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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Study of interactions of adult learners with learning situations Shores, W. Louise 1985

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STUDY OF INTERACTIONS OF ADULT LEARNERS WITH LEARNING SITUATIONS by W. LOUISE SHORES Master Of Nursing, U n i v e r s i t y Of Washington, S e a t t l e , 1965 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOP. THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF EDUCATION in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES DEPARTMENT; OF"-ADMINISTRATIVEJ-ADUTST-AND HIGHER-EDUCATION We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the r e q u i r e d standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA December 1985 © W. Louise Shores, 1985 In p resen t ing this thesis in partial fu l f i lment of the requ i rements for an a d v a n c e d d e g r e e at the Univers i ty of Brit ish C o l u m b i a , I agree that the Library shall m a k e it freely avai lable for re ference a n d study . I further agree that pe rm iss ion for ex tens ive c o p y i n g o f this thesis for scho lar ly p u r p o s e s may be granted by the h e a d o f m y depar tment o r by his o r her representat ives . It is u n d e r s t o o d that c o p y i n g o r pub l i ca t i on of this thesis fo r f inancia l gain shall no t b e a l l o w e d w i t h o u t m y wr i t ten pe rm iss ion . D e p a r t m e n t of A d u l t and H i g h e r E d u c a t i o n T h e Univers i ty o f Brit ish C o l u m b i a 1956 M a i n M a l l V a n c o u v e r , C a n a d a V 6 T 1Y3 Date December 2, 1985  DE-6(3 /81) i i A b s t r a c t T h i s e x p l o r a t o r y s t u d y sought u n d e r s t a n d i n g of how a d u l t l e a r n e r s and l e a r n i n g s i t u a t i o n s i n t e r a c t and how those i n t e r a c t i o n s might be e x p l a i n e d . W i t h a c o n s t r u c t i v i s t , i n t e r a c t i o n i s t t h e o r e t i c a l base, and i n t e r p r e t i v e , q u a l i t a t i v e r e s e a r c h methodology, the study was conducted i n two p a r t s i n v o l v i n g d i f f e r e n t d a t a s o u r c e s -- f i e l d study and meta-a n a l y s i s of p r i o r r e s e a r c h . 1. O b s e r v a t i o n of l e a r n i n g s i t u a t i o n s and i n t e r v i e w s of p a r t i c i p a n t s were used t o seek u n d e r s t a n d i n g of a d u l t l e a r n e r e x p e r i e n c e i n i t s own terms. A n a l y s i s i n c l u d e d comparison of m u l t i p l e l e a r n e r s from the same obser v e d s i t u a t i o n , and of i n d i v i d u a l l e a r n e r s a c r o s s s i t u a t i o n s . Elements of l e a r n e r s ' e x p e r i e n c e s were found t o i n c l u d e p a s t e x p e r i e n c e , p r i o r knowledge, purpose, a t t e n t i o n l e v e l , e m o t i o n a l r e s p o n s e , and p e r c e p t i o n s . 2. W i t h p r i o r r e s e a r c h as d a t a , an i n t e r p r e t i v e meta-a n a l y s i s was done t o d e t e r m i n e the e v o l v i n g s t a t e of t h e o r y and f i n d i n g s i n the f i e l d r e l a t e d t o a d u l t l e a r n e r s , s i t u a t i o n s , and t h e i r i n t e r a c t i o n s . Sources of s t u d i e s which were i n c l u d e d i n the sample were A d u l t E d u c a t i o n Q u a r t e r l y , 1979-1984, c i t a t i o n s of those s t u d i e s ( a n c e s t r y ) , S o c i a l S c i e n c e s C i t a t i o n Index ( d e s c e n d e n c y ) , and D i s s e r t a t i o n A b s t r a c t s I n t e r n a t i o n a l , 1979-1984. C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the l e a r n e r a n a l y z e d i n c l u s t e r s of r e l a t e d s t u d i e s i n c l u d e d : (a) ego development, (b) autonomy, (c) a d u l t c o g n i t i o n , (d) l e a r n i n g s t y l e s , (e) c o g n i t i v e s t y l e , ( f ) age and academic a b i l i t y , (g) d e v e l o p m e n t a