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Australian Journal of Adult Learning, v53 n1 p111-128 Apr 2013

The vocational education and training sector plays a critical role in the provision of educational opportunities for young adults who have left school prior to completing a qualification. Some research has found that a major factor that supports student re-engagement in formal education is the "adult learning environment" that characterises institutions such as TAFE. Other studies have questioned the suitability of the adult learning environment for some students. This study explores how students and teachers in five foundation TAFE courses view the adult learning environment, and how they respond to this environment. The paper argues that the adult learning environment can in some instances be a "double-edged sword", in that it can both enhance and limit student engagement.

Descriptors: Learner Engagement, Educational Environment, Educational Opportunities, Adult Learning, Vocational Education, Young Adults, Foreign Countries, Interviews, Student Attitudes, Teacher Attitudes, Adult Education

Adult Learning Australia. Level 1, 32 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra, ACT 2603, Australia. Tel: +61-02-6274-9515; Fax: +61-02-6274-9513; Web site:

Autor: Murray, Sara; Mitchell, Jane


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