Identity struggles of adult returners

Source document: Studia paedagogica. 2020, vol. 25, iss. 4, pp. [183]-199
  • ISSN
    1803-7437 (print)
    2336-4521 (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license
This article addresses a perceived gap in higher education literature: there is very little writing that successfully combines the issues of individual learners who dropped out and then returned to higher education – the adult returners. To address this problem, the article draws upon data from the qualitative part of a larger research project that deals with non-traditional students in the Czech Republic. This article analyzes data from eight subjects with drop-out experience chosen from the initial corpus of thirty non-traditional students. The results indicate that adult learners have to deal with three central identities and with potential identity struggles as they interact: student identity, work identity, and familial identity. The final result of the interaction between these identities can be either the integration or the disintegration of identities, whereby one of the possible consequences of identity disintegration is to drop out from higher education.
  • The text is published with the support of the Czech Educational Research Association and the Council of Scientific Societies of the Czech Republic at the Czech Academy of Sciences. It was presented at the XXVIII. Czech Educational Research Association Conference 2020. The study is an outcome of the "Non-Traditional Students Studying for Education Degrees in Tertiary Education within the Czech Republic" research project funded by the Czech Science Foundation (18-15451S).
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