Adults in the Academy: Voices of Lifelong Learners


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This book examines themes from adult students in higher education: dispositional characteristics, situational barriers to academic success, and how institutional policy and procedures create obstacles for these non-traditional learners. While much has been written in the peer-reviewed literature about adult students, a commonly missing perspective is that of the students. In this book, adult learners write about their own conditions and contexts, bringing to light the gaps in institutional support for this growing community.

The rich narratives, case studies, and comprehensive reviews within chapters highlight the unique implications faced by this student population, and provide first-hand accounts on which institutions can acknowledge, value, and facilitate change for an evolved, equitable, and elevated educational experience.

Contributors are: Lucas Allen, Sandra Becker, Keith Burn, Adele Chadwick, Kathleen Clarke, Daniel Cleminson, Geremy Collom, Amy De Jaeger, Natalie Dewing, Lori Doan, Eli Duykers, Susan E. Elliott-Johns, Angelina Evans, Melanie Extance, Margaret Greenfields, Leahann Hendrickse, Troy Hill, Sophie Karanicolas, Rahul Kumar, Cobi Ladner, Beth Loveys, Dorothy Missingham, Barbara A.Nicolls, Katia Olsen, Sarah O'Shea, Julie Podrebarac, Carmen Rodríguez de France, Rebecca Rochon, Selina Sharma, Nicola Simmons, Matthew Slater, Sherrie Smith, Cathy Snelling, Cathy Stone, Ashleigh Taylor, Preeti Vayada, Monica Wice and Sinead Wright.

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Nicola Simmons, Ph.D. (2007), Brock University, is on faculty in Educational Studies. She is a 3M National Teaching Fellow, founding Chair of SoTL Canada, and past Canadian VP, ISSOTL. She focuses on SoTL, adult identity and meaning-making, and online pedagogy.

Julie Podrebarac is currently a secondary school educator in Ontario. She has completed her Master of Education at Brock University with a focus in leadership and administration. Julie is interested in pursuing leadership, learning, and teaching development in higher education.
List of Figures and Tables
Notes on Contributors

1 Introduction: Hearing Voices
Nicola Simmons

Part 1: Dispositional Barriers and Student Identity

2 Hedonic and Eudiamonic Approaches to Adult Learning
Lori A. Doan and Amy E. De Jaeger
3 Gifting as a Construct for Older Adults’ Participation in the Academy
Sandra Becker
4 Being a Mature-Aged Student Partner: Joy, Alienation, and Disappointment
Preeti Vayada
5 Learning and Teaching with Adults: Contexts for Pedagogy and Critical Reflexivity
Susan E. Elliott-Johns
6 Finding My Voice: A Conversation about Indigenous Adult Education
Katia Olsen and Carmen Rodríguez de France
7 Bringing Our Mohawk People Home
Troy Hill

Part 2: Situational Barriers

8 On Being Successful in UK Tertiary Education: A Lifelong Learner’s Perspective
Barbara Anne Nicolls
9 Adults’ Experiences of Returning to and Succeeding in Higher Education: Three Case Studies
Keith Burn
10 Women with Caring Responsibilities: Is There a Genuine Place for them at University?
Cathy Stone and Sarah O’Shea
11 Higher Education as an Additional Mid-Life Transition: Motivations and Challenges of Older Female Students
Adele Chadwick
12 Gypsies, Travellers, and Roma in UK Higher Education: A View from inside the Academy
Sherrie Smith, Margaret Greenfields and Rebecca Rochon
13 Voices from Down Under: Analysing the Learning Experience of Adults in an Australian Academy
Catherine Snelling, Dorothy Missingham, Sophie Karanicolas, Beth R. Loveys, Lucas Allen, Daniel Cleminson, Geremy Collom, Natalie Dewing, Eli Duykers, Imogen McNamara, Matthew Slater, Ashleigh Taylor and Sinead Wright

Part 3: Institutional Factors

14 Questioning Third Age Learners in Ontario Universities: A Numeric and Policy Analysis
Rahul Kumar
15 Student Services for Adult Learners: Reviewing a Sample of Ontario Universities
Angelina Evans and Kathleen Clarke
16 The Untapped Opportunity of Older Adult Students on Campus
Cobi Ladner
17 Should Higher Education Care about Baby Boomer Students?
Monica Wice
18 Supporting Mature Students: Individualization and Learning Outcomes
Selina Sharma
19 My Adult Learning Journey: Conceptualizing the Past and Reorienting for the Future Together
Melanie Extance
20 Considering the Flip Side of Online Distance Education to Inspire Self-directed Learning for Non-traditional Students
Leahann Hendrickse
21 Conclusion: Building Change
Julie Podrebarac
Anyone teaching adult (mature) students in postsecondary contexts across any disciplines. Academic and student services staff, higher education administrators.
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