Elizabeth's ethical commitment is to nurture a socially just, respectful,
and environmentally sustainable society through processes of transformative learning.
Elizabeth's overarching ethical commitment is nurturing a socially just, respectful, and environmentally sustainable society through transformative education and learning.
Her engagement with learners starts from a belief in the general goodness of people, their innate curiosity and desire to learn, and their creative and ethical impulses. Sometimes learning has been suppressed through wounding in school, passive forms of learning, or other negative experiences. People may be reluctant to take up their freedom to think, learn, create, and do good. The essential task of the educator is to unearth these potentialities and help animate them into being.
Creating transformative learning opportunities for adults, within daily lived experiences, can foster a deeper sense of relation to self, others and the living world, and enable thinking beyond our myopia of daily concerns. While educators may enter learning spaces with passion and commitment, it must be grounded in humility, knowing that deep learning and the moral voice often emerges beneath what is planned.
Please join Elizabeth and the Fireweed Network in addressing the increasing challenges of this era, including re-envisioning how we can live in relation to the living web of the Earth and restore knowledge and skills for living respectfully across human diversity, for generations to come.
Together, we can flow into being a life-giving society.
Elizabeth was an early initiator of fair trade, non-profit business in the 1980s.
La Lucha Imports supported traditional handcraft artisans around the world by paying a fair price for textile goods and selling them in a not for profit manner.
Elizabeth collaboratively founded Just Christmas: Global Crafts Market in 1984, now called the Just One World Market in Edmonton, Canada (see link). In 1990, she worked to build North/South solidarity through travel seminars/study tours between Canada and El Salvador, which continued for 20 years.
In 1999, Elizabeth co-founded the Fireweed Institute, a non-profit educational institute in Edmonton, dedicated to transforming working and living for a sustainable world. The Fireweed Institute hosted a variety of community workshops, sustainability tours, and community action projects. This is now evolving into the Fireweed Network, a virtual community of transformative educators, still in development.
In 2010, Elizabeth co-founded the Earth and Hearth Collective in Nova Scotia offering workshops and kitchen table dialogues on sustainability topics for all income groups over several years.
Elizabeth has sat on many community boards and committees, related to sustainability, social justice and adult learning. She continues to consult with community, adult learning, and higher education organizations to meet their goals with regard to educational programming.
Elizabeth Lange has over 35 years of experience as an educator and facilitator of transformative learning. Striving for excellence and innovation in teaching, she has taught in the formal education sector (high school, college and university) as well as in nonformal contexts (community organizations including immigrant organizations, churches, various government departments and nonprofit organizations).
Her learner evaluations across three universities were 4.5/5 for undergraduate courses, 4.9/5 for graduate courses, and "excellent" in other adult learning programs. She has supervised many graduate students, with several students winning significant awards and grants.
Elizabeth has offered hundreds of workshops and public speaking engagements to a range of public, private and nongovernmental organizations over the course of her career. She has also designed curriculum for and with multiple organizations.
Elizabeth holds a PhD in International/Intercultural Education – Adult Education from the University of Alberta (Edmonton, CANADA).
Dr. Lange, now an Independent Scholar, is currently an Honorary and Adjunct Fellow with the University of Technology Sydney in Australia. She served previously as a professor in three Canadian universities—Concordia University of Edmonton, University of Alberta, and St. Francis Xavier University.
Elizabeth's research has been ranked as outstanding by her peers and she was awarded the Graduate Research Award by her North American colleagues at the Adult Education Research Conference in 1996. She has held numerous research contracts and grants from a range of organizations to examine various educational topics and community issues.
The book The Purposes of Adult Education (3rd Edition, 2014, Thompson Educational Publishing), co-written with Bruce Spencer serves as a Canadian text for graduate studies in adult education.
She has over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters and has served as an Associate or Consulting Editor for key journals in the fields of adult education and sustainability education. Review this site for links to her publications.