Realisable or thwarted ambitions?: ‘Access to social work’ students’ post-compulsory education and career choices.

Dillon, Jean (2010) Realisable or thwarted ambitions?: ‘Access to social work’ students’ post-compulsory education and career choices. International Journal of Learning, 17 (2). pp. 219-231. ISSN 1447-9494

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Abstract

Based upon research undertaken by the author and her professional concerns as a Senior Lecturer in Social Work at a post-1992 university in England, this paper explores an aspect of post-compulsory education where challenges and barriers to higher education entry may be experienced; namely, for black minority ethnic students enrolled on further education ‘Access to Social Work’courses in England. Underpinned by principles of social justice, Access Courses endeavour to promote widening participation to higher education to students who have previously underachieved academically and who are generally from less privileged social backgrounds. Drawing upon theoretical ideas relating to social reproduction, critical race theory, feminist theory and life span development principles, the paper examines the education and career choices open to ‘Access to Social Work’ students, exploring whether their decision-making is influenced by any key ‘turning points’ linked to ideas and factors ideas. The paper ultimately identifies whether these students ambitions are realisable or are being thwarted by more stringent entry requirements for social work education introduced in 2003, and concomitantly the increased emphasis placed upon key skills development by Government and the social work profession’s regulatory body. The paper also briefly explores the influence of learning cultures and gender on education and career decision-making and, manifestly, examines issues of intersectionality in the aforementioned areas with regards to race, gender and social class.

Item Type:Article
Keywords (uncontrolled):Access Students, Black Minority Ethnic Students, Further Education, Higher Education, Social Work, ‘Turning Points’, Key Skills, Widening Participation
Research Areas:Middlesex University Schools and Centres > School of Health and Education > Health & Education
ID Code:6158
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Deposited On:29 Jun 2010 10:24
Last Modified:20 Jul 2014 00:19

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