l t a s k s , and (h) r e l e v a n c e and c u r i o s i t y . C l u s t e r s of s t u d i e s on l e a r n i n g s i t u a t i o n s were r e l a t e d t o (a) T e l e c o u r s e , (b) L e c t u r e , and (c) e d u c a t i o n a l o r i e n t a t i o n of t e a c h e r s . I n t e r a c t i o n between l e a r n e r s and s i t u a t i o n s were i d e n t i f i e d i n c l u s t e r s of s t u d i e s on (a) l e a r n e r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n p l a n n i n g , (b) l e a r n e r p e r c e p t i o n of t e a c h e r b e h a v i o r , and (c) i n t e r a c t i o n between c o n t e n t o r g a n i z e r s and p r i o r knowledge. The Person S i t u a t i o n P r o c e s s Model ( N y s t e d t ) was used as a c o n s i s t e n t o r g a n i z i n g framework f o r d a t a i n both p a r t s of the study t o e n a b l e i n t e g r a t i v e a n a l y s i s of the two p e r s p e c t i v e s . The study was d e s i g n e d and conducted t o p r o v i d e a base f o r t h e o r y development and e m p i r i c a l r e s e a r c h on a d u l t l e a r n e r / s i t u a t i o n i n t e r a c t i o n . The p r e s e n t s t a t e of t h e o r y and r e s e a r c h on t h i s phenomenon was found t o be r u d i m e n t a r y . C u m u l a t i v e f i n d i n g s , t h e o r e t i c a l f o u n d a t i o n s , and d i a l o g u e between proponents of competing t h e o r i e s were absent or r a r e . C o n c l u s i o n s from the i n t e g r a t i v e a n a l y s i s of f i e l d study and r e s e a r c h review d a t a i n c l u d e d : ( 1 ) t h a t l e a r n e r p e r c e p t i o n s , and momentary s t a t e s such as a t t e n t i o n l e v e l and e m o t i o n a l r e s p o n s e s , a r e i m p o r t a n t elements i n the l e a r n e r ' s e x p e r i e n c e and have r e c e i v e d almost no a t t e n t i o n i n p r i o r r e s e a r c h , and (2) t h a t i n d i v i d u a l a d u l t l e a r n e r s e x h i b i t unique c o m b i n a t i o n s of c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , such as p r i o r knowledge, pa s t e x p e r i e n c e , and purpose, which are r e l a t e d t o the ways they e x p e r i e n c e l e a r n i n g s i t u a t i o n s and which h e l p t o i v e x p l a i n i d i o s y n c r a t i c responses. V TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER ONE: DEVELOPMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM 1 C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s Of The A d u l t 3 Research In A n d r a g o g i c a l Assumptions 6 Research Streams In G e n e r a l E d u c a t i o n 9 Teacher E f f e c t i v e n e s s And Cla s s r o o m O b s e r v a t i o n S t u d i e s 9 A t t r i b u t e - T r e a t m e n t I n t e r a c t i o n 12 C o n s t r u c t i v i s m 13 Student-Teacher I n t e r a c t i o n 15 Statement Of The Research Problem And I t s S i g n i f i c a n c e To A d u l t E d u c a t i o n 17 Summary 18 CHAPTER TWO: DEVELOPMENT OF THE THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK 20 I n t e r a c t i o n i s m 20 S e l e c t i o n Of A Model For Study Of A d u l t L e a r n e r / S i t u a t i o n I n t e r a c t i o n 25 Summary 37 CHAPTER THREE: DEVELOPMENT OF THE RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 38 S e l e c t i o n Of A Research Paradigm 38 Development Of Research Method 44 M e t a - A n a l y s i s , P r i o r R e s e a r c h 46 F i e l d Study 48 L i m i t a t i o n s Of The Study 49 v i Summary 55 CHAPTER FOUR: ANALYSIS AND SYNTHESIS OF PRIOR RESEARCH 56 P r o c e s s For C o l l e c t i o n Of Data 56 P r o c e s s For A n a l y s i s 59 A n a l y s i s Of Data C l u s t e r s • 60 S t u d i e s On C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s Of The Le a r n e r 61 S t u d i e s On C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s Of L e a r n i n g S i t u a t i o n s ...145 S t u d i e s On I n t e r a c t i o n Between L