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ERIC Number: EJ766038
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Sep
Pages: 12
Abstractor: Author
ISSN: ISSN-0258-2236
Validating a Pre-Formed Identity or Unsettling Prior Experience? Experiences of Working Students Entering Studies in Management
Hewlett, Lynn
Perspectives in Education, v24 n3 p109-120 Sep 2006
Contextual studies of learning experiences as recalled by working, adult learners entering post-graduate studies in higher education are not widely reported in higher education research. The purpose of this study was to explore the recalled learning experiences of adult students with work experience, but no prior completed academic qualifications, who were admitted to post-graduate study at a particular stage of South Africa's history. The study was designed as a qualitative, interpretive study using in-depth, semi-structured interviews with former students. The focus is on recalled experiences of learning and how the students talk about these incidents, particularly in relation to their knowledge gained through work experience. Former students give glimpses into meanings they attached to knowledge acquired through experience, the ways that experience, working with experience and received curriculum conceptions of experience, play out in a higher education context of continuing professional education. Learning in this context is experienced as non-linear, relational and individual processes of building confidence and coming to terms with different ways of knowing. In this process students perceive that the learning gained from experience needs to be "fine-tuned" and made more rigorous, more scientific more "refined" and given names in terms of established categories called theory but, for the most part, not unsettled. Where this learning is unsettled, it seems that it is the ways of behaving and demonstrating knowledge that are unsettled not the theory of action or the knowledge base itself.
Perspectives in Education. Faculty of Education, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa. Tel: +27-12-420-4732; Fax: +27-12-420-3003; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education; High Schools; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa