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ERIC Number: ED519139
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 212
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1241-6788-6
Experiences of Adult Students in Multi-Generational Community College Classrooms
Clemente, Kathleen Ann
ProQuest LLC, D.Ed. Dissertation, The Pennsylvania State University
This qualitative study is a basic interpretative inquiry studying the experiences of fourteen adult students 45 years of age or older in a multi-generational community college classroom. The study is informed by social constructivism, social constructionism and andragogy. It focused on how students viewed their experiences in the multi-generational classroom and how the development of relationships among students of different ages affected the dynamics within a community college classroom. Data were collected through in-depth semi-structured interviews Three major themes emerged from this study in light of the adult students' phases of adjustment to being in school. The first theme, dealing with their first impressions, highlighted the participants' anxiety not only about being in school but being in a multi-generational classroom as well. It also highlighted the perceived differences between the two generations. The second theme focuses on adapting and relationship building with the younger students over time: on developing understanding and tolerance towards them; on the mutual nurturing that developed; on the manifestations of teasing; and the role of instructor facilitation. The third theme focuses on adult students' lasting impressions of their experiences in a multi-generational classroom and highlights: the mutual learning experiences between adult students and traditional-age students; the advice to students in similar situations; and the belief that, in the end, in such situations age does not matter, but the experience of learning together does matter. The dissertation ends with a discussion in light of the adult education literature and suggestions for further research. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A