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Conceptions of instruction in the workplace Beno, Jane E. 1993

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CONCEPTIONS OF INSTRUCTIONIN THE WORKPLACEbyJANE EDNA BENOB.S.E., St. John College of Cleveland, 1964M.R.E., Seattle University, 1974A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFDOCTOR OF EDUCATIONinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIESDepartment of Administrative, Adult and Higher EducationAdult Education ProgramWe accept this thesis as conformingto the required standardTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIASeptember, 1993© Jane Edna Beno, 1993In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.(Signature) Department of  Administrative, Adult and Higher EducationThe University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate^October 7, 1993DE-6 (2/88)ABSTRACTThis research project investigated the question, What are the qualitatively differentconceptions of instruction held by instructors of adults in the workplace? The researchapproach of phenomenography was used to discover how instructors of adults interpretedtheir instructional experiences. The sample studied consisted of twenty-two members of thePuget Sound Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development who weretrainers in various workplace settings. The respondents' understandings of instruction weresought through semi-structured interviews that focused on one of their instructionalexperiences.Three conceptions were found through an iterative process of examining units ofmeaning in the context of the individual interview and the context of all the interviews. Theglobal meaning of each conception is: instruction is (a) imparting information to learners whoreceive and apply it on the job (Transmission Conception), (b) assisting learners to share andapply ideas and experiences (Enablement Conception), and (c) involving learners in an ex-periential process of discovering and constructing meaning (Constructive Conception). Thestructure of each conception was then analyzed to maximize the differences among them.Several findings emerged: (a) each conception had several components that were moreclearly about learning than about instruction; (b) all the conceptions had one structuralcomponent that was the same - learning involves applying new knowledge on the job -suggesting that this may be an essential component of instruction in the workplace; and (c)two characteristics of meaning and connectedness appear to divide the conceptions placingthe Transmission and Enablement Conceptions on one side and the Constructive Conceptionon the other.It was concluded that (a) there are more than the two dichotomous ways of viewingiiAbstract^iiithe instruction of adults that is suggested in the literature (teacher-controlled andcollaborative); (b) there appears to be a generic conception of instruction common to manysettings, that instruction is about transmitting information; (c) understandings of knowledgeare related to conceptions of instruction; and (d) the context in which instruction occurs is aframing factor for thinking about instruction. The set of conceptions that was found can beused to study instructors' thinking about instruction in other settings as well as for theirtraining and ongoing development.TABLE OF CONTENTSABSTRACT ^  iiTABLE OF CONTENTS ^  ivLIST OF FIGURES  viiiLIST OF TABLES ^  ixACKNOWLEDGMENT  xI. DEVELOPMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM ^  1Derivation of the Problem ^  1Clarification of Terms  2Research Approach  4Research Study ^  5Topic ^  5Setting  6Research purpose and assumptions ^  7Summary ^  8II. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE^  10Guidelines for Teaching Adults  11Handbooks on Teaching Adults  11Teaching Principles ^  12Models of Adult Teaching and Learning ^  15Stages of Teachers' Competence  16Proficiency Theory ^  17Characteristics of Adults as Learners ^  17Charter for Andragogy  18Andragogy ^  19Research on Teaching Adults ^  24Instructors' Competencies  25Instructors' Assumptions about Teaching Adults ^  27Teaching Adults, Pre-adults ^  27Andragogical Instruction  30Collaborative Teaching-learning Mode ^  32Educational Orientation ^  35Instructional Style  37Instructors' Ways of Thinking  38Other Relevant Literature ^  45Understandings of Knowledge  45Intellectual Development During College ^  45Women's Ways of Knowing ^  47Understandings of Learning  50Conceptual Framework ^ 52 ivTable of Contents^ vElement One: Context ^  54Element Two: Instructor  55Elements Three and Four: Content and Processes ^  57Element Five: Learner ^  58Element Six: Learning  60Conclusions ^  61III. DESIGN OF THE RESEARCH STUDY ^  63Phenomenography^  63Characteristics and Assumptions  63Conceptions  65Collection of the Data ^  71Setting and Respondents  72Interviews ^  75Method of Analysis  77Derivation of Conceptions ^  78Structural Analysis of the Conceptions ^  80Confirmation of Results  82Limitations of the Study ^  87Summary ^  89IV. DATA ANALYSIS^  92Global Meaning of the Conceptions ^  92Transmission Conception ^  93Enablement Conception  94Constructive Conception  96Structural Analysis of the Conceptions ^  100Transmission Conception ^  103Transmission Conception: WHAT Component ^  103Internal horizon: Focus on content ^  105Internal Horizon: Instructors  105Internal horizon: Learners ^  107Instruction Components  109HOW, component: Presenting information ^  109HOW2 component: Persuading learners  110HOW3 component: Demonstrating skills  111Learning Components ^  112HOW, component: Absorbing information ^  112HOW5 component: Repetition ^  113HOW5 component: Relating information  114HOW, component: Applying information ^  115Other Indicators of the Transmission Conception  116Knowledge ^  116Context  118Enablement Conception ^  122Enablement Conception: WHAT Component ^ 122 I nternalhorizon: Focus on learners ^  124Internal horizon: Instructors  127Table of Contents^ viInstruction Components ^  129HOW, Component: Eliciting knowledge ^  129HOW2 component: Sharing ideas  129HOW3 component: Nurturing growth  131Learning Components ^  132HOW4 component: Taking information ^  132HOW, component: Relating information  133HOW6 component: Applying information  134Other Indicators of the Enablement Conception ^  136Knowledge ^  136Context  138Constructive Conception ^  140Constructive Conception: WHAT Component^  140Internal horizon: Focus on learning ^  143Internal horizon: Instructors  144Internal horizon: Learners ^  148Instruction Components  150HOW, Component: Identifying learning goals ^  150HOW2 component: Providing experiences  151HOW3 component: Providing an environment for learning ^  153HOW4 component: Modeling a way of being ^  154HOW, component: Challenging learners  155Learning Components ^  156HOW6 component: Discovering meaning ^  156HOW, component: Relating new concepts  157HOW, component: Retrieving and applying new concepts ^ 158HOW, component: Applying new concepts in one's life world  159Other Indicators of the Constructive Conception ^  161Knowledge ^  161Context  165Comparison of the Conceptions ^  170Knowledge ^  171Learning  174Meaning  175Connectedness ^  176Summary ^  177V. DISCUSSION OF THE FINDINGS ^  179Comparison of Findings to the Literature  179Guidelines for Teaching Adults  180Research on Teaching Adults ^  183Conceptions of the Professional World of Teachers of Adults ^ 183Conceptions of Teaching in Various Cultures ^  185Conceptions of Teaching of Academic Teachers  187Conceptions of Teaching in Higher Education  188Other Relevant Literature ^  190ctyb uF Knowing In Conceptions of Instruction ^  190Transmission Conception  191Table of Contents^ viiEnablement Conception ^  192Constructive Conception  194Learning ^  196Revised Conceptual Framework ^  196Element One: Context ^  197Element Two: Instructor  199Element Three: Content  199Element Four: Processes ^  200Element Five: The Learner  201Element Six: Learning  202Summary ^  203VI. SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS ^  204Summary of the Study ^  204Conclusions ^  206Conclusions Related to Conceptions of Instruction ^  207Conclusions Related to Elements of Instruction  209Implications of the Study ^  211Future Research  211Professional Practice  214Significance of the Findings ^  216REFERENCES ^  219APPENDICES  230Appendix A - Letter to Members of ASTD and Return Card ^  230Appendix B - Consent Form ^  232Appendix C - Interview Schedule and Questionnaire  233Table of Contents^ viiiLIST OF FIGURESFigure 1. Elements of instruction,    54Figure 2. Research pertaining to the instructor. ^  56Figure 3. Research pertaining to the adult learner.  59Figure 4. Characteristics of Conceptions of Instruction ^  100Figure 5. Diagram of a conception of instruction.  