ERIC Number: EJ875134
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 43
Adult Learners in a Research University: Negotiating Undergraduate Student Identity
Kasworm, Carol E.
Adult Education Quarterly: A Journal of Research and Theory, v60 n2 p143-160 2010
Adult undergraduate student identities at research extensive universities were uniquely coconstructed, shaped by this selective and competitive youth-oriented cultural context. Drawing upon social constructivist theory, this study explored this coconstruction through positional and relational adult student identities. Positional identities were coconstructed through negotiating academic acceptance in meeting demanding academic challenges and through facing otherness as a mature adult. These adults also viewed their positional identity based in an evolving sense of agency to academically succeed through goal oriented efforts, as well as through their adult maturity and life experiences. These adults articulated relational identities predominantly based in faculty's tacit or explicit academic acceptance of them in one of four types of relationships. This study suggests that the adult undergraduate student identity is multi-layered, multi-sourced, evolving, and at times, paradoxical in beliefs of self, position, relationships, and learning contexts within the research extensive university setting.
Descriptors: Adult Learning, Adult Students, Undergraduate Students, Research Universities, Constructivism (Learning), Cultural Context, Student Subcultures, Identification, Student Role, Nontraditional Students, College Students, Self Concept
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A