Becoming critical beings
: a thematic study exploring the development, learning and teaching of a group of non traditional adult learners

  • Martin Fitzgerald

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    The current literature on critical thinking, critical reflection and critical action supports the view that higher education cannot be defined as such without the implicit existence of all three elements in the curriculum. There are many who suggest that, given the changing profile of those now engaging in higher education, these features need to be made more explicit. This study attempts to illustrate how these elements can be made more explicit within a unique teaching and learning context and with a specific non traditional group of adult learners. Barnett (1997) goes further and suggests that these features, which he refers to collectively as the practice of critical being, are an essential requirement for those engaging in higher education. He does not give specifics on how this practice can be taught or how it might find expression in the lives or educational understanding and knowledge of participating students, which is one of the issues this research will attempt to address.
    Date of Award2009
    Original languageEnglish


    • adult learning
    • adult college students
    • higher education

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