Ana Lia Oliva

Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Education, Ed.D.



First Advisor

Ellyn Arwood

Third Advisor

Sally Hood

LC Subjects

Transformative learning; Children--Language; Speech therapists; Learning--Research; Learning--Psychology; Learning--Social aspects; COVID-19 Pandemic, 2020-


Research has shown that adult learning is a complex and integrative process that requires an interdisciplinary lens of study. Thus, to understand the cognitive dimensions of learning, a multidisciplinary approach is needed. This single case study aimed to examine how the role of language function in self-reflection supports the socio-cognitive and neurobiological processes associated with transformation through a model of neuroeducation that considers the role of language function. Based on a multidisciplinary review of transformative learning through the lenses of cognitive and cultural psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and language function, a reflective semi-structured interview protocol was implemented with six speech-language pathologists working in educational settings during COVID-19. The analysis of the responses demonstrated that the role of language function was associated with supporting relationships, self-reflection, and learning during a context of crisis. The results suggest how the role of language function contributed to the socio-cognitive and neurobiological processes associated with transformative learning. On this basis, it is recommended that organizations design nurturing, culturally and linguistically responsive learning environments that promote language as a tool for transformation.


Copyright retained by the author.