Lifelong learning and becoming a mother: evaluation of the Young Parents Program

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Abstract:

The purpose of this research was to identify how lifelong learning has the potential to accommodate the changed circumstances and future needs of women who become mothers as teenagers. The research drew on the previously separate theories of lifelong learning and becoming a mother to frame this initial study. A qualitative case study was used to evaluate the Young Parents Program, which was devised to meet the informal learning needs of young mothers aged between 15 and 25 years. A total of eight mothers completed a survey and four of them also participated in a focus group interview to provide more in depth responses. The results indicate that the content of the programme provided relevant information that met the informal learning needs of the participants. The delivery of the programme helped participants to make connections with other young mothers in similar circumstances. The findings imply that informal learning programmes that respond well to the immediate needs of young mothers have the potential to prevent young mothers from becoming socially isolated. Young mothers who become engrossed in their own problems without access to relevant informal learning may fail to undertake formal learning opportunities that might be available in the future.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02601370.2012.700645

Affiliations: Faculty of Education,Charles Sturt University, Dubbo, Australia

Publication date: October 1, 2012

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