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Making a real difference: Further education and beliefs in its transformative capacity to change lives

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Abstract:

Abstract

The material on students and teachers’ experiences and beliefs used in this paper derive from a two year research project, Learning & Working in Further Education Colleges in Wales was funded by the Economic and Social research Council (ESRC) and Wales Assembly Government as part of the UK’s Teaching and Learning Research Programme (TLRP) programme. The overall aim of the project was to explore the relationships between students’ learning journeys and teachers’ working lives, set against changing institutional and external conditions, in 3 further education colleges in Wales. A variety of further education programme areas were sampled which led to field work in full and part time courses across seven campuses. The paper draws upon largely qualitative, empirical material collected from semi-structured interviews with 27 teachers and 45 students and from their respective learning journals (diaries), along with ethnographic observations in classrooms and data from 9 student focus groups.

The analysis of journals, observational data and interviews reveals that crossing the threshold of a further education college is not a straightforward action. Those transferring directly from secondary school or who had briefly left formal education, for employment or perhaps for early parenthood, reported initial feelings of discontinuity. Older returners to study described anxieties and self-doubt about their capacity to learn. Using the voices and texts of its research participants, the paper illustrates the ways in which students and their teachers make sense of their experiences and come to believe in the transformative capacity of further education to change lives.

( 248 words)

Key words:
Further education, teacher beliefs, learners’journeys, compensatory education

Author's Keywords:

Further education, teacher beliefs, learners’journeys, compensatory education
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Association:
Name: 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
URL:
http://www.cies.us


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492910_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Salisbury, Jane. and Jephcote, Martin. "Making a real difference: Further education and beliefs in its transformative capacity to change lives" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, May 01, 2011 <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492910_index.html>

APA Citation:

Salisbury, J. and Jephcote, M. , 2011-05-01 "Making a real difference: Further education and beliefs in its transformative capacity to change lives" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492910_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Abstract

The material on students and teachers’ experiences and beliefs used in this paper derive from a two year research project, Learning & Working in Further Education Colleges in Wales was funded by the Economic and Social research Council (ESRC) and Wales Assembly Government as part of the UK’s Teaching and Learning Research Programme (TLRP) programme. The overall aim of the project was to explore the relationships between students’ learning journeys and teachers’ working lives, set against changing institutional and external conditions, in 3 further education colleges in Wales. A variety of further education programme areas were sampled which led to field work in full and part time courses across seven campuses. The paper draws upon largely qualitative, empirical material collected from semi-structured interviews with 27 teachers and 45 students and from their respective learning journals (diaries), along with ethnographic observations in classrooms and data from 9 student focus groups.

The analysis of journals, observational data and interviews reveals that crossing the threshold of a further education college is not a straightforward action. Those transferring directly from secondary school or who had briefly left formal education, for employment or perhaps for early parenthood, reported initial feelings of discontinuity. Older returners to study described anxieties and self-doubt about their capacity to learn. Using the voices and texts of its research participants, the paper illustrates the ways in which students and their teachers make sense of their experiences and come to believe in the transformative capacity of further education to change lives.

( 248 words)

Key words:
Further education, teacher beliefs, learners’journeys, compensatory education


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