Mature female learners activating agency after completion of an education foundation degree: professional progression and the teacher shortage crisis

Bovill, H, Harrison, N, Smith, H, Bennett, V and McKenzie, L (2019) 'Mature female learners activating agency after completion of an education foundation degree: professional progression and the teacher shortage crisis.' Research Papers in Education. ISSN 1470-1146

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/02671522.2019.1633565

Abstract

This paper draws upon questionnaire data from 126 mature, female alumni students and interviews with a subset of 20 participants who completed education foundation degrees in three English universities in the South West. Three illustrative cases from interviews are chosen representing three models of progression: ‘success’, ‘version of success’, and ‘still struggling to get on’. This paper uses three dimensions of agency: iterational, projective, and practical-evaluative within an ecological model exploring the interplay of agency, structure and context. Figured worlds theory helps in understanding the impact of actor’s histories upon projections and practical actions. Teacher shortages and the potential-untapped resource of teaching assistants is explored. Pathways toward teaching can act as affordances or constraints in teaching assistants’ trajectories. Affordances are identified as open, transparent, accessible routes to teaching, and under and post-graduate provision, which provides conducive circumstances through reflective engagement. This may interrupt habitual ways of thinking and risk aversion leading to expansive future projections and expectation maintenance. Ecological agency allows clearer understandings that activation of agency not only resides in individuals but in the context and circumstances they experience. Figured worlds give insight into recruitment and entry into emerging social spaces and the importance of recognition.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: ecological agency, expectation maintenance, figured worlds, recognition
Divisions: Institute for Education
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2019 11:45
Last Modified: 05 Sep 2019 15:24
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