own learning and growth.
Key Characteristics of Transformational Learning
Transformational learning is a process that involves a significant change in an individual’s beliefs, values, and behaviors. It is a deep, meaningful learning experience that can lead to personal growth and development. The following are some of the key characteristics of transformational learning:
- It is self-initiated: Unlike other forms of learning, transformational learning is usually initiated by the individual themselves. They seek out new experiences and challenges to help them grow and develop.
- It is holistic: Transformational learning is not limited to just one aspect of a person’s life. It encompasses all areas, including their beliefs, values, behaviors, and even their identity.
- It is reflective: Transformational learning involves reflection on one’s experiences and the insights gained from them. This reflection helps individuals make connections between their past experiences and their current situation, leading to a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them.
- It is contextual: Transformational learning is not just about acquiring new knowledge or skills. It is about applying that knowledge and those skills in a specific context. It is about making a difference in the world around us.
- It is transformative: Transformational learning has the power to change an individual’s perspective on the world and themselves. It can lead to a complete shift in how they think, feel, and behave.
Overall, transformational learning is a powerful and meaningful way to grow and develop as an individual. It is a process that requires self-reflection, holistic thinking, and a willingness to take risks and step outside of one’s comfort zone.
The Four Stages of Transformational Learning
Stage 1: Dissatisfaction
The first stage of transformational learning is dissatisfaction. This stage is characterized by a sense of discomfort or discontent with one’s current state of knowledge or understanding. It is often triggered by a personal experience or encounter that challenges one’s existing beliefs or assumptions.
During this stage, individuals may feel frustrated or confused, and may question the validity of their previous knowledge or experience. They may also feel a sense of disorientation or uncertainty about what to do next.
However, it is important to note that dissatisfaction is not a negative emotion in the context of transformational learning. In fact, it is often seen as a necessary prerequisite for personal growth and development. By acknowledging and embracing feelings of dissatisfaction, individuals can open themselves up to new perspectives and experiences, and begin the process of transformational learning.
Some examples of experiences that may trigger dissatisfaction include:
- A personal failure or setback
- An encounter with a new idea or perspective
- A change in one’s personal or professional circumstances
- A realization that one’s previous beliefs or assumptions were incorrect
Overall, the dissatisfaction stage of transformational learning is an important step in the process of personal growth and development. By acknowledging and embracing feelings of discomfort, individuals can open themselves up to new possibilities and opportunities for learning and growth.
Stage 2: Contradiction
Transformational learning, a theory developed by Jack Mezirow, is a process that occurs when an individual reevaluates their assumptions and beliefs, leading to a shift in perspective and behavior. The four stages of transformational learning include: (1) critical reflection, (2) disorientation, (3) reorientation, and (4) integration. The second stage, contradiction, involves the confrontation between the individual’s current perspective and new information or experiences that challenge it.
During the contradiction stage, the individual begins to recognize the limitations and contradictions within their existing framework of understanding. This stage can be uncomfortable and even distressing, as the individual must confront beliefs and assumptions they may have held for a long time. However, it is an essential step in the transformational learning process, as it creates the space for new insights and perspectives to emerge.
Several factors can contribute to the contradiction stage, such as encountering new information, experiencing a significant life event, or engaging in dialogue with others who hold different perspectives. As the individual grapples with these contradictions, they may experience a range of emotions, including confusion, frustration, and even anger.
It is crucial for the individual to engage in critical reflection during this stage, examining their beliefs and assumptions and questioning their validity. This process of self-reflection can lead to a greater awareness of one’s own biases and limitations, paving the way for further growth and transformation.
Ultimately, the contradiction stage is a necessary step in the transformational learning process, as it creates the space for individuals to challenge their existing beliefs and assumptions and consider new perspectives. By embracing the discomfort and uncertainty of this stage, individuals can move towards a more integrated and nuanced understanding of themselves and the world around them.