101Figure 6. Elements of instruction2 ^  197Table of Contents^ ixLIST OF TABLESTable 1 - Type of Trainer ^  75Table 2 - Units of Meaning Agreed Upon by Researcher and Co-Judges ^ 84Table 3 - Structural analysis of the Transmission Conception ^  104Table 4 - Structural analysis of the Enablement Conception  123Table 5 - Structural analysis of the Constructive Conception  141Table 6 - Comparison of Elements of Instruction ^  171ACKNOWLEDGMENTA work of this magnitude is not completed without help and support from manypeople. In the first place I would like to acknowledge and thank my supervisory committeefor their many worthwhile suggestions, their respect for me and my work, and their unflaggingfriendliness. In particular, I thank Dr. Tom Sork for taking on my project, even though mytopic is not in his area of research interest. Because I live at a distance, it was comforting toknow that he would always respond to my E-mail messages and carry through on the detailsnecessary to complete my degree. I thank Dr. Dan Pratt, whose area of research interest isthe same as mine, for making sure that my coverage of the topic was thorough. And I thankDr. Kjell Rubenson who always challenged me to look at my work from perspectives differentfrom my own.Next, I would like to acknowledge the many friends who supported me by asking howthings were going, but never asking, "Aren't you finished yet?" In particular I thank Dr.Elizabeth Anne Coady, who has been through this process, and who recognized when Iwanted to talk about my progress and when I didn't. I also want to thank her for the time shetook to read portions of my work as co-judge of the reliability of my data analysis.Then there are those who offered computer assistance: Charles Wong who traveledfrom Vancouver to Bothell to set up my computer for E-mail communication; Gary Callerowho was sometimes called late at night because of a glitch in the system; Del Brown whohelped make the machine more powerful as the pages and chapters increased; and Tom andJoanne Barker who lent me a lap-top computer and use of their laser printer.Last but not least, I owe the most to my husband, Mike Edwards, whose tireless loveand support have carried me through more years than I thought it would take to thisimprobable goal of a doctorate in education. It simply would not have happened without him.xCHAPTER IDEVELOPMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEMAn important component of the educational process is teaching, and considerableattention has been given to instruction and to the instructor in the literature and research ofeducational systems. However, in adult education where the emphasis has been on learningand the learner (Jarvis, 1983), instruction and the instructor have not often been the focus ofresearch. This situation gave rise to the question driving this research:How is teaching understood in adult education?This section provides an introduction to the first chapter of a dissertation in which theresearch problem is developed in regard to its derivation, the approach used for studying it,its purpose and significance.Derivation of the ProblemA perusal of adult education literature revealed what was considered by some as anexcessive amount of research, centered on learning and the learner (Brunner, Wilder,Kirchner, & Newberry, 1959; Long, 1983). This situation is due, in part, to adult education'sclose affiliation with psychology (Rubenson, 1982). In adult education, teaching has generallybeen regarded as a factor, though not a necessary one, in the learning process (Brockett &Darkenwald, 1987; Jarvis, 1983; Long; Wexley, 1984). Long and Brockett & Darkenwaldwrote of the "teaching-learning transaction;" Jarvis stated that "adult education has tended toregard the teacher as an adjunct to learning, often necessary and frequently important, butnever as essential to it. Consequently, the process of adult learning has been explored butrarely that of adult teaching" (p. 120). Teachers of adults were often characterized as havingsubject matter knowledge but little understanding of effective teaching methods (Darkenwald& Merriam, 1982; Knox, 1980b). Researchers eitl iwi dubc,1 Hied the ideal teacher In terms of1Development of the Research Problem^ 2characteristics and competencies, or attempted to demonstrate a relationship betweeninstructor behavior and student learning outcomes. Although these approaches areimportant, other variables that impact teaching have been overlooked in research (Pratt,1988b) such as the way instructors themselves view their teaching experience--theirconceptions of teaching (Larsson, 1986). Interest in people's conceptions is based on anassumption that their conceptualization of a phenomenon is basic to their understanding of itand their subsequent actions related to it (Marton & Neuman, 1988). A review of adulteducation literature led to the conclusion that a different conceptualization of teaching in adulteducation, a clearer "map of the territory" (Rubenson, p. 58) is needed. The researchquestion was therefore reframed to ask:What conceptions of teaching are held by instructors of adults?In the next section, terms that are central to this study will be defined.Clarification of TermsEven though this study was designed to discover how the concept of teaching wasunderstood by the respondents, it is important to note how teaching was understood by theresearcher at the outset of the study. This section will also clarify the use of the associatedterms of instruction and training.In general educational literature a close relationship was found between teaching andlearning, along with the caveat that teaching does not always result in learning(Fenstermacher, 1986; Jarvis, 1983; Kidd, 1973; Knox, 1986). At the same time, teaching isnot required for learning to take place (Jarvis, 1983, Smith, 1987). Thus, teaching can beviewed as "action undertaken with the intention [emphasis added] of bringing about learningin another" (Robertson, 1987, p. 15).Development of the Research Problem^ 3Distinctions were not made between the terms instruction and teaching, however, theformer was more often used in training literature than in adult education literature. Althoughtraining (understood as the acts of the trainer rather than a function within an organization)was sometimes differentiated from teaching (Brookfield, 1986; Robertson, 1987), Jahns (1981)pointed out that both are concerned with the design and delivery of instruction and thefacilitation of learning.In adult education literature there is an increasing trend to avoid using the termteaching at all. One way of dealing with teaching is to discuss roles enacted by teachers, forexample, model, expert resource, guide (Apps, 1979). In the most recent Handbook of Adultand Continuing Education (Merriam & Cunningham, 1989), the chapter that treats teaching isentitled "Facilitating adult learning" (Brookfield, pp. 201-210), reflecting probably the mostcommon role currently ascribed to teachers of adults. Facilitation "assumes the equality ofteachers and learners and the interchangeability of teaching and learning roles" (p. 201).Along with a number of other roles attributed to teachers of adults, such as mentor, guide,and resource person, facilitation implies assistance rather than direct intervention. EvenNadler & Nadler (1989) preferred the term facilitator to instructor in human resourcedevelopment, though they acknowledged that it was not commonly used in the private sector.They found the term "instructor" to be "...too limited to describe what an individual actuallydoes...." (p. 141). This trend of using nondirective terms to describe the roles of teachers ofadults appears to reflect an assumption that adults are or should be increasingly self-directed,and therefore adult education should be more concerned about the learner than aboutteaching. As Cross (1981) pointed out, the shift of emphasis from teaching to learning doesnot address the issue that "...if an educator wants to know how to help a learner learn, he [orshe] needs to know how teachers should behave in order to facilitate learning" (p. 227).Development of the Research Problem^ 4Because the setting for this study was the workplace, instruction became the preferredterm, although teaching and training are sometimes substituted. The study began by viewinginstruction as actions undertaken by the person recognized as an instructor in a givenlearning situation to bring about learning. However, the focus of the study is in howinstructors understand the process of establishing and maintaining relationships with learnersto bring about learning rather than the instructors' actions. It was found that instructorsconsidered themselves to be facilitators as well as experts, models, and resource persons,depending on the individual instructor or the situation.Research ApproachPhenomenography was used to address the question because it is a researchapproach developed to discover and map people's conceptions of their world (Marton, 1981).Rather than studying the reality of a phenomenon as separate and objective, it focuses onwhat the actors involved think about the phenomenon in order to understand dimensions of itthat are not usually explored. The primary findings of phenomenography are categories ofdescription organized into an outcome space. The categories are called conceptions andthey depict the varied understandings of the phenomenon being studied. The conceptionsare "constructions of the researcher" (Sage), 1988, p. 45) and center on the "structurallysignificant differences that clarify how people define some specific portion of the world"(Marton, 1986, p. 34). The researcher's conceptions represent the conceptions of therespondents who are not presumed always to act out of a particular conception but may usedifferent understandings in different situations and may even use different conceptions in thesame situation. Therefore, in this type