Community development and adult education: a symbiotic relationship
McKee, Jana Katarina
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The purpose of this study was to explore if an integrated approach can help mothers living in low SES achieve personal and academic success. The research objectives focused on two areas. One was exploring the development and impact of a community of learners who collaborate and work together to support each other in their journey to academic success. The other focus was students’ engagement in a community service credit and how this impacts the student. A qualitative research methodology was used. Five female participants participated in journaling, interviews and a focus group. The Circle of Courage® (Brendtro, Brokenleg & Van Bockern, 2002) was the theoretical framework used in this study. The key findings illustrate how the community of learners supports students with personal and academic success. The women in this study experienced challenges when it came to the community service experience, but when time, childcare and resources worked out the experience was valuable and rewarding. The findings inform our understanding of the symbiotic relationship between community development and adult education.