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ERIC Number: EJ1078183
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0260-1370
Challenging Change: Transformative Education for Economically Disadvantaged Adult Learners
Hyland-Russell, Tara; Syrnyk, Corinne
International Journal of Lifelong Education, v34 n5 p514-529 2015
This paper focuses on the results of a mixed-methods study of 13 participants in a Radical Humanities programme designed as a transformative learning space for low-income adults who have experienced barriers to learning. Using demographic questionnaires, semi-structured narrative interviews and course evaluations this study examined participants' experiences in the programme and the impact on their learning, sense of agency and future ambitions. As the first phase of a longitudinal project on the well-being and agency of under-represented and marginalized learners, this preliminary study revealed five predominant themes emerging from learners' experiences: (1) self-reflective meaning-making processes; (2) interrelated personal and communal growth; (3) appreciation of diversity; (4) emerging sense of self-as-learner; (5) renewed aspirations. This paper argues that transformative learning for low-income adults is a complex and challenging process that entails participants' ongoing negotiations of self, learning, and purpose. Understanding and evaluating the effectiveness of transformative learning within a social-emancipatory humanities programme requires attention to the programme's social context and choices faced by participants. Programme participation fosters increased well-being, deeper relationships and hope for the future. However, these tangible benefits are tempered by constraints of individual and structural systems that, for some students, impose limitations on their ability to enact change in themselves and in their lives.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A