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    Educational decision-making: rationality and the impact of time

    Adshead, L. and Jamieson, Anne (2008) Educational decision-making: rationality and the impact of time. Studies in the Education of Adults 40 (2), pp. 143-159. ISSN 0266-0830.

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    This paper explores educational decision-making within a life course perspective. It draws on interviews carried out with 34 people, ages 30-81, as part of a longitudinal study into educational experiences of part-time mature students in continuing education at a London university. It considers to what extent their decisions about study are technically rational, as assumed in much policy making. The key focus is on whether there is any evidence that adults become increasingly agentic and rational as they progress through the life course. Our findings suggest that educational decision-making does shift from decisions in young adults being heavily influenced by others, to more autonomous and rational decisions in later life. However the picture was complex with more heterogeneity discernable in mid life, as the effect of structural factors became more evident, especially in the ways choices related to gendered career and family roles.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): formal study, life course perspective, decision-making, structure, agency
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2011 15:40
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 16:52


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