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‘I really hated school, and couldn’t wait to get out!’: Reflections on ‘a wasted opportunity’ amongst access to HE students.

Waller, Richard

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Abstract

In constructing a narrative account of our lives, we may recall experiences of schooling with a mixture of resentment and regret, and perhaps a sense of ‘wasted opportunities’. This is particularly true if school has left us with a fragile academic self-esteem, through being labelled ‘a failure’ as a child. For some, this contributes to a desire to ‘make good’ the perceived deficit through re-engagement with formal education as an adult learner.

This paper draws upon biographical data from longitudinal research that followed the progress of a group of mature students on a further education Access to Higher Education course. It explores how themes of ‘waste’ especially and ‘desire’ are used in accounting for past, present and (anticipated) future lives and learner identities. It concludes that, despite some commonalities, experiences of adult learners are too individual and personalised to be meaningfully categorised, as some early studies had attempted to do.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2004
Journal Journal of Access Policy and Practice
Print ISSN 1740-1348
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2
Issue 1
Pages 24-43
APA6 Citation Waller, R. (2004). ‘I really hated school, and couldn’t wait to get out!’: Reflections on ‘a wasted opportunity’ amongst access to HE students. Journal of Access Policy and Practice, 2(1), 24-43
Keywords access students, mature students, further education, non-traditional students
Publisher URL http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/niace/japp/2004/00000002/00000001/art00003#expand/collapse

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