Stage 3: Redefining the Problem
In this stage of transformational learning, individuals begin to see the problem or issue at hand in a new light. This stage involves a shift in perspective, where the individual moves beyond their initial understanding of the problem and begins to see it in a more complex and nuanced way.
One of the key aspects of this stage is the recognition that there may be multiple perspectives or ways of understanding the problem. This can lead to a more inclusive and collaborative approach to problem-solving, as individuals seek out diverse viewpoints and perspectives.
Additionally, this stage often involves a deeper examination of the root causes of the problem, as individuals seek to understand the underlying factors that contribute to it. This can lead to a more comprehensive and effective approach to addressing the problem, as individuals are able to identify and address the underlying issues that contribute to it.
Overall, the redefining the problem stage of transformational learning is characterized by a shift in perspective and a deeper examination of the problem at hand. This stage is critical for individuals who are seeking to make a meaningful and lasting impact, as it allows them to move beyond their initial understanding of the problem and develop a more comprehensive and effective approach to addressing it.
Stage 4: Integration
Understanding the Concept of Integration
In the final stage of transformational learning, individuals reach a point where they can integrate new ideas and perspectives into their existing beliefs and knowledge. This stage involves synthesizing and reconciling new information with previous experiences, creating a more comprehensive and coherent understanding of the world.
Key Characteristics of Integration
- Synthesis of new and old knowledge
- Reconciliation of conflicting ideas or beliefs
- Creation of a more comprehensive and coherent understanding
- Development of new insights and perspectives
- Greater openness to change and learning
The Importance of Integration
Integration is crucial for transformational learning because it allows individuals to internalize new ideas and make them a part of their personal worldview. By synthesizing new information with previous experiences, individuals can develop a more nuanced and comprehensive understanding of the world, which can lead to new insights and perspectives. Additionally, the integration of new ideas can help individuals overcome resistance to change and become more open to learning and growth.
Strategies for Promoting Integration
- Reflect on previous experiences and knowledge to identify areas of conflict or misunderstanding
- Seek out new information and perspectives that challenge existing beliefs
- Engage in dialogue and discussion with others to share and reconcile different viewpoints
- Practice self-reflection and introspection to identify areas for growth and development
- Apply new knowledge and insights to real-world situations to reinforce learning and promote integration
In-depth Explanation of Each Stage
- Pre-reflective stage: This is the initial stage of transformational learning where an individual lacks the awareness or understanding of the need for change. In this stage, the individual operates on the basis of their existing beliefs and assumptions without questioning them.
- Reflective stage: In this stage, the individual becomes aware of the need for change and begins to question their existing beliefs and assumptions. They start to reflect on their experiences and seek out new information and perspectives to gain a deeper understanding of the issue at hand.
- Conclusion stage: During this stage, the individual has a breakthrough in their understanding and forms a new perspective or understanding. They have reached a new level of awareness and are able to integrate their new understanding into their existing knowledge base.
- Integration stage: The final stage of transformational learning is the integration stage, where the individual is able to apply their new understanding in a practical way. They have integrated their new perspective into their existing beliefs and assumptions, and are able to apply this new understanding to their actions and behaviors.
The first stage of transformational learning is dissatisfaction. This stage is characterized by a sense of discomfort or discontent with one’s current state of knowledge or understanding. It is often triggered by a new experience or insight that challenges an individual’s existing beliefs or assumptions.
During this stage, individuals may feel a sense of confusion or frustration as they grapple with the new information or idea. They may also experience a sense of uncertainty or anxiety as they begin to question their previous understanding of the world.
This stage is critical to the transformational learning process because it creates a sense of urgency or motivation for individuals to seek out new knowledge or understanding. Without this sense of dissatisfaction, individuals may not be motivated to engage in the transformational learning process and may continue to operate within their existing comfort zone.
In order to fully benefit from the transformational learning process, individuals must be willing to embrace this stage of dissatisfaction and use it as a catalyst for seeking out new knowledge and understanding. By doing so, they can move beyond their existing comfort zone and gain a deeper understanding of the world around them.