e a r n e r s And S i t u a t i o n s 170 Summary And C o n c l u s i o n s 216 CHAPTER FIVE: PROCESS FOR COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS OF FIELD DATA 220 L i t e r a t u r e Background .221 D e c i s i o n s For A n a l y t i c Approach In T h i s Study 227 P r o c e s s For C o l l e c t i o n , T r a n s f o r m a t i o n , And A n a l y s i s Of O b s e r v a t i o n Data 230 C o l l e c t i o n Of O b s e r v a t i o n Data 230 T r a n s f o r m a t i o n And A n a l y s i s Of O b s e r v a t i o n Data 235 P r o c e s s For C o l l e c t i o n , T r a n s f o r m a t i o n , And A n a l y s i s Of I n t e r v i e w Data 237 C o l l e c t i o n Of I n t e r v i e w Data .237 T r a n s f o r m a t i o n And A n a l y s i s Of I n t e r v i e w Data 240 A P r i o r i C a t e g o r i e s And I n t r a r a t e r R e l i a b i l i t y 241 G e n e r a l C o d ing, Reducing And O r g a n i z i n g The Data ....247 Second Coding -- P a t t e r n s And A n a l y t i c C a t e g o r i e s ...251 D e s c r i b i n g The L e a r n e r s ' E x p e r i e n c e 258 Comparing L e a r n e r Responses W i t h i n S i t u a t i o n s 258 Comparing L e a r n e r Responses A c r o s s S i t u a t i o n s 259 Summary 260 CHAPTER SIX: SITUATION OBERVATIONS AND LEARNER INTERVIEWS .261 S i t u a t i o n s As Observed And E x p e r i e n c e d By L e a r n e r s 262 S i t u a t i o n Two 263 S i t u a t i o n Four 318 S i t u a t i o n F i v e 337 E x p e r i e n c e Of I n d i v i d u a l L e a r n e r s A c r o s s S i t u a t i o n s ....361 A l i c e 361 C e l i a 373 lo n e 376 Donna 379 Jean 382 A b s t r a c t S t r u c t u r e 382 Summary And A n a l y s i s Of E x p e r i e n c e -- W i t h i n And A c r o s s S i t u a t i o n s 385 Summary 388 CHAPTER SEVEN: SUMMARY AND INTEGRATION OF FINDINGS 389 Summary, Re s e a r c h Review 390 Summary, F i e l d Study 391 I n t e g r a t i o n Of F i n d i n g s 392 A b s t r a c t S t r u c t u r e 393 Momentary S t a t e s 410 P e r c e p t u a l - C o g n i t i v e S t r u c t u r e 413 Chapter Summary 418 CHAPTER EIGHT: CONCLUSIONS, IMPLICATIONS AND LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY 419 Reexam i n a t i o n Of The Research Problem 419 Reexam i n a t i o n Of The T h e o r e t i c a l P e r s p e c t i v e 422 Person S i t u a t i o n P r o c e s s Model As A S p e c i f i c Model Of A d u l t L e a r n e r / S i t u a t i o n I n t e r a c t i o n 423 Recommendations For A Research Agenda 425 C r i t i q u e Of T h i s Study 427 Comments On The Research Method 427 Use Of The Person S i t u a t i o n P r o c e s s Model 428 L i m i t a t i o n s Of The Study 432 S i g n i f i c a n c e Of The Study 435 BIBLIOGRAPHY 437 APPENDIX A: PILOT ANALYSIS: PERSON SITUATION PROCESS MODEL 459 APPENDIX B: SAMPLE PAGES FROM DECISION LOG FOR RESEARCH REVIEW 465 APPENDIX C: TABLES: ELEMENTS FROM CLUSTERS OF DAI ABSTRACTS 468 APPENDIX D: OBSERVATION GUIDE 488 APPENDIX E: A PRIORI CATEGORIES FOR CODE/RECODE 490 i x TABLE OF TABLES Tab l e 1 Q u a n t i t a t i v e Summary Of I n c l u d e d S t u d i e s By Source 57 Table 2 Comparison Of Younger And O l d e r S t u d e n t s , Omnibus P e r s o n a l i t y I n v e n t o r y (Kasworm, 1980) 120 Ta b l e 3 Summary Of Major C o n s t r u c t s From S t u d i e s On L e a r n e r C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s 143 Ta b l e 4 Typology For Modes Of D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n Proposed By Moore . 