Developing the quality of personal and social education-related transition to adulthood courses for young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities
The thesis examines the input offered to young people with LDD in further education, under the broad heading of transition to adulthood input. A range of research methods is used, combining to provide an understanding of what is offered in this work, and enabling suggestions to be made as to how transition to adulthood input might be judged, and improved. The thesis is in four parts: Part One: Further Education; Chapter One describes the background to transition to adulthood input in FE. Chapter Two covers broader considerations, including philosophical and ethical issues, together with recent developments in FE and their impact upon the target courses. Chapter Three describes the present position in FE for young people with LDD. Part Two: the PSE Foundations of Transition to Adulthood Studies: Chapter Four describes the theoretical and curricular influences upon this work. Chapter Five analyses PSE-related transition to adulthood curricular input, with a view to identifying common ground. Chapter Six attempts to clarify the difficulties surrounding assessment and evaluation in this work. Transition to adulthood's relationship to social psychology is confirmed, and Bandura's (1986) Social Cognitive theory is suggested as the focal theory for this work. Part Three: the Empirical Research: Chapter Seven provides an overview of the empirical research elements in the study. Chapter Eight describes a preliminary survey; Chapter Nine is concerned with the main survey, of transition to adulthood provision in three FE regions. Chapter Ten describes interviews with three Expert Witnesses, and Chapter Eleven describes interviews with two students groups. Part Four: Discussion, Issues and Outcomes: Chapter Twelve provides interpretation and discussion of the empirical research. Chapter Thirteen takes this further, describing possible ways forward. These include a suggested curriculum for adulthood and a departmental quality profile to be used by course providers. Chapter Fourteen provides a summary of conclusions.