ERIC Number: ED393994
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Apr
Narratives of Adult Women's Learning in Higher Education: Insights from Dissertation Research.
Hayes, Elisabeth; Flannery, Daniele
A study critically reviewed 14 dissertations that explore adult women's perspectives on their learning in higher education. The dissertations were examined using two levels of analysis: descriptive and critical/comparative. The studies varied considerably in the aspect of learning or learning experiences that they examined. Twelve focused on adult women undergraduates. The theoretical perspectives and methods used were diverse. Six cited explicitly feminist scholarship as part of their literature review, although they varied in the extent to which feminism was identified as a major aspect of their conceptual framework. The research methodology used in all studies, with one exception, was qualitative or combined qualitative and quantitative methods. Issues of identity were pervasive in women's narratives of their learning experiences. One study investigated adult women students' preferences for different modes of learning, using the distinction between separate and connected knowing. One study focused specifically on minority women. The following concerns arose from this research: the lack of any coherent line of research on women's learning, little incorporation of a gendered analysis into the studies, need for further research that involves more diverse groups of adult women, and adult women's experience of being an "outsider" in higher education. (Contains 20 references.) (YLB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, April 1996).