Educational Trajectories of Non-Traditional Students: Stories Behind Numbers

Karla Brücknerová, Katarína Rozvadská, Dana Knotová, Libor Juhaňák, Milada Rabušicová, Petr Novotný


This article aims to identify, measure, and deeply understand the educational trajectories of non-traditional students (students over the age of 26 who are enrolled following a break in their formal educational trajectory) studying for education degrees in the Czech Republic. To fulfill the aims, we adapted previously identified types of educational trajectories that are traveled by non-traditional students to the circumstances of the Czech higher education system. We measured the distribution of three types (deferrers, returners, and recurrent learners) in a sample of 713 non-traditional students. We found that the types were nearly evenly distributed, with a slight prevalence of deferrers. For a deeper understanding of these types, we analyzed 30 narrative interviews. Qualitative data revealed each group's specific features, including their attitudes toward higher education studies, their academic enculturation, and their academic skills. We suggest that the returner type should be split into two categories for more specific quantitative analysis. On the basis of our research, we offer tailored recommendations for supporting particular groups of non-traditional students.

Klíčová slova

non-traditional students; educational trajectories; mixed methods research; survey; narrative interview

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Zákon č. 197/2014, zákon, kterým se mění zákon č. 563/2004 Sb., o pedagogických pracovnících a o změně některých zákonů, ve znění pozdějších předpisů, (2014).

Zákon č. 563/2004 Sb., zákon o pedagogických pracovnících a o změně některých zákonů, (2014).


Časopis Ústavu pedagogických věd FF MU.

Výkonná redakce: Klára Šeďová, Roman Švaříček, Zuzana Šalamounová, Martin Sedláček, Karla Brücknerová, Petr Hlaďo.

Redakční rada: Milan Pol (předseda redakční rady), Gunnar Berg, Michael Bottery, Hana Cervinkova, Theo van Dellen, Eve Eisenschmidt, Peter Gavora, Yin Cheong Cheng, Miloš Kučera, Adam Lefstein, Sami Lehesvuori, Jan Mareš, Jiří Mareš, Jiří Němec, Angelika Paseka, Jana Poláchová Vašťatková, Milada Rabušicová, Alina Reznitskaya, Michael Schratz, Martin Strouhal, Petr Svojanovský, António Teodoro, Tony Townsend, Anita Trnavčevič, Jan Vanhoof, Arnošt Veselý, Kateřina Vlčková, Eliška Walterová.

Časopis vydává čtyři čísla ročně.

ISSN 1803-7437 (print), ISSN 2336-4521 (online)