148 Table 5 Summary Of Major C o n s t r u c t s From S t u d i e s On S i t u a t i o n C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s 167 T a b l e 6 Teacher B e h a v i o r F a c t o r s , C o r r e l a t i o n W i t h Course Content Area'And Type (Solomon, 1966) 187 T a b l e 7 Summary Of Major C o n s t r u c t s From S t u d i e s On I n t e r a c t i o n Between L e a r n e r s And S i t u a t i o n s 216 Ta b l e 8 D i s t r i b u t i o n Of L e a r n e r I n t e r v i e w s A c r o s s S i t u a t i o n s 239 Ta b l e 9 I l l u s t r a t i o n Of Data D i s p l a y : Reducing And O r g a n i z i n g The Data 248-249 Ta b l e 10 P a t t e r n s And A n a l y t i c C a t e g o r i e s I d e n t i f i e d From Two I n t e r v i e w s 252-254 Ta b l e 11 I l l u s t r a t i o n Of Data M a t r i x : P a t t e r n Coding ..257-258 Table 12 R e l a t i o n s h i p s Between S e l e c t e d Elements In B e t t y ' s A b s t r a c t S t r u c t u r e And Her E x p e r i e n c e Of S i t u a t i o n Two .270 Ta b l e 13 R e l a t i o n s h i p s Between S e l e c t e d Elements In C e l i a ' s A b s t r a c t S t r u c t u r e And Her E x p e r i e n c e Of S i t u a t i o n Two .278 T a b l e 14 R e l a t i o n s h i p s Between S e l e c t e d Elements In Donna's A b s t r a c t S t r u c t u r e And Her E x p e r i e n c e Of S i t u a t i o n Two .286 T a b l e 15 R e l a t i o n s h i p s Between S e l e c t e d Elements Of E t h e l ' s Person System And Her E x p e r i e n c e Of S i t u a t i o n Two 290 T a b l e 16 R e l a t i o n s h i p s Between S e l e c t e d Elements In Faye's A b s t r a c t S t r u c t u r e And Her E x p e r i e n c e Of S i t u a t i o n Two .296 T a b l e 17 Comparison Of Elements Of A b s t r a c t S t r u c t u r e And Momentary S t a t e s For F i v e L e a r n e r s In S i t u a t i o n Two ....299 T a b l e 18 R e l a t i o n s h i p s Between S e l e c t e d Elements In A l i c e ' s A b s t r a c t S t r u c t u r e And Her E x p e r i e n c e Of S i t u a t i o n Three 309 T a b l e 19 R e l a t i o n s h i p s Between S e l e c t e d Elements Of G a i l ' s Person System And Her E x p e r i e n c e Of S i t u a t i o n Three ....313 Tab l e 20 Comparison Of A b s t r a c t S t r u c t u r e And Momentary S t a t e s For Two L e a r n e r s In S i t u a t i o n Three 315 T a b l e 21 R e l a t i o n s h i p s Between S e l e c t e d Elements In Helen's A b s t r a c t S t r u c t u r e And Her E x p e r i e n c e Of S i t u a t i o n Four 322 T a b l e 22 R e l a t i o n s h i p s Between S e l e c t e d Elements In Ione's A b s t r a c t S t r u c t u r e And Her E x p e r i e n c e Of S i t u a t i o n Four 327 T a b l e 23 R e l a t i o n s h i p s Between S e l e c t e d Elements In Jean's A b s t r a c t S t r u c t u r e And Her E x p e r i e n c e Of S i t u a t i o n Four 331 T a b l e 24 Comparison Of A b s t r a c t S t r u c t u r e And Momentary S t a t e s For Three L e a r n e r s In S i t u a t i o n Four 334 T a b l e 25 R e l a t i o n s h i p s Between S e l e c t e d Elements In C e l i a ' s A b s t r a c t S t r u c t u r e And Her E x p e r i e n c e Of S i t u a t i o n F i v e 343 x i T a b l e 26 R e l a t i o n s h i p s Between S e l e c t e d Elements In Donna's A b s t r a c t S t r u c t u r e And Her E x p e r i e n c e Of S i t u a t i o n F i v e 348 T a b l e 27 Comparison Of A b s t r a c t S t r u c t u r e And Momentary S t a t e s For Four L e a r n e r s In S i t u a t i o n F i v e 358 T a b l e 28 R e l a t i o n s h i p s Between S e l e c t e d Elements Of A l i c e ' s A b s t r a c t S t r u c t u r e And Her E x p e r i e n c e Of S i t u a t i o n One .366 T a b l e 29 Summary Of Major Elements I d e n t i f i e d From P r i o r R esearch And F i e l d Study A n a l y s e s 394 T a b l e 30 D i s s e r t a t i o n A b s t r a c t s R e l a t e d To ABE And M a r g i n a l A b i l i t y S t u d e n t s 469 T a b l e 31 D i s s e r t a t i o n A b s t r a c t s R e l a t e d To C o g n i t i v e Development Of A d u l t s 471 T a b l e 32 D i s s e r t a t i o n A b s t r a c t s R e l a t e d To L e a r n i n g S t y l e ( K o l b ) 473 T a b l e 33 D i s s e r t a t i o n A b s t r a c t s R e l a t e d To F i e l d Dependence-Independence 474 T a b l e 34 D i s s e r t a t i o n A b s t r a c t s R e l a t e d To Use Of L e c t u r e .478 T a b l e 35 D i s s e r t a t i o n A b s t r a c t s R e l a t e d To Teacher B e h a v i o r As P e r c e i v e d By S t u d e n t s 480 T a b l e 36 D i s s e r t a t i o n A b s t r a c t s R e l a t e d To Student E v a l u a t i o n Of Teacher E f f e c t i v e n e s s 484 T a b l e 37 D i s s e r t a t i o n A b s t r a c t s R e l a t e d To Use Of Content O r g a n i z e r s 486 TABLE OF FIGURES F i g u r e 1 Person S i t u a t i o n P r o c e s s Model ( N y s t e d t , 1981, P. 382) .' 