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‘i don’t feel like ‘a student’, i feel like ‘me’!’: The over‐simplification of mature learners’ experience(s)

Waller, Richard



Many studies of mature students within further and higher education portray them as a distinct social category with particular shared characteristics. Such representations are sometimes sub‐divided further along lines of social division. For instance, attempts to determine ‘types’ of mature learners have variously identified class, ethnicity, gender and age as being of key importance. This paper examines the utility of such attempts to categorise older learners by drawing upon data from a longitudinal study of students on a further education ‘Access to HE’, and subsequent university courses. It demonstrates that mature students are a diverse and heterogeneous group, with the ‘reality’ of their experience(s) being too complex, too individually situated, for meaningful representation otherwise. © 2006 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Mar 1, 2006
Journal Research in Post-Compulsory Education
Print ISSN 1359-6748
Electronic ISSN 1747-5112
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Issue 1
Pages 115-130
APA6 Citation Waller, R., & Waller, R. (2006). ‘i don’t feel like ‘a student’, i feel like ‘me’!’: The over‐simplification of mature learners’ experience(s). Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 11(1), 115-130.
Keywords mature students, student typologies, further education, access courses, social class and education
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : This is an accepted manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Research in Post-Compulsory Education on 16 August 2006, available online: http://www.tandfonline.....1080/13596740500508019


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