Mullen, Jane and Hatton, Jean (2009) Perplexing Identities. In: 6th Annual Learning and Development in Higher Education Network, 6th - 7th March 2009, Bournemouth University. (Unpublished)

This research paper, undertaken by an academic skills tutor and lecturer in youth and community work, is based on interviews undertaken with a group of part time dyslexic mature FdA students. The group could be seen to be ‘emotionally vulnerable’ (Ecclestone and Hayes, 2009:86), but these students have responsible roles in youth work and are very capable and confident practitioners. Many mature students do not know they are dyslexic until joining the University and have very mixed feeling about seeking help. What they do struggle with is their new identity as a student and the new literacies expected from them. As Ivaniç (1998:68) recognises, ‘most mature students are outsiders to the literacies they have to control in order to be successful in higher education.’

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