TITLE

Activists Within the Academy: The Role of Prior Experience in Adult Learners' Acquisition of Postgraduate Literacies in a Postapartheid South African University

AUTHOR(S)
Cooper, Linda
PUB. DATE
February 2011
SOURCE
Adult Education Quarterly;Feb2011, Vol. 61 Issue 1, p40
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Case Study
ABSTRACT
The article takes as a case study a group of disability rights activists who were given access to a master's program via Recognition of Prior Learning. The question explored is "Can adult learners' prior experiential knowledge act as a resource for the successful acquisition of postgraduate academic literacy practices?" The analysis is framed theoretically by Bourdieu's notions of habitus, capital, and field. It is argued that adult learners' acquisition of postgraduate literacies is an outcome of the interplay between three factors: (a) student habitus and dispositions, (b) pedagogic agency, and (c) the nature of the disciplinary field. Although the program under investigation made complex demands on students, lecturers' understanding of student habitus enabled students' prior experiential knowledge to be tapped as a resource. However, students also exercised agency in negotiating the forms of academic habitus acquired, and the trajectory of their agency involved a mix of accommodation, resistance, and challenge.
ACCESSION #
57196561

 

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