Drawing on Kuh’s work, Gardner Campbell in his paper “Networked Learning as Experiential Learning” differentiates between learning as a “tool” versus learning as an “objective” itself. He mentions that even though student-centered learning is the new mantra in the pedagogy arena, yet in most cases “learning” is considered as a tool to achieve certain quantifiable goals and objectives.
Built on Amartya Sen’s human development theory, one can explain Campbell’s perspective regarding education as a tool or as a goal. Sen’s believes that in human development, humans are the final goals of development projects. That means if a person gets educated, although she/he can serve her/his society better (human capital), however, that education will not be considered as a step towards human development, unless it creates new “freedoms”. Sen defines freedom as the capability to choose from different choices, so one can live a dignified life as he/she wishes. This said, the question is what constitute a transformative educational experience which can develop one’s choices and capacities in life.