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Not all "plain sailing" for women returning to study after a period of absence

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posted on 2022-09-06, 00:41 authored by Robin Buckner

Adult women who return to study after a period of absence have a particular set of problems, some of which present as barriers to the successful achievement of their academic goals. The aim of the present study was to identify the barriers which mature-aged women faced who were enrolled in a course of study at a metropolitan secondary college. The literature on this topic identified some barriers which were supported by the present study, but in addition, several barriers were unique to the situation at The College. Using educational ethnography as a methodology, the researcher used a questionnaire followed by interviews and a focus group discussion to identify the barriers the women were facing. Results indicated that in addition to expected barriers such as conflict between study and family responsibilities, feelings of poor self-worth, a lack of information and social class, women at The College also found that work commitments, time management, different teaching methods used by some teachers, the level of difficulty of some subjects, assessment policies, and younger students in the same class, also presented as barriers to their success. The results of this study provide new information, concerning barriers to further education for the adult female student. These new barriers have implications for further research.



Central Queensland University

Place of Publication

Rockhampton, Queensland

Open Access

  • Yes

Era Eligible

  • No

Thesis Type

  • Master's by Coursework Thesis

Thesis Format

  • With publication