of research, people are not classified in terms ofconceptions held, but the phenomenon being studied is classified in terms of conceptionsderived from the data. Thus the conceptions, "though originating from a contextualDevelopment of the Research Problem^ 5understanding, are decontextualized" (Marton, 1986, p. 34) to provide a "map of the territory"(SaljO, p. 44) depicting various conceptions that may be used in different situations.Research StudyTopicAlthough teaching has not been the primary concern of adult education researchers,Jarvis (1983) pointed out that "it remains at the heart of the educational process, soconsideration needs now to be given to it" (p. 112). Among the factors other than behaviorthat are thought to influence teaching are teachers' cognitive processes such as their thinkingprior to and during teaching (Clark & Peterson, 1986), and their conceptions of teaching, orthe ways in which they interpret their experiences of teaching (Larsson, 1986).This study investigated conceptions or understandings of instruction. Variations inunderstandings rather than common behaviors were examined and described using aphenomenographic approach. Although teaching or instruction is generally regarded as aprocess, an assumption of phenomenography is "there can be no process without a content"(Marton, 1981, p. 184). Therefore, thinking about the process of instruction was studied byasking instructors to describe in depth a particular instructional experience.A closely related assumption of this type of research is that understanding is rooted inthe relationship of humans to the world around them (Marton, 1986). In other words, reality isalways an experienced reality, and the context in which some aspect of the world is studied isintegral to its understanding. Therefore, this study sought to discover how instructorsunderstood instruction within the particular context in which it took place.Development of the Research Problem^ 6SettingInterest in the workplace as a setting for research was recognized as early as 1959 byKreitlow as "the most rapidly growing area of the field" (p. 225). Deshler (with Hagan, 1989)predicted that this will become a major area of focus for adult education researchers in thenext decade: "Research into the nature of learning occurring in workplace environments willbecome essential in order to appreciate the relationships among forces initiated by theindividual and those directed toward socialization, as well as those whose goal is technicalproficiency and those seeking human liberation and empowerment" (p. 162).Workplace is understood here in a broad sense as a social and organizational contextin which individuals are employed to further the goals of the organization. The education ofadults which takes place in the workplace is ordinarily referred to as training or humanresource development. Training is sometimes separated from adult education based on anassumption that it involves the transmitting of "previously defined skills, knowledge andbehaviors" and does not allow for a consideration of "alternatives to the popularly prevailing ororganizationally prescribed norms governing proper professional behaviors" (Brookfield, 1985,p. 46). This separation is unfortunate for a number of reasons. First of all, the involvement ofbusiness and industry in the training and education of adults is already extensive. In theUnited States alone, private industry enrolls 14 million adults at a cost of $30 billion comparedwith higher education which enrolls 12.3 million persons at a cost of $95 billion (Carnevale,1989, p. 27). In 1987, almost twice as many adults took courses provided by employers asparticipated in adult and continuing education courses (Smith, 1989). In addition, somecorporations provide large campuses where thousands of employees are trained and degreesare offered (Brookfield, 1986). As a result, there has been a huge growth in the number ofpersons needed to provide training, many of whom have little training themselves (Watkins,1989).Development of the Research Problem^ 7Another reason for involvement in workplace training is that many trainers andconsultants regard themselves as educators rather than as trainers and look to adulteducation to provide a rationale for their practice (Brookfield, 1986). At the same time, anumber of concepts from workplace settings are useful for adult education, such as Sch6n'sreflection-in-action and Nadler's work on human resource development (Brookfield, 1986).In her book, Learning in the Workplace, Marsick (1987) described a shift in emphasisin many organizations towards participatory and interactive decision-making calling fortraining that involves creative and collaborative problem-setting and problem-solving. Trainersand instructors are central to the systems that ensure a skillful and competent workforce, andan initial step in assuring that there are proficient instructors to provide such training is adeeper understanding of the instruction of adults in the workplace. It is clear from theseexamples that adult education and human resource development or training are inextricablylinked if for no other reason than for "educators working in these settings to ensure that theseefforts are conducted humanely, respectfully, and carefully and [that] they incorporatecollaborative and critically reflective elements" (Brookfield, 1986, p. 191).Research purpose and assumptions The use of a phenomenographic research approach presupposes an interest in whatactors in a situation think about some elements of that situation because their conceptionsare considered to be basic to an understanding of the phenomenon of interest. As Martonand Neuman (1988) pointed out, "our way of conceptualizing a certain phenomenon is themost fundamental aspect of our knowledge about and our skills related to that phenomenon"(p. 7). In this study the interest is in what instructors of adults who teach in the workplacethink about instruction. The research question was again reformulated to ask:What are the qualitatively different conceptions of instruction held by instructors ofadults in the workplace?Development of the Research Problem^8The purpose of the study was to continue building knowledge about teaching adults byattempting to discover various ways in which instructors conceptualize and understandinstruction. Three conceptions of instruction were derived from interview data and theconceptions were analyzed for their structural components to give a more thoroughunderstanding of them in terms of those elements of instruction that were found to beimportant in each. This provides a partial reconceptualization of instruction in the workplaceinsofar as it demonstrates more than one way of thinking about instruction in that context.This study began with the following assumptions: (a) Instructors construct theirunderstanding of instruction in relation to the subject matter taught and the context in whichthey act; (b) There is a limited number of ways in which instructors conceptualize instruction;(c) Conceptions of instruction can vary not only among instructors but within individualinstructors, depending on the context and situation; (d) The instructional activities ofinstructors are influenced by the way in which they interpret the situation and by theirunderstanding of instruction.SummaryThis chapter has described the evolution of a research question from:How is teaching understood in adult education?to its final formulation:What are the qualitatively different conceptions of instruction held by instructors ofadults in the workplace?This development originated in a somewhat fruitless search through adult education literaturefor a comprehensive picture of teaching that could be applied in different settings, particularlythe workplace. In this literature, it was found that the focus for research was primarily -.. • •• -••^• ,v.^• g. V Or in• ',..^•• - •learning. Because of the limited attention to teaching in adult education literature and theDevelopment of the Research Problem^ 9close affiliation of teaching and learning, it was decided that teaching would be an importantfocus for research. Among factors that are thought to influence teaching are instructors'views of the teaching experience. These understandings or conceptions were the focus forthe study which used a research approach known as phenomenography. The use of relevantterms, such as training, teaching and instruction was clarified, and the purpose and as-sumptions of the research project were presented.Although it has been emphasized that literature on teaching adults is limited, this doesnot mean that none exists. On the contrary, there are a number of assumptions,prescriptions, and research studies that guide the work of instructors of adults. In ChapterTwo, these assumptions and studies will be reviewed and analyzed. In Chapter Three, theresearch design will be described including the sample that was studied, the data collectionand analytic techniques that were used, and the limitations of the study. Chapter Four willpresent the research findings in the form of the conceptions of instruction that were derivedfrom the data as well as a structural analysis of the conceptions. In Chapter Five, theconceptions will be discussed and compared to the literature. In the final chapter, the workwill be summarized, conclusions will be drawn, and implications