Pathways and partnerships: Preparing teachers to build expectations and capacity among teenage parents

Louise Wightman, Beverley Moriarty

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

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Eight mothers who participated in a young parents program completed a qualitative questionnaire and 4 of these participants also took part in a follow-up focus group interview to evaluate the program. The results highlight the importance of addressing the immediate needs of young parents and helping them to face the barriers that confront them if they are to avoid social exclusion and remain engaged in learning. The findings have implications for teacher education. Understanding both the formal and informal aspects of lifelong learning theory, developing the ability to work in partnership with relevant others and having awareness of government policy, help to prepare teachers who can build expectations and capacity for future learning among the diverse range of their students, including those who become parents at an early age.In 2011, Kate Ellis, Minister for the Status of Women, outlined Australian government policy and plans to assist teenage parents who have not attained a Year 12 education to engage in activities and develop pathways to improve their own educational opportunities and those of their children. In a longitudinal study involving 232 young mothers, Oxford, Lee and Lohr (2010) found that the absence of future plans for education seriously impacted on employment prospects. It is proposed in this paper that positive lifelong learning pathways for young parents who have not completed their secondary education are largely contingent upon strategic partnerships between relevant organisations and agencies. These partnerships and government initiatives together impact on young parents and their education at a time when their circumstances make it difficult for these young parents to appreciate the relevance of their formal education.The case study on which this paper is based examined the broad question: What does lifelong learning mean in the context of the lives of women who become mothers as teenagers?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGoing for gold
Subtitle of host publicationReshaping teacher education for the future
Place of PublicationAustralia
PublisherAustralian Teacher Education Association
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventAustralian Teacher Education Association Conference - Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Duration: 01 Jul 201204 Jul 2012


ConferenceAustralian Teacher Education Association Conference


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