The 'double-edged sword' of the adult learning environment

Sara Murray, Jane Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
27 Downloads (Pure)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-128
Number of pages18
JournalAustralian Journal of Adult Learning
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013

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