Mezirow received his B.A. and M.A. Degree in Social Sciences and Education from the University of Minnesota, and his Ed.D. Degree in Adult Education from the University of California, Los Angeles. He was an Emeritus Professor of Adult and Continuing Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, and the founder of the Adult Education Guided Intensive Study (AEGIS) doctoral program at Teachers College, Columbia University.
Mezirow was influenced by Paulo Freire and Jürgen Habermas. He was widely acknowledged as the founder of the concept of transformative learning. One of the main points in his work with transformative learning is the division of knowledge into three distinct types:
The two former are considered the most common types of technical and practical knowledge, especially the so-called emancipatory dimension, which proposes that everyone possesses the potential to break free from their own situation to transform their own life. This requires an awareness of one's current life conditions.
- 1990, Fostering Critical reflection in adulthood, Jossey-Bass Inc
- 1991. Transformative Dimensions of Adult Learning, Jossey-Bass Inc
- 2000. Learning as transformation: Critical Perspectives on a theory in Progress, Jossey-Bass Inc
- 2009. Transformative Learning in Practice: Insights from Community, Workplace and Education, Jossey-Bass Inc
- "Jack Mezirow, Who Transformed the Field of Adult Learning, Dies at 91". TC Media Center. Teachers College, Columbia University. October 11, 2014. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
- "Dear Colleagues: It is with sadness that... - International Adult Education | Facebook". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2017-01-19.
- Joe Levine (October 11, 2014). "Jack Mezirow, Who Transformed the Field of Adult Learning, Dies at 91". columbia.edu.
- "Jack Mezirow". Retrieved 2011-03-27.
- "Adult Education Guided Intensive Study (AEGIS) Program at Teachers College, Columbia University". Retrieved 2012-01-23.
- An Overview on Transformative Learning in Ed. Illeris, Knud: Contemporary Theories of Learning, Routledge, 2009, pp. 90-105