The second stage of transformational learning is known as the “Contradiction” stage. During this stage, individuals encounter new information or ideas that challenge their existing beliefs and understanding of the world. This stage is characterized by cognitive dissonance, as individuals struggle to reconcile their new understanding with their old beliefs.
During the Contradiction stage, individuals may experience a range of emotions, including confusion, frustration, and even anger. They may feel a sense of loss as they let go of old beliefs and ways of thinking. This stage can be particularly difficult for individuals who have held their beliefs for a long time and may feel a strong attachment to them.
One example of the Contradiction stage in action is when a person who has always believed in a certain political ideology is exposed to new information that challenges their beliefs. They may feel a sense of cognitive dissonance as they try to reconcile their old beliefs with the new information they have learned.
Another example is when a person who has always believed in a certain religious doctrine is introduced to a different faith that challenges their beliefs. They may struggle to reconcile the two and may experience cognitive dissonance as they try to understand the new information.
The Contradiction stage is an important part of the transformational learning process, as it allows individuals to challenge their existing beliefs and ways of thinking. By confronting contradictory information, individuals can broaden their understanding of the world and develop a more nuanced perspective. This stage can be difficult, but it is also an opportunity for growth and learning.
Transformational learning, as proposed by Jack Mezirow, is a process that involves critical reflection and a shift in perspective that leads to a transformation in one’s beliefs, values, and behaviors. The four stages of transformational learning include: 1) initial perspectives, 2) disorienting dilemmas, 3) redefining the problem, and 4) integrating the learning. In this section, we will discuss stage 3, redefining the problem.
Reframe the Problem
Redefining the problem is the third stage of transformational learning, where learners challenge their existing assumptions and perspectives about a problem. In this stage, learners question the nature of the problem, its underlying assumptions, and the limitations of their previous perspectives. This stage is characterized by a sense of disorientation and confusion as learners begin to see the problem from a new and different angle.
Redefining the problem involves uncovering the assumptions that underlie the problem. Learners begin to question their own assumptions and beliefs about the problem and the situation in which it exists. They examine the ways in which their assumptions have influenced their understanding of the problem and consider alternative perspectives.
Learners also identify the limitations of their previous perspectives and assumptions. They begin to see how their assumptions have limited their ability to see the problem from different angles and to find new solutions. This stage can be uncomfortable as learners realize the extent to which their previous assumptions have constrained their thinking.
Develop New Perspectives
As learners redefine the problem, they begin to develop new perspectives and alternative ways of understanding the problem. They consider different ways of framing the problem and seek out new information and resources to help them gain a deeper understanding. This stage involves a great deal of critical thinking and reflection as learners work to develop a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the problem.
Redefining the problem involves embracing uncertainty and a willingness to question one’s own assumptions and beliefs. It requires a willingness to be open-minded and to consider alternative perspectives, even if they challenge one’s existing beliefs. This stage can be challenging, but it is an essential part of the transformational learning process.
In conclusion, redefining the problem is the third stage of transformational learning. It involves questioning one’s assumptions and beliefs about a problem, uncovering the limitations of previous perspectives, developing new perspectives, and embracing uncertainty. This stage is crucial for learners who want to transform their beliefs, values, and behaviors and gain a deeper understanding of complex problems.
At the final stage of transformational learning, the individual integrates the new insights and perspectives into their daily life, ultimately leading to a shift in their identity and worldview. This integration process can be broken down into several key components:
- Application: The individual applies the new knowledge and skills in their personal and professional life, leading to changes in their behavior and decision-making processes.
- Reflection: The individual reflects on their experiences and the impact of the new insights on their life, leading to a deeper understanding of the changes they have undergone.
- Internalization: The individual internalizes the new perspectives and values, leading to a shift in their identity and worldview. This may involve a re-evaluation of their priorities, beliefs, and relationships.
- Maintenance: The individual works to maintain the changes they have made, integrating the new insights into their long-term goals and aspirations. This may involve seeking out additional resources or support to further develop their new identity and worldview.
