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Constructing a ‘Mature Student’ Identity. Edition No. 1

  • ID: 1905776
  • June 2009
  • 368 Pages
  • VDM Publishing House
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Advocates of lifelong learning promise positive
change for individuals and society; however, the
transition to university is not easy for mature
students. The discourse of the typical 'student'
identity (marked by a youthful freedom from parental
control) marginalizes many adult learners, who are
portrayed as focusing mainly on parenting, employment
or other 'adult' issues. The social acceptance of
these competing discourses, and their influence on
academic policy, affects both the construction of a
‘student’ identity and students’ academic information
behaviours. This book presents the results of a
study, grounded in a postmodern framework of social
constructionism, which explores ‘student’ identities
and the academic and informational experiences of
mature students returning to undergraduate studies.
The project combined qualitative interviews with
students, discourse analysis of the university and
social texts on student life, and a quantitative
examination of the Canadian Census. The findings call
for future research and academic practices that are
designed to suit students’ individual academic and
informational needs, rather than stereotypical
discursive constructions.

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Lisa M., Given.
Dr. Lisa M. Given (Ph.D., University of Western Ontario) is
Associate Professor, School of Library

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