Adult status students with learning difficulties and the basic skills curriculum.

BEVERLEY, Joan Hilary. (2007). Adult status students with learning difficulties and the basic skills curriculum. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)..

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The research examines the adult status of those people with learning difficulties both within and outside adult education. Being adult is considered against Knowles' (1990) definition of adult through the research literature and empirical research. The research literature is used to investigate the history of how those adults with learning difficulties have been regarded in and treated by society and is used to consider terminology, legislation and the concept of 'difference'. What emerges is the notion that those with learning difficulties have been perceived as a group apart. The empirical research tested contemporary perceptions. The empirical research poses two key questions: what factors do we actually use to distinguish children from adults and, secondly, how adults with learning difficulties perceived themselves. Data to determine this was obtained by a picture sorting exercise to identify adults, an innovative approach to enable all to participate, and semi-structured interviews with groups of young people and adults with and without learning difficulties. The same research approaches were used with all respondents irrespective of variations in cognitive ability. The empirical research also examined the views of tutors within the Basic Skills sector in one unitary authority regarding the inclusion in classes of those with learning difficulties. Information from tutors was obtained by questionnaires and follow up interviews. Whilst virtually all respondents were apparently in favour of such inclusion, nevertheless they perceived students with learning difficulties as presenting particular problems. The research, undertaken in a unitary authority in central England, indicates that far from being a separate group, those with learning difficulties have much in common with all other adults. Indeed when considered against Knowles' definition it is mainly within one domain that there is any real difference. The research literature and the findings from the empirical research indicate reasons for this which are discussed within the thesis. Despite changes in legislation and changes in national policy towards people with disabilities in recent years, it is apparent that very little has changed significantly in terms of status for those adults with learning difficulties and major shifts in attitudes are still required if significant rather than cosmetic change is to happen.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Smith, Robin
Additional Information: Thesis (Ph.D.)--Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), 2007.
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 17:18
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2021 13:11

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