for practice and futureresearch will be presented.CHAPTER IIREVIEW OF THE LITERATUREThe purpose of this chapter is to illustrate from the literature ways in which teaching isunderstood in adult education. Two major types of literature were considered: 1) that whichprescribed guidelines for teaching adults, and 2) research studies. These types of literaturewere consulted during the development of the research problem and to inform the interviewquestions. As the data were being analyzed, reports of several other studies that took placeat the same time that this one was being conducted and that were similar in design emerged,so they are included at the end of the review of research studies. In addition, during the dataanalysis, it became clear that literature in the areas of knowledge and learning needed to beconsulted and a review of works on those topics was added. The chapter concludes with aconceptual framework that was derived from the literature.Material was identified for review from adult education bibliographies, reviews ofresearch (e.g. Brackett & Darkenwald, 1987; Brunner, Wilder, Kirchner, & Newberry, 1959;Long, 1983; Review of Educational Research, 1950, 1953, 1959, 1965; Wexley, 1984),commentaries on research (e.g. Apps, 1979; Deshler with Hagan, 1989; Kreitlow, 1970;Rubenson, 1982 & 1985), a "review of reviews" or meta-research (Sark, 1980), a master'sthesis (Gowan, 1988) reviewing fifty major books in adult education from 1930-1986, andapproximately 600 abstracts from ERIC and Psychinfo computer searches from 1950-1992. Inaddition, a hand search of Dissertation Abstracts International from 1973-1989 was made,significant articles were traced in Social Science Citation Index, and current copies of variousadult education journals were examined.10Review of the Literature^ 11Guidelines for Teaching AdultsIt was noted in Chapter One that teaching and instruction have seldom been the focusof research in adult education however, there is a profusion of "guidelines" for teaching whichare often derived as the practical implications of various learning principles. In fact, Long(1983) pointed out that "there is no grand theory of instruction for adults or children" (p. 217).Although some of these guidelines are referred to as "theories" in the literature, they do notpresent a "set of interrelated constructs...with the purpose of explaining and predicting thephenomena" (p. 9), which Kerlinger (1973) gave as requirements for a rigorous definition offormal theory. These guidelines are more in the realm of practical or informal theories thatarose out of "situationally-based insights regarding problems, tensions, and dilemmas ofactual practice" (Brookfield, 1992a, p. 80). Therefore in this review, such suggestions forpractice will usually be referred to as guidelines or recommendations even though theliterature may have alluded to them as theories. This section of the literature review is dividedinto three subsections: handbooks, teaching principles, and models of teaching and learning.Handbooks on Teaching Adults Many guidelines for teaching adults were presented in handbooks prepared forinstructors who were often part-time and had little educational training or practical experienceteaching adults, but who had content expertise (Dickinson, 1973; Draves, 1984; Knox, 1980b).Many of these books (Apps, 1991; Brookfield, 1990; Dickinson; Draves; Langerman, 1974;Miller, 1964; Staton, 1960) had some basis in research on learning, but relied for theapplication to teaching on the practical experience of the authors. The exceptions wereworks by Apps (1981), Daloz (1986), and Knox (1980b) which were based on interviews ofadult students and of instructors viewed as effective. Most of the handbooks usuallyproceeded from a description of adults as learners to suggestions for teaching, oftenReview of the Literature^ 12incorporating program planning procedures as well as descriptions of appropriate teachingmethods and techniques. The underlying assumption of these works was that adults learndifferently from children and therefore should be taught differently (which will be discussedlater in this chapter). Two exceptions to this characterization are the more recent books byApps (1991) and Brookfield (1990). Although both of them included material on adult learnersand instructional methods, they focused more directly on instructors who were encouraged toreflect critically on their roles and to develop a personal philosophy of teaching.Teaching Principles What was referred to in the literature as teaching principles were most ofteninstructional recommendations derived directly from learning principles and theory. Theywere seldom empirically supported statements of relationships between variables as"principle" is defined by Snelbecker (1974). More often, they were statements about learningor the learner that the researcher held to be true or "accepted as professed rules of action forconduct" (James, 1983, p. 131). They appeared to be practical applications of learningprinciples usually revolving around what the adult learner brought to the learning situation,and what was thought necessary or recommended within that situation for learning to takeplace.Regarding the learner, some authors made explicit their belief that adults maintain theirability to learn (Brookfield, 1986; James, 1983), which was implied in other works discussingprinciples of adult learning. However, the ability to learn was viewed as variable dependingon physiological, psychological, sociological and cultural reasons (Berg, 1969; Brookfield;James; Jarvis, 1983). Some authors further stated that the self-concept most adults bring tothe instructional situation, especially as learners, tends toward independence and self-direction (Brookfield, James). Adults were also seen as bringing a variety of needs, goals,Review of the Literature^ 13motivations for learning, and learning styles (Brookfield; Dickinson, 1973; James; Jarvis),which are often centered in the learner's current life situation and problems (Berg; Brookfield;James). At the same time, adults were thought to bring past experiences of living andlearning, as well as some knowledge and understanding of the subject matter to be studied(Darkenwald & Merriam, 1982; Jarvis). The quantity and quality of such life experiencesinfluence the learning outcome (Berg, Brookfield).A variety of conditions were recommended for learning to optimally occur. Accordingto a number of authors, learning takes place more easily if the content is meaningful,organized, appropriately sequenced and paced (Berg, 1969; Darkenwald & Merriam, 1982;Dickinson, 1973; Miller, 1964; Staton, 1960). Opportunities to practice new skills, knowledgeof progress through feedback and reinforcement, and guidance in applying new knowledge(Berg, Dickinson, Miller) were also seen as important for learning. Adults were viewed aswanting to be actively involved in the learning process and to feel comfortable in a supportive,cooperative environment (Berg; Darkenwald & Merriam; James, 1983; Jarvis, 1983; Staton).Instructional recommendations can be quite easily derived from these statements aboutlearning, and thus can be viewed as practical applications.Besides obvious recommendations that could be derived directly from statementsabout learning described in the previous two paragraphs (e.g., teachers should...organize thecontent [Staton, 1960]; ...make their subject matter relevant [Grabowski, 1976]; ...providefeedback to learners on their progress [Dickinson, 1973]), several themes emerged from themany lists of teaching principles. First of all, three elements of the instructional situation wereto be considered by the instructor: the learner, the content, and the environment or contextin which learning was intended to take place. Regarding the learner, instructors were to beaware of the learners' learning styles and abilities, instructional needs and goals, as well asprevious knowledge and experiences related to the subject matter (Apps, 1981; Jarvis, 1983;Review of the Literature^ 14Knowles, 1980; Mezirow, 1981). Although the question of content was seldom alluded to ininstructional recommendations (perhaps because it varies so much in different settings), itwas seen as an important element of the teaching situation, and instructors were to knowwhether it consisted of knowledge, skills, beliefs, or attitudes (Miller, 1964), because methodsand techniques should be chosen according to the type of knowledge involved. The thirdmajor element of an instructional situation was the context or environment which, according toa number of authors should be supportive, comfortable, and cooperative (Apps; Daloz, 1986;Knowles, 1980; Mezirow).The next two themes are evident in much adult education literature and havegenerated considerable research and debate (e.g., Brookfield, 1986). Many authors statedthat learners should be treated with respect as responsible, independent adults who arepeers of their instructor (Brookfield; Jensen, 1964; Kidd, 1973; Knowles, 1980). A corollary ofthis theme was that the education of adults should be as collaborative as possible given thepurpose of the instructional situation and the learners' current level of knowledge (Brookfield;Jarvis, 1983; Jensen; Knowles; Mezirow, 1981). A third theme, previously noted was thatinstructors of adults should build on and use as resources