By successfully completing the integration stage, the individual has undergone a profound transformation in their understanding of themselves and the world around them. This newfound knowledge and understanding can lead to greater personal fulfillment, more meaningful relationships, and a more positive impact on the world.
Examples of Transformational Learning in Different Contexts
In the realm of education, transformational learning plays a significant role in shaping students’ perspectives and knowledge. By fostering a deeper understanding of the world around them, this approach helps learners develop a more comprehensive view of the subjects they study.
One example of transformational learning in education is when students are exposed to new ideas that challenge their preconceived notions. This process can lead to cognitive dissonance, a state of mental discomfort caused by holding two conflicting beliefs. By exploring and questioning these beliefs, students can achieve a higher level of understanding and critical thinking skills.
Another example is when students are given the opportunity to explore topics in a self-directed manner. This approach allows them to take ownership of their learning and develop a deeper understanding of the subject matter. Through this process, students are able to connect new information with their existing knowledge, creating a more comprehensive understanding of the subject.
Transformational learning can also occur through collaboration with peers. By working together, students can share their unique perspectives and experiences, leading to a more well-rounded understanding of the subject matter. This approach also encourages students to develop communication and teamwork skills, which are essential in today’s society.
In conclusion, transformational learning plays a vital role in the education system by fostering critical thinking skills, encouraging self-directed learning, and promoting collaboration among peers. By providing students with opportunities to explore topics in a deep and meaningful way, educators can help them develop a more comprehensive understanding of the world around them.
Transformational learning in personal growth is a process that occurs when individuals reframe their understanding of themselves and the world around them. This type of learning often involves a significant shift in perspective, leading to a deeper understanding of oneself and the world.
One example of transformational learning in personal growth is the process of overcoming a fear or phobia. When an individual confronts their fear and learns to overcome it, they experience a shift in their understanding of themselves and their capabilities. This new understanding can lead to increased confidence and a greater sense of self-efficacy.
Another example of transformational learning in personal growth is the process of developing a new hobby or skill. When an individual learns something new, they may discover new interests and passions, leading to a shift in their understanding of themselves and their capabilities. This new understanding can lead to increased self-esteem and a greater sense of purpose.
Overall, transformational learning in personal growth is a process that involves a significant shift in perspective, leading to a deeper understanding of oneself and the world. This type of learning can lead to increased confidence, self-esteem, and a greater sense of purpose.
Organizational change is a prime example of transformational learning in action. Transformational learning theory posits that individuals and organizations can undergo significant shifts in their beliefs, values, and behaviors through a process of self-reflection and critical thinking. When it comes to organizational change, this means that employees can learn to see their work in new ways, challenge existing assumptions, and develop a deeper understanding of the organization’s mission and goals.
In an organizational context, transformational learning often occurs in response to a crisis or significant challenge. For example, a company may undergo a period of rapid growth, leading to the need for new processes and structures. Alternatively, a company may face a decline in market share, leading to the need for a change in strategy.
During this process, employees may experience a range of emotions, including anxiety, frustration, and excitement. However, if the process is managed effectively, employees can learn to see their work in new ways, leading to greater innovation, creativity, and productivity.
Transformational learning in an organizational context can be supported through a range of techniques, including:
- Providing opportunities for self-reflection and critical thinking
- Encouraging open communication and dialogue
- Fostering a culture of continuous learning and improvement
- Providing training and development opportunities
- Encouraging feedback and constructive criticism
Overall, transformational learning in an organizational context can lead to significant benefits, including increased employee engagement, improved productivity, and a stronger organizational culture. By supporting employees in their learning journey, organizations can position themselves for long-term success and growth.
Comparison of Transformational Learning with Other Learning Theories
Comparison with Adult Learning Theory
Transformational learning is often compared to adult learning theory, which is another widely recognized and studied theory of learning. Adult learning theory is based on the premise that adults learn differently than children, and it emphasizes the importance of prior experiences and motivation in the learning process.
