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    Can the life stories of adult learners offer insights into the development of understanding and knowledge for critical adult and community education? An exploration of the experimental reflections of four adult learners in Ireland.


    Leydon, Mary (2016) Can the life stories of adult learners offer insights into the development of understanding and knowledge for critical adult and community education? An exploration of the experimental reflections of four adult learners in Ireland. Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    Abstract

    This thesis discusses the life stories of four adult learners in Ireland who tell of their difficulties and how they successfully overcame those difficulties. Through interviews I have conducted with each of them, I hope to provide an opportunity for the reader to gain insight into the experiences of people who have been marginalised. Each of the respondents spoke of their experience of marginalisation and its effect on their lives, highlighting the contention that societal structures work to marginalise people, those who are perceived as different. Using Human Scale Development theory (Max-Neff, 1991) I will discuss the possibility of human needs when not fulfilled, may be viewed as both a deprivation and a potential; a positive and a negative. My research hopes to determine if these life stories can offer insights into the development of ‘An Understanding and A Knowledge’ that will be of benefit for Critical Adult and Community Education. I hope to show that the experiential reflections of Marion, Ellen, Paul and Gemma will lead to a greater understanding of the marginalisation of people who are perceived as different by society and its structures, which appear to work towards reproducing inequality. The research was conducted using narrative inquiry and Feminist - Marxist lens to examine and draw meaning from the cited experiences. The research highlights the continued marginalisation of people who do not fit into the ‘norms’ of society, those who are viewed as Others (Beauvoir, 1989). 4 These people are excluded through domination and control to prevent a challenge to the status quo. The research further identifies the imperative of understanding a problem through experience – our own, or that of another human being. Theory alone cannot provide understanding of an issue, the addition of lived experience allows for a more meaningful understanding and ‘really useful knowledge’ (Thompson, 1997). Using both theory and lived experience when addressing a problem provides an opportunity for change. The insights provided by the Four Respondents together with the theories of Max-Neff, Beauvoir, Marx, Freire and hooks combine to inform social conscience, and social activism that, if taken up, will work towards social change.

    Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
    Keywords: M.Ed. in Adult and Community Education; M.Ed.; life stories; adult learners; development of understanding; knowledge; critical adult and community education; adult and community education; adult education; experimental reflections; adult learners; Ireland;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Adult and Community Education
    Item ID: 9630
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2018 10:54
    URI:

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