the experiences of the learners(Apps, 1981; Jarvis, Knowles), including their experiences of living, of learning, and theircurrent knowledge of the subject matter. (These two themes will be discussed in more detailin an ensuing section of this chapter.)A final theme emerged from some writers (Brookfield, 1986; Daloz, 1986; Mezirow,1981; Tennant, 1986) who argued that an overly supportive instructional environment wouldnot lead to the change necessary for learning. They believed instead, that conceptionschange and thus learning takes place, only when learners have an opportunity to considerperspectives other than their own (and their teachers') and to have their own perceptionschallenged. From the above discussion it could be concluded that with sufficient knowledgeReview of the Literature^ 15of the learners and a clear understanding of content goals, the instructor should interact withadult learners in as collaborative a manner as possible (given the restraints of the situation) tochoose from a variety of appropriate and challenging methods and techniques for theplanning, implementation and evaluation of the learning process. However, lack of sufficientsupportive evidence prevents such a definitive conclusion. As Stephans (1985) pointed out,"scientific knowledge of humankind has not yet reached a degree of sophistication where atutor's decision on which teaching method to use is determined more by information on adultlearning than that tutor's rule-of-thumb experience" (p. 5128).Models of Adult Teaching and LearningSeveral adult educators devised explanatory frameworks for adult learning often withconsequent recommendations for instruction. These explanations represent the authors'mental organization of existing research and suggest avenues for future research, so that inthis sense they are conceptual frameworks. They are often referenced in the literature asmodels of teaching or learning because they are tools for thinking about and simplifying theinstructional process (Flanders, 1987). All of the ones described here were directed towardthe instructor, but most of them focused on the adult learner.One framework devised by Pratt (1989) to describe the development of competence ininstructors of adults focused primarily on the instructor. Among a variety of frameworks thatfocused on the learner with derivative recommendations for instruction were several that werewidely referenced in current adult education literature. These were the Proficiency Theory byKnox (1980a), Characteristics of Adults as Learners by Cross (1981), the Charter forAndragogy by Mezirow (1981), and Andragogy by Knowles (1980).Review of the Literature^ 16Stages of Teachers' CompetenceIn a framework that focused on the instructor rather than the learners, Pratt (1989)synthesized approaches to the instruction of adults by describing the development ofcompetence in teachers. He argued that "the nature of teacher competence changes asteachers move through developmental stages and, further, that the forms of competence thatdefine excellence in teaching are interrelated" (p. 78). In the first stage of development, whichusually occurs when instructors are first beginning to teach or have moved to teaching in adifferent context, attention is focused on content knowledge and the ability to transmit it to thelearners. At this stage, knowledge of subject matter, of learning theory, and of the mosteffective instructional practices are paramount. Most of the instructional recommendationsalready described in this paper fit into this category. As instructors become more competent,they acquire the ability to adapt the skills and knowledge of the first stage to the learners andthe context. Decisions are made "on the spot" as to the most appropriate instructionalactions, and instructors are able to evaluate their teaching in terms of the rationale for theiractions as well as to consider alternative ways of acting. In the third stage of development,attention is focused not only on the adaptation of knowledge and skills to the context, butalso on the cultural values underlying the content and processes of instruction.Thus, competence in teaching moves from a concentration solely on behavioral skills,through a cognitive awareness of the need for adaptation to circumstances in the applicationof those skills, to critical reflection on the relationship of social, institutional, and personalvalues to the instructor's practice. Pratt noted the interdependency of the three forms ofcompetence in that each can be found to some degree at every stage of development, withthe emphasis changing as experience increases and competence grows.Review of the Literature^ 17Proficiency TheoryKnox (1980a) provided a rationale for the instructional choices made by teachers ofadults in terms of what he called the "proficiency theory" (p. 378). He defined proficiency as"the capability to perform satisfactorily if given the opportunity" and as involving a"combination of knowledge, skills, and attitudes" (p. 378). Central to this explanation were (a)a view of learning as transactional and developmental, (b) the identification of the discrepancybetween present and desired proficiency identified as the educational need, and (c) clarityabout the correspondence between what is to be learned and future performance.Knox's (1980a) recommendations for instructors were that they (a) encourage adults totake responsibility for learning; (b) provide an overview of desirable proficiency; (c) assist inthe identification of discrepancies between current and desired proficiency; (d) arrange for theplanning and sequencing of learning activities, for practice, and for judging the effectivenessof the activities. Factors affecting the instructional transaction that were to be considered bythe teacher were: characteristics of the content; characteristics of the learners, such asreadiness to learn, personality, life situation, motivation, degree of self-direction, past contentmastery, and attitudes toward learning; characteristics of the instructor, such as teachingstyle; and contextual influences, such as resources and restraints.Characteristics of Adults as LearnersCross (1981) devised a framework to incorporate research about the differencesbetween adults and pre-adults as learners, so that teaching implications could be derived.Termed the Characteristics of Adults as Learners (CAL) framework, it defined thecharacteristics of adults in two ways, as personal and situational. Personal characteristics,which were envisioned along a continuum, include physiological or aging characteristics,sociocultural or life phase characteristics, and psychological or developmental stageReview of the Literature^ 18characteristics. Teachers are to assess where the learners are on the continuum in regard tothese characteristics and to adjust their instructional approaches appropriately. Adaptivemeasures may be necessary for adults whose physiological characteristics impede theiractivities; adjustments may have to be made to accommodate sociocultural conditions;whereas challenge may be appropriate to call learners to the next stage of psychologicaldevelopment.Situational characteristics, which describe conditions under which learning occurs, areoften (but not in all cases) dichotomous. They indicate whether adults are part- or full-timelearners, and whether their learning involvement is voluntary or compulsory. Each of theseconditions will enhance or impede learning and must be taken into consideration byinstructors. Cross suggested that this framework would assist instructors to organize theirinformation about learners so as to make appropriate instructional decisions, and sherecommended that research be conducted within and across the variables.Charter for AndragoayMezirow (1981) proposed an explanation for learning that he suggested is unique toadults. Based on the work of Habermas and derived from a study of women re-entering theworkforce, Mezirow termed his explanation "perspective transformation," referring to a processby which humans become critically aware of how and why they are constrained bypsychological and cultural assumptions in their self-perceptions and in their relationships.The process includes the reconstruction of personal assumptions to allow a "more inclusiveand discriminating integration of experience and [action] upon these new understandings" (p.6). This is the third of three distinct but interrelated learning domains: the technical, thepractical, and the emancipatory, each of which has its own learning needs and goals, andtherefore instructional implications. The technical or work domain requires skill learningReview of the Literature^ 19related to controlling the environment, and is best acquired through behavioristic instructionalapproaches, such as task analysis and programmed instruction. Mezirow argued thatproblems arise when these methods are transposed to the other two domains. In thepractical domain, also identified as social interaction, learning is for interpersonalunderstanding. This requires a different type of instructional approach focused on helpinglearners understand how they and others construct meaning, and might involve conflictresolution, group facilitation, or philosophizing. The emancipatory domain involves learningfor perspective transformation and is best effected by such approaches as projectivetechniques, Socratic