Here are some key differences and similarities between transformational learning and adult learning theory:
- Differences: While both theories recognize the importance of prior experiences and motivation in the learning process, transformational learning places a greater emphasis on the role of critical reflection and self-awareness. Additionally, transformational learning emphasizes the potential for deep, transformative change, whereas adult learning theory tends to focus more on the acquisition of new knowledge and skills.
- Similarities: Both theories recognize the importance of learner-centered approaches and the role of the learner in the learning process. They also both emphasize the importance of motivation and the need for learners to be actively engaged in the learning process.
Overall, while there are some differences between transformational learning and adult learning theory, they share many commonalities and can be complementary frameworks for understanding the learning process.
Comparison with Andragogy
Andragogy is a theory of adult learning that emphasizes the importance of prior experience and self-directed learning. In contrast, transformational learning emphasizes the role of critical reflection and the transformation of existing mental models.
- Focus on experience: Andragogy focuses on the experience of the learner, while transformational learning focuses on the process of reflection and reframing of existing mental models.
- Role of the teacher: Andragogy emphasizes the role of the teacher as a facilitator, while transformational learning emphasizes the role of the teacher as a guide in the critical reflection process.
- Learning outcomes: Andragogy aims to develop new skills and knowledge, while transformational learning aims to transform existing mental models and beliefs.
- Self-directed learning: Both andragogy and transformational learning emphasize the importance of self-directed learning and the learner’s autonomy.
- Experiential learning: Both theories emphasize the importance of experiential learning and the role of experience in the learning process.
Overall, while there are differences between transformational learning and andragogy, both theories share a commitment to adult learning and the importance of the learner’s experience and autonomy.
Benefits and Challenges of Transformational Learning
Transformational learning has several benefits for individuals and organizations. Some of the most significant benefits include:
- Increased self-awareness: Transformational learning encourages individuals to reflect on their experiences, values, and beliefs. This increased self-awareness can lead to a better understanding of oneself and others, which can improve communication and relationships.
- Greater creativity and innovation: Transformational learning can lead to new ways of thinking and problem-solving. By challenging old assumptions and embracing new ideas, individuals can develop a more creative and innovative approach to work and life.
- Improved decision-making: Transformational learning can help individuals develop a more critical and reflective approach to decision-making. By considering multiple perspectives and evaluating the potential consequences of their actions, individuals can make more informed and ethical decisions.
- Enhanced motivation and engagement: Transformational learning can be a highly engaging and motivating experience. By actively participating in the learning process and setting personal goals, individuals can develop a sense of ownership and commitment to their learning and growth.
- Increased resilience and adaptability: Transformational learning can help individuals develop the skills and mindset needed to adapt to change and overcome challenges. By embracing new ideas and perspectives, individuals can develop a more flexible and resilient approach to work and life.
Overall, the benefits of transformational learning can be significant for individuals and organizations. By challenging old assumptions, embracing new ideas, and developing a more reflective and creative approach to learning and growth, individuals can improve their performance, well-being, and overall success.
- Discomfort and Anxiety: As individuals progress through the stages of transformational learning, they may experience discomfort and anxiety as they confront their own beliefs and assumptions. This can be particularly challenging for those who have invested significant time and energy in their previous ways of thinking.
- Cognitive Overload: The process of transformational learning can be mentally taxing, as individuals must integrate new information and perspectives into their existing knowledge base. This can lead to cognitive overload, making it difficult for learners to fully engage with the material.
- Resistance to Change: Individuals may resist changes in their beliefs and behaviors, especially if these changes challenge their identity or sense of self. This resistance can be a significant barrier to transformational learning, as it may prevent individuals from fully embracing new ideas and perspectives.
- Lack of Support: Transformational learning can be a lonely process, as individuals must confront their own beliefs and assumptions without the support of peers or mentors. This lack of support can make it difficult for learners to stay motivated and engaged in the process.
- Organizational Barriers: Organizational barriers, such as limited resources or a lack of support from management, can also impede the progress of transformational learning. Without the necessary resources and support, individuals may struggle to fully engage in the process and achieve their learning goals.
