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Exploring the potential of classroom learning for adults with mental health problems: perceptions of transformation and wellbeing

Buchanan, Denise; (2018) Exploring the potential of classroom learning for adults with mental health problems: perceptions of transformation and wellbeing. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

In the United Kingdom, although one in four adults reported experiencing mental health difficulties in one year, only a quarter of them received treatment for their condition BMA (2017). Moreover, this group of adults have been underrepresented in fulltime employment and education. This thesis argues that facilitating Further Education (FE) opportunities for adults with mental health problems, may assist in promoting their well-being and a pathway towards a different future. A narrative study was carried out involving 15 adults with mental health problems, who were attending classes in an FE College. Specifically, participants were asked during extensive one-to-one interviews, about their recent experiences of classroom learning and their narratives were analysed in relation to well-being and transformative learning theory. Participants reported numerous benefits arising from their learning which they felt had positively influenced their sense of well-being and which for some, included transformative changes. This thesis makes an original contribution to knowledge as it highlights that for adults with mental health problems, formal learning does have the potential to contribute positively to their lives. Furthermore, it suggests that unless certain wider societal factors are sufficiently addressed, the potential for these benefits to be fully realised, will be severely hindered. The thesis also extends the theory of transformative learning theory and highlights the value of bridging the divide between health and education when working with adults with mental health problems. Straddling these two disciplines in this study, has led to new understandings in relation to the best way to support adults with mental health problems in an FE setting. It has additionally led to identifying how best to interview vulnerable learners in a meaningful, safe and ethical way within an educational setting. The implications for policy and practice because of this work are outlined.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Exploring the potential of classroom learning for adults with mental health problems: perceptions of transformation and wellbeing
Event: UCL (University College London)
Language: English
Keywords: Mental health problems, adult learning, wellbeing, transformation, further education, mental health difficulties, mentally ill, mental illness, learning, benefits of learning.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10054162
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