Publication Details

Stone, C. & O' Shea, S. (2012). Transformations and self discovery: Stories of women returning to education. Illinois: Common Ground Publishing.


This book is written for educators and educational policy makers, students, prospective students, their families and their friends. It is the result of the combination of two separate pieces of research by the authors, conducted with a total of 37 students, each of whom was interviewed during 2006 about their experiences of being at university. From these 37 individual stories, seven have been chosen for this book as illustrations of the experiences of mature-age female students in higher education. As readers will discover, each of these women has a unique story to tell, yet despite the differences in their situations, common themes emerge. The challenges and triumphs that are part of the lives of so many mature-age women in higher education are represented within the stories of these seven. Above all, what emerges from these stories is a message about the transformative powers of education and the inherent value in facilitating, encouraging and supporting mature-age women to participate in education, discover their academic potential and achieve their goals.

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