dialogue, and support groups. An important instructional element of thisdomain is the proposal of alternative meaning perspectives and the opportunity for learners todevelop competence in new roles.Mezirow (1981) then drew implications for instruction in what he termed a "Charter forAndragogy" (p. 21). He defined andragogy as "an organized and sustained effort to assistadults to learn in a way that enhances their capability to function as self-directed learners" (p.21). He recommended decreasing learners' dependency on the instructor; collaborativeplanning of learning activities; fostering decision-making and self-reflection; facilitatingproblem-posing and solving; experiential, projective methods; and distinguishing betweenpresenting alternatives and directing toward a specific choice.AndragoayStrictly speaking, andragogy as popularized by Knowles (1980), is not a model orconceptual framework in the same sense that the other ones which have been presented are.Rather it is a set of Knowles' assumptions about adults as learners with consequentinstructional recommendations. It is more thoroughly critiqued here because in NorthReview of the Literature^ 20America, it is the most widely cited and discussed understanding of adult learning andteaching, even though the assumptions are largely unsubstantiated.Davenport and Davenport (1985) traced the use of the term in North America toLindeman who used it to indicate a technique for teaching adults, but who apparently saw noneed to encourage use of the word. Knowles (1980) later proposed that the term shouldmean an approach to teaching adults based on assumptions about the learner. He definedandragogy as "the art and science of helping adults learn" (p. 43) and originally contrasted itwith pedagogy as "the art and science of teaching children" (p. 43). However, he hasamended that position to suggest that andragogy is "simply another model of assumptionsabout learners to be used alongside the pedagogical model of assumptions, therebyproviding two alternative models for testing out the assumptions as to their 'fit' with particularsituations" (p. 43). He has come to view the assumptions from a developmental perspectiveby suggesting that humans normally move from the pedagogical end of a continuum to theandragogical end as they mature.Knowles' (1980) assumptions about adults as learners are that (a) their self-conceptmoves from dependency to self-direction, (b) they gradually acquire experience that canbecome a useful resource for learning, (c) their readiness to learn becomes increasinglycentered on the tasks of their developmental stage and their role in society, (d) their time-perspective has moved from being future-oriented in childhood to focusing on the present,and (e) their orientation to learning has moved from being subject-centered to being problem-centered. These assumptions underlie many of the recommendations for the instruction ofadults described in this chapter, such as the admonition that instructors should use theexperiences of adult learners as resources for learning, and that learners should beencouraged to take responsibility for their own learning. In addition to these examples,Knowles suggested a number of other practical implications of these assumptions; forReview of the Literature^ 21example, instructors should view themselves as co-learners, should provide a supportiveclimate, should use experiential techniques, should provide a variety of choices to meetneeds of adults at different stages of life, and should organize content around the problems ofthe learners.The popularity of andragogy as interpreted by Knowles has provoked muchdiscussion. The debate revolves around the clarity of the concept (Hartree, 1984), the lack ofsupportive research (Cross, 1981; Jarvis, 1983), and its limitation as a defining concept inadult education (Law & Rubenson, 1988; Rubenson, 1982; Tennant 1988). Hartree pointedout confusion over whether andragogy refers to learning or teaching, whether it is adescriptive or a prescriptive concept, and whether it is supposed to represent a theory ordescribe practice. Although the assumptions are about the learner, recommendations forteaching are derived from them. It might be appropriate to generate recommendationsapplicable across instructional situations if a substantial body of research supported theassumptions, but this is not the case (Cross; Davenport, 1987; Jarvis; Pratt, 1984). It will bepointed out later in this dissertation that the most that can be said for the research that hasbeen generated by these assumptions, is that although they may be supported by manyprofessional adult educators, the assumptions are not always implemented in practice, andindeed, are not always favored by adult learners. Much of the confusion over the prescriptiveor descriptive nature of the concept and whether it is about teaching or learning can betraced to Knowles' discussion of pedagogy that described traditional, school-based educationof children as didactic and teacher-centered (Pratt, 1984), and to his discussion of andragogyas an alternative method focusing on an ideal adult learner. Other scholars have debated themore fundamental assumption of andragogy that adults differ from children and thereforeshould be taught differently. McKenzie (1977) supported a phenomenological approacharguing that the reality of adulthood is different from that of children because adults makeReview of the Literature^ 22sense of their world in different ways than children do. Elias (1979) followed Houle (1982) bymaintaining that although human beings grow and develop throughout life, their fundamentalnature is the same whether they are children or adults, therefore they learn the same, andeducational processes for them do not have to differ.The assumptions themselves have also been widely discussed in the literature. Theassumption that adults as learners tend toward self-direction has been researched more thanthe other assumptions, mainly through interviews of adults about their self-directed learningprojects. However, Brookfield (1986) faulted most of this research for being culturally biased,for giving insufficient attention to the quality of reported learning activities, and for theinterview process in which the interviewers' expectations might have influenced the recall oflearning experiences. Pratt (1988a) pointed out that other research on self-directednessindicated that adults vary in their readiness to perform some of the tasks related to being self-directed learners, and that self-directedness and dependency on the instructor are situationalchoices, not permanent traits. Elias (1979), and Tennant (1986) argued that the drive towardsindependence begins in childhood so is not exclusive to adults.Although Brookfield (1986) suggested that the assumption that adults' life experiencesare important resources for learning is well founded, much of the research on learning fromthe University of Gothenburg in Sweden (Marton, Hounsell & Entwistle, 1984) demonstratedthat a learner's conception of the subject matter developed through practical experiences canoften hinder the formation of new understandings. And both Elias (1979) and Brookfield(1986) pointed out that the admonition to base instruction on the learners' experiences is nota new recommendation nor is it restricted to adults, but dates back to Dewey's theory of theeducation of children.Regarding the assumption that adults' readiness to learn is related to theirdevelopmental tasks and social roles, Elias (1979) and Tennant (1986) pointed out thatReview of the Literature^ 23children also have developmental tasks and social roles around which instructional contentcan be centered. Brookfield (1986) feared that this assumption could reduce adult educationto a technological enterprise in which the focus is solely on job or life related skills andcompetencies. Elias recalled that a problem-centered approach to learning is also a hallmarkof progressive education for children.The limitations of andragogy as a defining construct for the teaching of adults wereemphasized by Brookfield (1986), Carlson (1979), Rubenson (1982) and Tennant (1986).Andragogy represents a humanistic, psychological approach to adult education that overlookspolitical and social realities affecting both the teaching and learning of adults. Carlson arguedfor a different meaning for andragogy whereby it would indicate the point in people's livesafter which the dominant culture would no longer be responsible for their socialization.Rubenson and Tennant would redirect attention to the way in which the content andprocesses of adult education reflect and reproduce middle-class values. This could beaccomplished by responding to Brookfield's and Pratt's (1989) call for critical reflection onassumptions and values underlying all aspects of the educational process as an essentialelement in the instruction of adults.Andragogy appears to be based on a humanistic, individualistic ideology (Hartree,1984; Jarvis, 1983; Tennant, 1986), however, Tennant pointed out that the processes (e.g.,the learning contract), which Knowles (1980) suggested for the implementation of andragogy,are more behavioristic than humanistic. Davenport (1987) concluded that Knowles'etymological definition of andragogy is inaccurate and his assumptions are unclear. Despiteall the criticism of the concept, it