Transition unbound : de-fragmentation of students' learning 'momenta'
This thesis is based on an empirical study of ten post-graduate students of human and social science at University of Warwick. It aims to re-conceptualise transition with reference to the way students discuss their personal experiences. The thesis has the form of a narrative that is based on the post-modern idea of creating the conditions that describe what cannot be represented. The central argument of the thesis is that either we always learn in transition or that learning is always transitional. Based on this argument the thesis takes the form of a journey in which the author traces issues relevant to transition, such as behavioural changes, emotional and cognitive in/stability, work and identity, learning and personal development. In this context transition is described as a spiral approach of constant reference to experiences of the past and the present, as well as expectations of the future. Methodologically, the thesis introduces a case-oriented comparative model for empirical research that is based on the deconstruction and reconstruction of personal experiences that appear as text. This defragmentation creates a story in which some of the components of transition become part of a lifelong learning process. In the analysis transition is treated as a feature of life, far more complex than a simple passage from one situation to another, punctuated by two points in time and space. It is also an evaluation of personal experience that refers to the development of self, in relation to the other, and to the roles and responsibilities people have in an educational environment or expect to take on in their attempt to reach stability.