The duality of familial and workplace guilt: Student-mothers' emotional experiences of higher vocational education

Paul H Smith

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

    29 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Student-mothers who study vocationally-related higher education programmes are a relatively under-researched group. Specifically, there is a paucity of research into the emotions that these learners experience as they pursue their studies. This paper discusses a qualitative investigation that examined the emotional narratives that a group of vocational student-mothers offered. These learners were studying for a foundation degree that aimed to upskill school-based teaching assistants. Semi-structured interviews were the main source of data collection that were employed to capture learner accounts in one English post-1992 university. The student-mothers were found to have experienced positive emotions as they had participated in their studies. Familial and workplace guilt however was a potential threat to students’ contentment. These emotions emanated from notions of about how family and the workplace time should be used. Student-mothers managed such potential cognitive dissonance by stressing the reciprocal relationships that existed between their studies, family lives and school work. The accounts that are presented remind readers that for this group of learners, higher education is an intensively emotional experience which is framed by both change and stability.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages1
    Number of pages26
    Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2018
    Event3rd International Bi-annual Conference for the Association for Post-compulsory Educattion - University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
    Duration: 13 Jul 201815 Jul 2018
    Conference number: 3

    Conference

    Conference3rd International Bi-annual Conference for the Association for Post-compulsory Educattion
    Abbreviated titleARPCE
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    CityOxford
    Period13/07/1815/07/18

    Keywords

    • educational guilt, higher vocational education, student-mothers, integrated lives, teaching assistants, foundation degree

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