28 F i g u r e 2 T r i a n g u l a t i o n Of Data Sources 46 F i g u r e 3a Problem Of Low L i t e r a t e A d u l t L e a r n e r s As D e s c r i b e d By Boyd And M a r t i n 63 F i g u r e 3b Summary Of Elements I d e n t i f i e d In S t u d i e s Of Achievement For ABE And M a r g i n a l A b i l i t y S t u d e n t s 70 F i g u r e 4a Paradox Of Autonomous L e a r n e r As Developed By Chene 77 F i g u r e 4b Autonomy As C h o i c e R e l a t i v e To Goal A t t a i n m e n t W i t h i n A S p e c i f i c S i t u a t i o n 80 F i g u r e 5a V a r i o u s T h e o r i e s Of A d u l t C o g n i t i o n 92 F i g u r e 5b I l l u s t r a t i o n U s i n g K i n g ' s R e f l e c t i v e Judgment Model To Compare Two L e a r n e r s In L e c t u r e 94 F i g u r e 5c I l l u s t r a t i o n U s i n g K i n g ' s R e f l e c t i v e Judgment Model To Compare Two L e a r n e r s In Problem P o s i n g S i t u a t i o n 95 F i g u r e 6a Concepts Employed By P i g g Et A l . i n Study Of County E x t e n s i o n Agents' L e a r n i n g S t y l e s 98 F i g u r e 6b L e a r n i n g S t y l e Modes And E n v i r o n m e n t a l C o m p l e x i t y ( K o l b & F r y ) 100 F i g u r e 7a F i e l d Dependence-independence And Success In A High S c h o o l C o m p l e t i o n Program (Donnarumma Et A l . ) .....109 x i i i F i g u r e 7b Summary Of Concepts R e l a t e d To R esearch S t u d i e s On C o g n i t i v e S t y l e , 117 F i g u r e 8a S o c i o e m o t i o n a l O r i e n t a t i o n s Of O l d e r Undergraduate S t u d e n t s (Rasworm, 1980) ..121 F i g u r e 8b S e l f - e f f i c a c y In The O l d e r Undergraduate Student (Rebok & Offerman) 123 F i g u r e 8c I n t e r a c t i v e Elements I d e n t i f i e d From S t u d i e s Of A d u l t s In Academic S e t t i n g s 127 F i g u r e 9a P e r c e i v e d Importance Of H a v i g h u r s t ' s D evelopmental Tasks 131 F i g u r e 9b H y p o t h e s i z e d R e l a t i o n s h i p Between Developmental Tasks Of A d u l t s And L e a r n i n g S i t u a t i o n s 136 F i g u r e 10a S u r p r i s e ( c u r i o s i t y ) , P e r c e i v e d R elevance And D e s i r e For Knowledge ( R o s s i n g & Long) 138 F i g u r e 11a R esearch On T e l e c o u r s e Reviewed By Wiesner 146 F i g u r e 12a R e s e a r c h On Use Of L e c t u r e Reviewed By Oddi ....151 F i g u r e 12b E f f e c t Of I n s t r u c t i o n a l Method On P e r s o n a l i t y And Knowledge A c q u i s i t i o n (Bubenzer) 152 F i g u r e 12c I n t e r a c t i o n Between P e r s o n a l i t y And T e a c h i n g Methods 154 F i g u r e 12d P e r s o n a l i t y C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , P r e f e r e n c e , And T e a c h i n g Method ( S t a n t o n ' s Phases 2 & 3) 155 F i g u r e 13a E d u c a t i o n a l And I n t e r p e r s o n a l B e h a v i o r s Of Teachers (Holmes) 160 F i g u r e 14a P a r t i c i p a t i o n In Course P l a n n i n g , Achievement And S a t i s f a c t i o n (Rosenblum & Darkenwald) 172 x i v F i g u r e 14b " B e t t e r Course" H y p o t h e s i s For E f f e c t Of P a r t i c i p a t i o n In P l a n n i n g 178 F i g u r e 14c "Ownership" H y p o t h e s i s For E f f e c t Of P a r t i c i p a t i o n In P l a n n i n g 180 F i g u r e 15a Student P e r c e p t i o n Of Teacher B e h a v i o r (Kerwin) 183 F i g u r e 15b Student P e r c e p t i o n Of Teachers And R a t i n g s For Course V a l u e And T e a c h i n g A b i l i t y (Deshpande Et A l . ) ...185 F i g u r e 15c Summary Of Elements R e l a t e d To Student P e r c e p t i o n And E v a l u a t i o n Of Course And Teacher 199 F i g u r e 16a I n t r o d u c t o r y M a t e r i a l And P r i o r Knowledge L e v e l ( G r o t e l u e s c h e n ) 203 F i g u r e 16b C o n d i t i o n s And E f f e c t Of Advance O r g a n i z e r s , A s s i m i l a t i v e Theory (Mayer) 208 F i g u r e 16c Concepts R e l a t e d To P r i o r Knowledge And Content O r g a n i z e r s 213 F i g u r e 17 Elements Of B e t t y ' s E x p e r i e n c e In S i t u a t i o n Two .267 F i g u r e 18 Elements Of C e l i a ' s E x p e r i e n c e In S i t u a t i o n Two .274 F i g u r e 19 Elements Of Donna's E x p e r i e n c e In S i t u a t i o n Two .281 F i g u r e 20 Elements Of E t h e l ' s E x p e r i e n c e In S i t u a t i o n Two .288 F i g u r e 21 Elements Of Faye's E x p e r i e n c e In S i t u a t i o n Two ..293 F i g u r e 22 Elements Of A l i c e ' s E x p e r i e n c e In S i t u a t i o n Three 307 F i g u r e 23 Elements. Of G a i l ' s E x p e r i e n c e In S i t u a t i o n Three 311 F i g u r e 24 Elements Of H e l e n ' s E x p e r i e n c e In S i t u a t i o n Four 321 F i g u r e 25 Elements Of Ione's E x p e r i e n c e In S i t u a t i o n Four .325 F i g u r e 26 Elements Of Jean's E x p e r i e n c e In S i t u a t i o n Four .329 X V F i g u r e 27 Elements Of C e l i a ' s E x p e r i e n c e In S i t u a t i o n F i v e , F i r s t Segment 340 F i g u r e 28 Elements Of C e l i a ' s E x p e r i e n c e In S i t u a t i o n F i v e , Second Segment 342 F i g u r e 29 Elements Of Donna's E x p e r i e n c e In S i t u a t i o n F i v e 346 F i g u r e 30 Elements Of Ione's E x p e r i e n c e In S i t u a t i o n F i v e .350 F i g u r e 31 Elements Of Jean's E x p e r i e n c e In S i t u a t i o n F i v e .354 F i g u r e 32 Elements Of A l i c e ' s E x p e r i e n c e In S i t u a t i o n One .364 $SIGNOFF CHAPTER ONE DEVELOPMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM  THE ADULT LEARNER'S EXPERIENCE OF EDUCATIONAL SITUATIONS I f a d u l t e d u c a t i o n i s unique as a form of e d u c a t i o n , the n a t u r e of the a d u l t l e a r n e r i s c e n t r a l t o t h a t u n i q u e n e s s . "There seems t o be i n c r e a s i n g agreement t h a t the m a t u r i t y of the a d u l t l e a r n e r and the needs and problems of a d u l t h o o d a r e what g i v e a d u l t e d u c a t i o n i t s s p e c i a l q u a l i t y " (Darkenwald & Merriam, 1982, p. 11). W h i l e d e f i n i t i o n s of a d u l t e d u c a t i o n v a r y i n o t h e r d i m e n s i o n s , they a r e c o n s i s t e n t i n i n c l u s i o n of the a d u l t l e a r n e r ( V e r n e r , 1964, H oule, 1972, Darkenwald & Merriam, 1982). What a r e the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of a d u l t s as l e a r n e r s and how do those c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s i n f l u e n c e the e d u c a t i o n a l p r o c e s s ? Knowles (1970) put f o r t h a d e s c r i p t i o n of c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the a d u l t . Set under the s u b t i t l e "Andragogy v e r s u s Pedagogy," Knowles' work became a f o c a l p o i n t f o r debate. There were two p r i m a r y i s s u e s which r e c e i v e d c o n s i d e r a b l e a t t e n t i o n . F i r s t , a re a d u l t s and c h i l d r e n d i f f e r e n t as l e a r n e r s and i f so what a r e those d i f f e r e n c e s ? Second, ought the t e a c h i n g of a d u l t s t o be d i f f e r e n t from the t e a c h i n g of c h i l d r e n and i f so what a r e those d i f f e r e n c e s ? C r o s s (1982) compared and c o n t r a s t e d v a r i o u s p e r s p e c t i v e s i n the ongoing debate and c o n c l u d e d t h a t the c o n f u s i o n b e g i n s w i t h the n a t u r e of andragogy. She