The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

The extent to which higher education (HE) is conceived as ‘within the bounds of the possible’ and worthwhile for non-participating adults

Record type: Book Section

This chapter will consider how people come to navigate their way through a terrain of differential enablements and barriers to work and education, alongside a consideration of their engagement in, and attitudes towards, formal and informal learning. It will examine the extent to which participation in HE may be conceived as worthwhile and ‘within the bounds of the possible’ for some of our sample members - that is, something they could imagine themselves as doing - whereas for others it is not. The chapter will draw on the life stories of two networks, to illustrate how members of these networks are making their way along various educational and career pathways, and how their concerns influence what they regard to be realistic or possible options for themselves. These perceptions may be subjective but they are nonetheless based on realistic assessments of the opportunities and barriers that present themselves to individuals. The paradox of course is that such assessments risk ultimately being self-fulfilling and can reproduce patterns of (dis)engagement over generations. A key finding here, though, is that these ‘boundaries of the possible’ are not fixed, but can be transformed by people’s shared life experience, influenced by the experience of HE of people in their networks, as well as by local education and training interventions. Circumstances change, for some more than others, but they are not static or unidirectional; younger generations influence the thinking of older generations as well as vice versa. A consideration of the ‘bounds of the possible’ sheds some light on changing patterns of participation, as well as on changing attitudes to learning despite predominantly negative experiences of compulsory schooling. The chapter will conclude that these shifting boundaries are like a flexible membrane able to expand and contract as people learn from their life experience and the experiences of those around them.

PDF Chapter_7_review.pdf - Other
Download (402kB)

Citation

Dyke, Martin (2011) The extent to which higher education (HE) is conceived as ‘within the bounds of the possible’ and worthwhile for non-participating adults In, Fuller, Alison, Heath, Sue and Johnston, Brenda (eds.) Widening Participation for Reluctant Students: Involving ‘ordinary people'. London, GB, Routledge

More information

Published date: May 2011

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 149511
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/149511
ISBN: 9780415575645
PURE UUID: a1930959-de63-4b56-b5ed-93d0c6b806b0

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 28 May 2010 15:56
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 19:26

Export record

Contributors

Author: Martin Dyke
Editor: Alison Fuller
Editor: Sue Heath
Editor: Brenda Johnston

University divisions


Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×