Symbolic interactionism applied : definitions of a community college : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Education at Massey University

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Massey University
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The value of Continuing Education is increasingly being realised throughout New Zealand. The educational institution termed the Community College is one facility being established in order to further the principles associated with lifelong learning. This thesis presents an exploratory study related to the first such college built in this country, the Hawke's Bay Community College. The central purpose guiding the study was an attempt to discover how members of the Hawke's Bay region conceive this new institution. Here, what was envisaged as important, was not only the kinds of understandings revealed about the college, but also the attitudes and evaluations expressed by Hawke's Bay citizens regarding it. To this end, the dissertation is divided into a number of parts. Firstly, there is consideration given to some of the philosophical issues underlying any research process pursued within the social domain. On the basis of this, a theoretically justifiable approach to the problem posed, is elaborated. The theoretical perspective of Symbolic Interactionism, and more particularly, the construct of the Definition of the Situation, are discussed. From such a base, reference is made to the linkages and translation process required when moving from theoretical to methodological issues. Included in this section of the thesis, is a description of the data collection techniques employed for the study. The results obtained as a consequence of the investigation are then given, along with some discussion relevant to the Community College's operations. Finally, the thesis presents a series of tentative hypotheses and questions emergent from the research carried out. It concludes with a reconsideration of the exploratory nature of the problem posed, and the theoretical perspective within which it was couched.
New Zealand, Community colleges