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ERIC Number: EJ934180
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0260-1370
Parents, Partners and Peers: Bearing the Hidden Costs of Lifelong Learning
Waller, Richard; Bovill, Helen; Pitt, Bob
International Journal of Lifelong Education, v30 n4 p509-526 2011
This paper examines data from three projects to explore the "hidden costs" of participating in lifelong learning. Whilst other potential risks (financial for instance) are anticipated, those around family and friendship ties are usually not. Adult re-engagement with education can result in unexpected negative consequences for learners' existing relationships, something addressed in academic literature but rarely in official policy rhetoric. We draw upon data from the projects to demonstrate how these unanticipated risks are negotiated and the impact of this discursive practice on those involved. We discuss this sense of risk, and also concepts of entitlement to one aspect of lifelong learning, higher education (HE) amongst those traditionally excluded from it in the UK. Entry to HE alone does not secure either a sense of entitlement, or a reduction of risk in terms of social justice, viewed as a means of fairly redistributing opportunities to compete for credentials. For some non-traditional learners, their sense of a lack of entitlement and levels of loss and risk to identity increase as they participate in university. We conclude by discussing how these "hidden costs" of lifelong learning are borne by learners and those closest to them, their parents, partners and peers, and how institutions may offer support through processes of transition to adult learner. (Contains 7 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom