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“My Turn,” Women's Goals and Motivations in a Diploma Program: A Constructive-Developmental Approach

“My Turn,” Women's Goals and Motivations in a Diploma Program: A Constructive-Developmental Approach
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Author(s): Eleanor Drago-Severson (Teachers College, Columbia University, New York City, NY, USA)
Copyright: 2014
Volume: 5
Issue: 4
Pages: 19
Source title: International Journal of Adult Vocational Education and Technology (IJAVET)
Editor(s)-in-Chief: Victor X. Wang (Grand Canyon University, USA), Lyle Yorks (Columbia University, USA) and John A. Henschke (Lindenwood University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/ijavet.2014100101

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Abstract

This research was part of a larger, mixed-methods study, funded by the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy, which examined the learning and change experiences of 41 learners in three ABE/ESOL programs. This paper examines a Polaroid diploma program with a focus on women workers, employing gender (relational) and constructive-developmental theory to frame their learning experiences. Data for this paper focuses on analysis of 224 qualitative interviews, focus groups, and developmental assessments. Three emergent themes regarding women's motivation emerged: practical benefits, the importance of timing, and leadership aspirations. This paper presents how these women describe and understand their learning motivations from both a qualitative and developmental perspective. This investigation informs understanding of women's motivations for learning, and suggests how individual ways of knowing inform such motivation.

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