Publication Details

O'Shea, S. (2015). Filling up silences-first in family students, capital and university talk in the home. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 34 (2), 1-17.


Internationally, research has indicated that returning to education for older learners provides the means for growth and change, for some students this can translate into a sense of 'empowerment' and control in their personal lives. However, what is not so well researched is how having a significant 'other' present within the university landscape impacts the household and other family members. Exploring how this return to education influences others provides a basis for institutional approaches to engaging with and supporting the lifelong learning of family members, ultimately assisting in the access and participation of current and future generations. This article draws on research conducted with first in family students to explore how their participation in the higher education environment led to conversations in the family around learning. Drawing upon theories of social and cultural capital, this article reflects upon the flow of capitals between home and university.



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