Identity Struggles of Adult Returners

Katarína Rozvadská


This article addresses a perceived gap in higher education literature: there is very little writing that successfully combines the issues of individual learners who dropped out and then returned to higher education – the adult returners. To address this problem, the article draws upon data from the qualitative part of a larger research project that deals with non-traditional students in the Czech Republic. This article analyzes data from eight subjects with drop-out experience chosen from the initial corpus of thirty non-traditional students. The results indicate that adult learners have to deal with three central identities and with potential identity struggles as they interact: student identity, work identity, and familial identity. The final result of the interaction between these identities can be either the integration or the disintegration of identities, whereby one of the possible consequences of identity disintegration is to drop out from higher education.

Klíčová slova

adult returners; drop-out; higher education; narratives; identity struggles; adult learner identities

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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.

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