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Antecedents to Empowerment: a preliminary investigation

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Abstract:

In the geographical literature very little attention has been given to the perceptions, aspirations or cognitive state of new undergraduate students. This paper addresses the issue of antecedents to empowerment, the contention being that empowerment and student autonomy correlate strongly with self-confidence and that this needs to be enhanced through the acquisition of enabling skills. Analysis of a questionnaire survey suggests that many students are enthusiastic, well motivated, keen to do well and aware of the importance of developing their skills. Others lack self-confidence and are ambivalent about becoming autonomous individuals, showing a marked disinclination towards participatory decision-making and independent learning. A gender bias is revealed with females, 73 per cent of whom were under 21 years of age, significantly less confident than males, yet more likely to prioritise a need to become more autonomous.

Keywords: EMPOWERMENT; GENDER; INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY; KEY SKILLS; SELFCONFIDENCE; UNDERGRADUATES

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/03098269885921

Publication date: 1998-07-01

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