r e v i e w e d arguments d e v e l o p i n g 2 i t r e s p e c t i v e l y as l e a r n i n g t h e o r y , as a p h i l o s o p h i c a l p o s i t i o n , a p o l i t i c a l r e a l i t y , or a s e t of hypotheses s u b j e c t t o s c i e n t i f i c v e r i f i c a t i o n . In each of the arguments a c e n t r a l i s s u e seems t o e m e r g e — t h e a d u l t v e r s u s the c h i l d as l e a r n e r . The arguments have bypassed a c r i t i c a l l i n e of a n a l y s i s f o r a d u l t e d u c a t o r s . What c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of a d u l t s i n f l u e n c e t h e i r response as l e a r n e r s ? How do a d u l t s v a r y , and how do those v a r i a t i o n s a f f e c t t h e i r i n t e r a c t i o n s w i t h l e a r n i n g s i t u a t i o n s ? For a d u l t e d u c a t o r s , i t i s i m p o r t a n t t o u n d e r s t a n d the range of v a r i a t i o n s among the c l i e n t s s e r v e d , and how those v a r i a t i o n s i n f l u e n c e response t o e d u c a t i o n a l a c t i v i t i e s . These q u e s t i o n s seem more c r u c i a l than t o c o n t i n u e debate of a d u l t / c h i l d d i f f e r e n c e s which t r e a t each i n t h e i r homogeneity r a t h e r than i n t h e i r d i v e r s i t y . The r e s e a r c h problem f o r t h i s s tudy p e r t a i n s t o the n a t u r e of i n t e r a c t i o n between a d u l t l e a r n e r s and t h e i r l e a r n i n g s i t u a t i o n s : how m u l t i p l e l e a r n e r s v a r y w i t h i n the same l e a r n i n g s i t u a t i o n , and how the same l e a r n e r v a r i e s a c r o s s l e a r n i n g s i t u a t i o n s . For the development of t h a t problem, t h i s c h a p t e r p r e s e n t s a r e v i e w of l i t e r a t u r e on: (a) c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of a d u l t s , (b) r e s e a r c h on a n d r a g o g i c a l a s s u m p t i o n s , and (c) r e s e a r c h streams i n g e n e r a l e d u c a t i o n . L a s t l y , the problems f o r i n q u i r y , and the s i g n i f i c a n c e of the study a r e d e s c r i b e d . 3 CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ADULT There i s no l a c k of d i s c u s s i o n on the d e f i n i t i o n of a d u l t h o o d and i t s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . Age, p s y c h o l o g i c a l m a t u r i t y , and a c c e p t a n c e of s o c i a l r o l e s a s c r i b e d t o a d u l t h o o d , are commonly i n c l u d e d i n d e t e r m i n i n g a d u l t s t a t u s (Darkenwald & Merriam, 1982), y e t become e l u s i v e w i t h e f f o r t s t o p i n them down. A d u l t h o o d f r e q u e n t l y i s d e f i n e d i n c o n t r a s t t o c h i l d h o o d . A d u l t s a r e a d u l t because they a r e o l d e r than c h i l d r e n ( P a t e r s o n , 1979) . W h i l e some d e f i n i t i o n s and e x p o s i t i o n s r e g a r d i n g a d u l t h o o d i m p l y a s t a t i c c o n d i t i o n , o t h e r s i n c l u d e a d e v e l o p m e n t a l p e r s p e c t i v e . E r i k s o n (1982) r e f l e c t e d t h a t we have o n l y r e c e n t l y , i n an h i s t o r i c a l sense, come t o acknowledge a d u l t h o o d as a d e v e l o p m e n t a l phase i n i t s own r i g h t , r a t h e r than merely the mature end of a l l development. From t h i s p e r s p e c t i v e , a d u l t h o o d i s seen t o e v o l v e over time as the i n d i v i d u a l d e v e l o p s , and a d u l t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s v a r y a c r o s s i n d i v i d u a l s and l i f e spans. W h i l e t h e r e may be o r d e r i n d e v e l o p m e n t a l p a t t e r n s ( E r i k s o n , 1963, G o u l d , 1972), a d u l t s a r e not a homogeneous mass. They d i f f e r from one another as w e l l as from t h e m s e l v e s a t d i f f e r e n t p o i n t s i n the l i f e c y c l e . P a t e