is quite popular among practitioners, especially theassumptions that adults are or should be self-directed in their learning efforts (Podeschi &Pearson, 1986), and that instructors should use learners' experiences as learning resources.Brookfield (1986), Elias (1979), and Hartree (1984) attributed this to efforts on the part of adultReview of the Literature^ 24educators to legitimate adult education as a distinctive discipline. However, it should bepointed out that Knowles himself did not propose andragogy to be the comprehensive theoryit is sometimes represented to be, but rather as assumptions to be tested (Brookfield;Knowles, 1979). In the last few years quite a number of studies have been conducted basedon the assumption that adults differ from children and therefore should be taught differentlyand these studies will be reviewed in the next section of this chapter.Most of the models for adult learning and teaching which have been presented hereinclude similar themes, for example the focus on the learner, the emphasis on sharedresponsibility and collaboration in the learning transaction, the stress on centering learning foradults on life experiences and problems, and the importance attributed to learners' andinstructors' perceptions. What is problematic, however, is the implication in many of themodels that the assumptions and recommendations apply only to the instruction of adults andwould be inappropriate for teaching children.Research on Teaching AdultsResearch on the teaching of adults might be categorized in any number of ways, butfor the purposes of this study, the simplest way to classify it was to identify the major focus ofparticular research studies as either on what teachers bring to the instructional situation, or onwhat they do once they are in that situation. In the latter category, studies centered onteachers' practice, called behavior or activities, including methods and techniques, on theirstyle or mode of teaching, and on their instructional decisions. Research about what teachersbring to the instructional situation focused on such factors as instructor characteristics,competencies or skills; their philosophy, assumptions, orientations, attitudes and beliefs; theirperceptions, understandings, conceptions and knowledge. The object of teachers' beliefsReview of the Literature^ 25and understandings that was researched was frequently the learner, content, instructionalprocesses, and the setting.In research surveyed for this study, the purpose was often descriptive, but sometimesexplored the interaction of various factors, such as those named above. Sometimes thestudies were open-ended in that teachers' assumptions were not predefined; more often theybegan with assumptions identified as andragogical, meaning that teachers should regardlearners as self-directed and should employ collaborative and learner 7centered processes.The samples were usually small, and data were most often collected with surveys or question-naires and analyzed with descriptive statistics, analysis of variance, and correlationaltechniques. Findings were mixed, showed little consistency, and were often contradictory.The studies examined for this study focused on what teachers bring to the instructionalsituation, particularly what they believe and understand about their professional experience.Studies focused on teacher behavior were not used unless behavior was related toinstructors' assumptions or perceptions. Students' perceptions or achievement was con-sidered only if it was part of a study in which the major focus was the instructor. It wasdifficult to further sub-divide the studies because the constructs being examined were seldomdefined in comparable ways, however through a process of grouping studies with similarfocuses, the following classification was made: (a) instructors' competencies, (b) instructors'assumptions about learning and teaching, and (c) instructors' ways of thinking includingperceptions and conceptions. These categories are not definitive, but merely a way ofmanaging the analysis of some sixty studies.Instructors' CompetenciesInstructors of adults bring certain skills and competencies to their task of instructionand a large segment of research was devoted to this topic (e.g., Colquitt-Wilkins, 1985; CopaReview of the Literature^ 26& Sandmann, 1987; Eaves, 1985; Fashokun, 1988; Fenn, 1972; Mezirow, Darkenwald, &Knox, 1985; Mocker, 1974; Pratt, 1983; Rossman, 1977; and Walther, 1972). Most of thestudies provided inventories of competencies that were considered important for instructors ofadults. Common themes that ran through the findings were: (a) that instructors needknowledge of the subject matter, of the learning process, and of their particular learners; andshould be skilled in communication and the use of varied and appropriate instructionalprocesses; (b) that instructors are learner-centered, are committed to program goals, andbelieve that adults are capable of learning and growth; and (c) that instructors are charac-terized by warmth and concern and are themselves lifelong learners.The competency approach to studying teaching has been criticized for a number ofreasons. Apps (1981) argued that (a) it assumes that all aspects of education can be definedin behavioral terms; (b) it is discouraging for instructors to see a long list of competenciesthat they are supposed to possess; and (c) competencies that are derived from expertteaching cannot be easily taught to beginning teachers, because teachers' use of such skillsusually results from their expertise and experience.In a different approach to competency study, Copa and Sandmann (1987) found thatcompetence was related to reflective thought about instructional situations. Cervero (1989)recommended reflection so that instructors can make "the best judgment in a specific contextfor a specific set of ethical beliefs" (p. 65). This was supported by Pratt (1989) who arguedthat the ability to make instructional decisions based not only on contextual variations but alsoon critical reflection on societal, institutional, and personal values, may be a skill of highlycompetent teachers.Review of the Literature^ 27Instructors' Assumptions about Teaching AdultsThe largest group of studies about what instructors bring to instruction revolvedaround adult educators' assumptions about adult learning and teaching, which were usuallyreferred to as principles of adult learning and/or teaching or even principles of adulteducation. These principles were defined in a variety of ways by researchers, and sometimesidentified as teaching mode, orientation or style. Many of the studies were based on Knowles'(1980) assumptions about adult learners and called andragogical principles. Most of thestudies sought to find out whether instructors agreed with these assumptions about adultlearners and whether they perceived themselves to follow the resulting recommendations intheir practice. In some cases teachers' perceptions were compared to their students'perceptions and/or satisfaction with the course. Some researchers developed instruments tobe used in studies of teachers' perceptions about and use of adult learning principles (Conti,1979; Hadley, 1975; James, 1983; Suanmali, 1981).Teaching Adults, Pre-adults All of the studies of principles of adult learning were based on an underlyingassumption that adults learn differently from pre-adults and therefore should be taughtdifferently. However, a small group of studies focused directly on this fundamentalassumption and attempted to discover if and how instructors taught adults differently frompre-adults. Studies by McDaniel (1969), Beder and Darkenwald (1982), and Gorham (1985)examined teachers who taught both pre-adults and adults, whereas the Stockholm (Touch-ette, Beder, Carrea, & Rubenson, 1983) investigation compared high school teachers andteachers in municipal adult education classes.Using the Flanders' System of Interaction Analysis, McDaniel (1969) compared theclassroom verbal behavior of teachers who taught basic education classes as well as publicReview of the Literature^ 28school pre-adult classes. He found significant differences between the two situations in allinteraction categories except lecturing, and concluded that in the pre-adult classes, teacherswere more ready to accept students' ideas, asked more questions, gave more directions andmore criticism, and lectured slightly more. However, in the adult classes, teachers used morepraise and tended to exercise more direct influence.Beder and Darkenwald (1982) identified certain conditions as factors for determiningwhether instructors taught adults differently from pre-adults. If instructors taught adultsdifferently, they (a) perceived psycho-social differences between adults and pre-adults, (b)believed that such differences should be considered, and (c) had the autonomy to teachdifferently. Based on interviews with teachers of both adults and pre-adults, the researchersdeveloped a questionnaire (Rutgers Study of Teaching Instrument) to measure (a) the degreeof difference in teaching behaviors, (b) perceived differences in characteristics of adults andpre-adults, (c) belief that the two different groups should or should not be taught differently,and (d) instructors' autonomy to use different teaching processes. The major finding from thisstudy was that teachers did use different teaching behavior