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Open Access research that challenges the mind...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including those from the School of Psychological Sciences & Health - but also papers by researchers based within the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, and from the Strathclyde Business School.

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A new conceptualisation of adult participation in education

Blair, A. and McPake, Joanna and Munn, Pamela and , Scottish Office Education Department (Funder) (1995) A new conceptualisation of adult participation in education. British Educational Research Journal, 21 (5). pp. 629-644. ISSN 0141-1926

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This paper presents a new conceptualisation of adults' process of return to formal education, arising from an in-depth qualitative study of 50 Scottish adult returners to various institutional settings. The new way of thinking developed because existing explanations proved ill-equipped to reflect the complex and diverse data gathered in interview about adults' reasons for returning to education. The paper begins by describing the context of the study, the study itself and the questions it raises about participation issues. It goes on to consider three conceptualisations of participation that may be found in the literature, the main barriers to participation and the challenges presented to them by data from the research. The new conceptualisation is then introduced and discussed further with reference to relevant data. The paper closes with some issues prompted by this idea for institutions and policy-makers in adult education.