Recap of the Four Stages of Transformational Learning
Transformational learning is a process that involves a shift in one’s perspective, values, and beliefs. It is a journey that requires one to question their existing knowledge and challenge their assumptions. The four stages of transformational learning are:
- Disorienting Dilemma: This is the stage where one’s existing knowledge and understanding of the world are challenged. This can be a difficult and uncomfortable stage as it requires one to question their assumptions and beliefs. It is a stage of uncertainty and confusion, but it is also a stage of possibility and potential for growth.
- Confusion: This stage is characterized by a lack of clarity and understanding. It is a stage where one may feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next. It is a stage of uncertainty and ambiguity, but it is also a stage of exploration and discovery.
- Illumination: This stage is characterized by a sudden understanding or insight. It is a stage where one may have a “aha” moment and see things in a new light. It is a stage of clarity and understanding, but it is also a stage of discomfort and challenge.
- New Comfort: This stage is characterized by a newfound sense of comfort and confidence. It is a stage where one has integrated their new understanding and is able to apply it in a meaningful way. It is a stage of integration and synthesis, but it is also a stage of ongoing learning and growth.
Overall, the four stages of transformational learning are a process of growth and development. They require one to challenge their assumptions, question their existing knowledge, and integrate new understandings. While the process can be difficult and uncomfortable, it is ultimately a journey of personal and professional growth.
Future Directions for Research on Transformational Learning
One area that could benefit from further research is the exploration of the factors that contribute to successful transformational learning experiences. By understanding the common characteristics of individuals who have experienced successful transformational learning, educators and practitioners can better tailor their approach to facilitate this type of learning in their own contexts.
Another area that could be explored is the long-term impact of transformational learning experiences on individuals and their communities. While there is evidence to suggest that transformational learning can lead to positive changes in individuals’ beliefs and behaviors, more research is needed to understand the extent to which these changes persist over time and how they may influence the broader community.
Additionally, research could be conducted to examine the effectiveness of different teaching methods and strategies for facilitating transformational learning. This could include comparisons between traditional lecture-based instruction and more experiential or collaborative approaches, as well as investigations into the role of technology in supporting transformational learning.
Finally, future research could also explore the potential for transformational learning to occur in non-traditional educational settings, such as informal learning environments or online learning platforms. By expanding our understanding of the conditions and circumstances that facilitate transformational learning, we can work to create more opportunities for individuals to experience this type of learning and achieve greater personal and social growth.
1. What is transformational learning?
Transformational learning is a process of personal growth and development that occurs when an individual’s perceptions, beliefs, and behaviors are altered through new experiences and insights. It is a holistic approach to learning that emphasizes the emotional, social, and intellectual aspects of learning.
2. What are the four stages of transformational learning?
The four stages of transformational learning are: (1) the pre-training stage, (2) the training stage, (3) the post-training stage, and (4) the maintenance stage. Each stage involves a series of tasks and challenges that must be mastered in order to move on to the next stage.
3. What is the pre-training stage?
The pre-training stage is the first stage of transformational learning. It is characterized by a sense of unease or discomfort with the current state of affairs, and a desire to make a change. During this stage, individuals may experience a range of emotions, including fear, anxiety, and excitement.
4. What is the training stage?
The training stage is the second stage of transformational learning. It is characterized by the acquisition of new knowledge, skills, and behaviors. During this stage, individuals are actively engaged in learning and are often supported by a coach, mentor, or facilitator.
5. What is the post-training stage?
The post-training stage is the third stage of transformational learning. It is characterized by the application of new knowledge, skills, and behaviors in real-world situations. During this stage, individuals may experience a sense of euphoria or accomplishment, but may also encounter obstacles and challenges.
6. What is the maintenance stage?
The maintenance stage is the fourth and final stage of transformational learning. It is characterized by the long-term integration of new knowledge, skills, and behaviors into an individual’s life and work. During this stage, individuals must actively work to maintain and reinforce their progress, and may face ongoing challenges and setbacks.