An investigation into the lifelong learning experiences of parents in South Wales.
Berry, Rachelle Violet Marie
University of Wales Institute, Cardiff
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This study examines the current status of parents revisiting learning. The research issue is a broad one, and therefore the focus of this study is on the motivation and barriers to revisiting learning as a parent, as well as exploring gender differences. A mixed method approach was chosen, with the mainly quantitative data collection first, by means of a questionnaire, followed by the qualitative data collection, via semi-structured interviews. The sample consisted of parents with at least one child in full-time education and the method used to gather the sample was a non-probability one: snowball sampling. There are several key findings, and although the main reason identified for revisiting learning is career orientated, the motivation to revisit learning is ultimately for personal growth. Barriers include time, cost and fear of failure, as well as barriers exclusive to parents such as childcare issues. Gender differences identified including the timing of when to revisit learning. Men tend to revisit learning when their first child is younger than five, whereas women tend to wait until their first child is in primary school education before revisiting learning. This study concludes that further investigation into some of the main barriers identified would help with ensuring that parents are given every opportunity to further their learning.
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