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Adult community learning participation and parental involvement in schooling

Samuel, Suzanne 2017. Adult community learning participation and parental involvement in schooling. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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The argument that adult community learning (ACL) participation plays a part in influencing parents’ perceptions and practices with respect to schooling children is appealing but there is little evidence to show whether this is the case and, if so, what form it takes. Statistical studies have revealed mixed findings, ranging from no impact to some changes in behaviour when parents study at university. Yet, the mechanisms by which this process occurs are little understood. Considering the varied findings, this qualitative study aims to explore the nature and extent of ACL, and its influence on parents and children. Drawing on adult education theory and Bourdieu’s concept of ‘capital’, the study focuses on examples of parental ACL participation in Wales. Findings suggest that whilst all parents want the best for their children, some parents struggle to provide support, especially at secondary education stage. Parents typically draw upon a range of support mechanisms; they refer to the school, family and friends, the internet, work and volunteering, as well as hiring private tutors. Moreover, parents participating in multiple episodes of ACL, especially at the higher levels, draw upon and utilise their knowledge, skills, and resources to provide timely and effective support; this prevents slippage in the educational sense. Also, findings suggest that ACL participation stimulates and, in some cases, boosts children’s learning. In contrast, parents with low-level qualifications and parents who engage in fewer episodes of ACL, invariably have a far limited range of resources to call upon. Here, parents tend to rely heavily upon the school, family members, the internet, and if finances allow, private tutors. Consequently, when support is delayed or ineffective, this increases the risk of children falling behind at school. However, a solution to create a mutual mechanism of support in the home learning environment is put forward to overcome the problem.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Submission
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 4 April 2018
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2021 09:32

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