r s o n (1979) d e v e l o p e d the concept of a d u l t h o o d as one of e x p e c t e d m a t u r i t y . He s u g g e s t s t h a t a d u l t s v a r y i n p h y s i c a l , m e n t a l , p s y c h o l o g i c a l , s o c i a l , and s k i l l a t t r i b u t e s . Such a t t r i b u t e s do not themselves c o n s t i t u t e a d u l t h o o d . In f a c t , 4 some p r e c o c i o u s c h i l d may have them a l l , w h i l e some a d u l t s may be m i s s i n g one or more. When someone i s c a l l e d an a d u l t i t i s not c l a i m e d t h a t he has any one s e t of c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s but r a t h e r a c e r t a i n s t a t u s which i s s i g n i f i c a n t i n c o n t r a s t t o the s t a t u s of a c h i l d . A d u l t s a r e not n e c e s s a r i l y mature, but they a r e supposed t o be, and t h a t n e c e s s a r y s u p p o s i t i o n d e f i n e s a d u l t h o o d . In a r e v i s e d e d i t i o n of the e a r l i e r work c i t e d , Knowles (1980) p r e s e n t e d f o u r assumptions about the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of a d u l t s , t h a t as i n d i v i d u a l s mature: 1) t h e i r s e l f - c o n c e p t moves from one of b e i n g a dependent p e r s o n a l i t y toward b e i n g a s e l f - d i r e c t e d human b e i n g ; 2) they accumulate a growing r e s e r v o i r of e x p e r i e n c e t h a t becomes an i n c r e a s i n g l y r i c h r e s o u r c e f o r l e a r n i n g ; 3) t h e i r r e a d i n e s s t o l e a r n becomes o r i e n t e d i n c r e a s i n g l y t o the d e v e l o p m e n t a l t a s k s of t h e i r s o c i a l r o l e s ; and 4) t h e i r time p e r s p e c t i v e changes t o immediacy of a p p l i c a t i o n , and a c c o r d i n g l y , t h e i r o r i e n t a t i o n toward l e a r n i n g s h i f t s from one of s u b j e c t -c e n t e r e d n e s s t o one of p e r f o r m a n c e - c e n t e r e d n e s s . (1980, pp. 44-45) Knowles a s s u m p t i o n s are s t a t e d i n d e v e l o p m e n t a l terms. He p r e s e n t s the a d u l t l e a r n e r as i n the p r o c e s s of m a t u r a t i o n , becoming i n c r e a s i n g l y e x p e r i e n c e d , not as a s e t of f i x e d a t t r i b u t e s . In a r e v i e w of e d u c a t i o n a l r e s e a r c h , K o w a l s k i (1984) r e p o r t e d n o t a b l e d i f f e r e n c e s between c h i l d r e n and a d u l t s w i t h 5 regard to the a d u l t ' s (a) higher m o t i v a t i o n , (b) lower p h y s i c a l speed, (c) more f i x e d behavior, (d) r e g r e s s i v e v i s i o n and h e a r i n g , (e) g r e a t e r freedom and independence and ( f ) e x p e c t a t i o n f o r higher l e v e l s of r e l e v a n c e . A d u l t s are more oft e n the i n i t i a t o r s of t h e i r own experience, exert more c o n t r o l over processes and outcomes and have more power and autonomy than do p r e - a d u l t s . P r i o r knowledge, experience, and o r i e n t a t i o n to l i f e t a sks c h a r a c t e r i z e a d u l t development (Beder & Darkenwald, 1982). While these d e s c r i p t i o n s are used to d i f f e r e n t i a t e c h i l d r e n and a d u l t s , experience supports the o b s e r v a t i o n that those same f a c t o r s a l s o d i f f e r e n t i a t e a d u l t s from one another. A d u l t s vary i n m o t i v a t i o n , p h y s i c a l speed, v i s i o n , and so f o r t h . Charnley (1984) s t a t e d that techniques found i n a d u l t education r e s e a r c h tended to suggest homogeneity where none e x i s t e d and thus to misrepresent a d i v e r s e c l i e n t e l e . O bservation supports the c o n c l u s i o n that a d u l t s do vary along many dimensions. I t seems reasonable to ask how those v a r i a t i o n s i n f l u e n c e the a d u l t i n a l e a r n i n g s i t u a t i o n . Cross presented a conceptual framework, C h a r a c t e r i s