Enacted Learner Identities: A Model for Understanding Disenfranchised Learners Experience of Formal Education

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Post-compulsory providers (both universities and vocational education and training (VET) providers) have particular, well-established identities informed by past experiences, relationships and interpretations of their stakeholders’ expectations. Long standing stakeholders of these providers also have established identities that match those of the providers. But what of those learners who have not historically seen themselves as part of formal adult education centres or communities? The research reported here explores the links between regional learners’ identity and experiences of education, formally and informally, and the impact on their engagement in post compulsory education. The outcomes describe 4 types of learner identity and their key features. These are explored in terms of the implications for educational research, policy, practice.


Keywords: Identity, Adult Learning, Disenfranchised Learners, Regional Education
Stream: Adult, Vocational, Tertiary and Professional Learning
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Assoc. Prof. Ruth Wallace

Educational researcher/Senior Lecturer, Social Partnerships in Learning Research Consortium
School of Education, Charles Darwin University

Darwin, NT, Australia

Ruth Wallace has extensive experience in innovative delivery of vocational education and training (VET) programs in regional and remote areas across Northern Australia. She’s a Senior VET Lecturer and researcher, with particular expertise in VET practice development, learning communities, literacies and flexible learning. She an educational researcher with the Social Parternships in Learning Research Group, Charles Darwin University, and has undertaken research into the links between identity and involvement in post-compulsory schooling. Ruth has also undertaken research into flexible learning, action learning and developing effective materials and assessment for marginalized students.

Ref: L09P1396