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Title: Fragile learning
Author: Mathew, David
ISNI:       0000 0004 6352 8814
Awarding Body: University of Bedfordshire
Current Institution: University of Bedfordshire
Date of Award: 2016
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A critical exploration of seven peer-reviewed published papers supports the author’s contention that learning in Higher Education is a fragile system of conscious and unconscious transactions that serve to weaken a process that is already precarious. Over the course of this essay and the accompanying papers, the submission is that learning is brittle, and easily broken. The Fragile Learner is described as someone close to conceding defeat to circumstances that threaten his education. The Fragile Learner might be a student of a Higher Education Institution, but also might be an appointed educator. Alongside notions of barriers to learning, this submission explores identities and tensions. Although some of the ideas that make up my picture of Fragile Learning have been researched by other contributors (notably Meyer and Land; Britzman), my own contribution sees the complexities through various psychoanalytic lenses. Fundamentally, it is the addition of psychoanalysis that makes Fragile Learning original. It is argued that anxiety is an important part of adult learning. Fragile Learners might experience anxieties that are internal and complex but which appear to be attacks from other people. Alternatively, Fragile Learning might be a consequence of learners having suffered illness or indisposition. It is important that something can be blamed. The themes of fragility and anxiety – not to mention the difficulties that arise from distance learning – are present throughout.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: education ; fragile learning ; adult learning ; gendered learning ; gender ; e-learning ; prison language ; X300 Academic studies in Education