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Title: Exploring transformative journeys through a higher education programme in a further education college
Author: Rocks, Eddie
ISNI:       0000 0004 6421 3013
Awarding Body: Open University
Current Institution: Open University
Date of Award: 2017
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Since the 1960s, there has been a sustained policy commitment to widen participation to social groups previously under-represented in further and higher education (Thompson, 2000; Burke, 2012). Widening participation has encouraged students to return who are poorly prepared for the intellectual challenges of post-compulsory education (Leatherwood, 2005; Burton and Golding Lloyd et al, 2011). Some research has concluded that post-compulsory education has been dumbed down to accommodate ill-prepared students (Haggis, 2006; Coffield, 2010). This research interrogates these analyses in the context of Higher Education in Further Education (HE in FE). The research investigates if HE in FE can be a catalyst for significant social, emotional, and intellectual growth in students – if students can be transformed by the experience of education (Mezirow, 1978a, 1991; Cranton, 2006). Within both a critical and a phenomenological research paradigm, twelve non-traditional graduates from a full-time BA programme at an HE and FE College in Scotland were interviewed; as were the BA programme leader and a module teacher. The graduates also produced reflections of their experiences of HE in FE. The research sought to determine if graduates from HE in FE can experience significant social, emotional, and intellectual growth as a result of participation; what teaching and learning settings make this possible, and can graduates be transformed by the experience of HE in FE? The findings of the research indicate that the participants, to varying degrees, all experienced some significant shift in attributes such as confidence, independence and willingness to try new things. How they experience, conceptualise and participate in their social worlds has become more discriminating. I conclude by proposing that higher education programmes, facilitated in further and higher education colleges, can have the potential to provide transformative experiences for students who participate. It has been a transformative experience for the participants in this research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral