Educational trajectories of non-traditional students : stories behind numbers

Title: Educational trajectories of non-traditional students : stories behind numbers
Source document: Studia paedagogica. 2020, vol. 25, iss. 4, pp. [93]-114
  • ISSN
    1803-7437 (print)
    2336-4521 (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license

Notice: These citations are automatically created and might not follow citation rules properly.

This article aims to identify, measure, and deeply understand the educational trajectories of non-traditional students (students over the age of 26 who are enrolled following a break in their formal educational trajectory) studying for education degrees in the Czech Republic. To fulfill the aims, we adapted previously identified types of educational trajectories that are traveled by non-traditional students to the circumstances of the Czech higher education system. We measured the distribution of three types (deferrers, returners, and recurrent learners) in a sample of 713 non-traditional students. We found that the types were nearly evenly distributed, with a slight prevalence of deferrers. For a deeper understanding of these types, we analyzed 30 narrative interviews. Qualitative data revealed each group's specific features, including their attitudes toward higher education studies, their academic enculturation, and their academic skills. We suggest that the returner type should be split into two categories for more specific quantitative analysis. On the basis of our research, we offer tailored recommendations for supporting particular groups of non-traditional students.
The article 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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