when they perceived adults todiffer from pre-adults (explained 30% of the variance in teaching behavior). Althoughinstructors' belief that the groups should be taught differently was also related to differencesin teaching behavior, it accounted for only 4% of the variance, and teachers' autonomy madeno difference at all. An inverse relationship between age of the pre-adult group anddifference in teaching behavior was also found (7% of the variance): teaching younger pre-adults (elementary and secondary age) was positively and significantly related to difference inteaching behavior. Beder and Darkenwald concluded that instructors teach adults differentlyfrom the way they teach pre-adults, and these differences can be explained to a considerableextent by teacher perception of differences, less to the age of the pre-adults, and still less toinstructors' beliefs about different behavior. However, the researchers pointed out that theseReview of the Literature^ 29conclusions were limited by being based on teachers' self-reports that were not confirmed byobservations, by a restricted measure of teaching behavior, and by the possibility of non-response bias (estimated return rate: 53.5%). In a follow-up factor analysis, Darkenwald(1982) identified responsiveness and control, as underlying factors explaining the differencesin teaching behavior. These factors were used to compare teachers of pre-adults with collegeinstructors. The researcher found that (a) responsiveness and control were independentconstructs, not two ends of a continuum; (b) some factors loaded with the opposite constructfrom the one in the original study; and (c) group discussion loaded with both constructs.In an attempt to overcome the self-report limitation of Beder and Darkenwald's (1982)conclusions, Gorham (1985) studied a group of instructors of both adults and pre-adultsusing a modified version of the Rutgers Study of Teaching Instrument as well as observationsof the teachers' instructional practices. She found similar results to Beder and Darkenwald onthe questionnaires: teachers perceived adults to be different from pre-adults and reported aless directive and structured approach when teaching adults. However observations revealedthat teachers' overall use of directive behavior was essentially the same in both adult and pre-adult classes. The directive behavior in teaching adults was often more subtle and non-verbal, whereas with pre-adults it was more overt. The differences among teachers in eachcategory (teaching adults; teaching pre-adults) was greater than between adult and pre-adultclasses of the same teacher.A study conducted in Stockholm, Sweden (Touchette, Beder, Carrea, & Rubenson,1983), which examined the teaching process in high schools and adult education classes bymeans of observations, questionnaires, and interviews, found teaching behavior to beessentially the same in both situations: teachers used traditional instructional methods 80%of the time in math classes, and 63% of the time in Swedish language classes. This did notcorrespond with the instructors' philosophy about teaching adults which was explained byReview of the Literature^ 30constraints from the instructional system, such as limited time and the pressure of theevaluation system.To summarize these studies, although instructors might perceive adults to learndifferently from pre-adults, might believe that adults should be taught differently, and mighteven report that they teach adults differently, there often was little difference in their teachingbehavior. When their behavior did differ, it was not necessarily congruent with what wassuggested in the literature as appropriate for instructing adults.Andragogical Instruction In a several studies it was either explicitly or implicitly assumed that the appropriateapproach for teaching adults was what the researchers defined as andragogical. Principles ofadult learning that were the basis of the studies were derived either from the literature or fromKnowles' (1980) recommendations.James (1983) reported on a study in which a six-person research team identified nineprinciples of adult learning (defined as rules of conduct) from the literature and developedthem into a questionnaire. The instrument was field tested by various researchers in fivedifferent settings: university extension, community college, business and industry, patienteducation and agricultural extension. Instructors in patient education, university extension,and agricultural extension perceived themselves as frequently implementing all the principles.In the other two settings, at least six of the recommendations were perceived to beimplemented. In all of the settings except business and industry, the "supportiveenvironment" principle was ranked highest. Oberle's (1981) doctoral dissertation consisted ofthe field testing of this questionnaire in the university extension setting. She found thatextension instructors perceived themselves as implementing all principles frequently, howeverReview of the Literature^ 31a significant difference was found between the instructors' perceptions and their students'perceptions of their implementation of the principles.In a similar manner, Lawler (1988) and six other doctoral students formulated a set ofnine Principles of Adult Education. They then studied the application of these principleswithin different workplace settings. Lawler did her study within the training function of anaccounting firm. Using interviews, observations and document analysis in a case studyapproach, she found a high degree of awareness and use of the recommendations within thetraining program, however, conflicts were also found between the recommendations and theorganization's goals and traditions.Beder and Carrea (1988) conducted a post-test only field experiment to determinewhether instructors who were trained in the use of Knowles' instructional recommendationswould have higher student attendance rates and would be more positively evaluated thaninstructors without such training. The experiment involved the use of a treatment group whoreceived a nine-hour course of instruction, a placebo group who were in a program intendedonly to reinforce their current teaching behaviors, and a control group who received notraining. The researchers found that attendance was significantly better for students ofteachers with the andragogical training than for those with teachers who had no training,however, the relationship was not strong (p =.10); and attendance was not significantly betterthan attendance of students of teachers from the placebo group. They also found thattraining had no significant impact on students' evaluation of the instruction. Beder and Carreaadvised caution in the use of these findings because of the small sample (N=87) and the lowlevel of significance.Little can be concluded from these studies other than that some adult educationpractitioners usually believed that what were identified as andragogical teaching principleswere important, and that the practitioners studied viewed themselves as following theReview of the Literature^ 32recommendations. These studies usually employed a survey type data collection tool, thesample size was usually small, and in the case of Beder and Carrea (1988), their findingswere based on a low level of significance (p =.10).Collaborative Teaching-learning Mode Although in this next group of studies it was also assumed that collaborative teachingpractices (learner-centered; shared responsibility for planning and implementing learningactivities) were most appropriate for teaching adults, the instrument used was able to identifya teacher-centered approach to instruction as well. The studies were based on the Principlesof Adult Learning Scale (PALS), designed by Conti (1979) to measure the degree to whichadult education practitioners supported and implemented principles of learning congruentwith a collaborative mode of teaching. Conti constructed the instrument based on principlesderived from adult education literature and theoretically linked to Flanders' Interaction AnalysisCategories (FIAC), which is used to measure congruency between a persons' expressedbeliefs and their behavior. Frequency of practice on each PALS item is measured with a fivepoint Liked scale. High scores indicate support for a collaborative approach to teaching; lowscores, support for a teacher-controlled approach; scores near the mean reflect support forteaching strategies drawn from both learner-centered and teacher-centered approaches.Construct validity was established by a majority (78%) of adult education professors on twojuries; content validity was established through several field tests involving the use of Pearsoncorrelations resulting in 25 items being significant at the .001 level, 8 items at the .01 level, 7items at the .05 level, and 4 items at the .10 level; and criterion-related validity wasestablished by correlating PALS scores with each of three possible scores on the FlandersInteraction Analysis Categories resulting in correlation coefficients of .85, .79, and .82. PALSwas also found to have a test-retest reliability of .92 (Conti, 1979). Factor analysis of dataReview of the Literature^ 33produced by follow-up studies (Conti, 1983) yielded seven discernable factors: (a) learner-centered activities, (b) personalizing instruction, (c) relating to experience, (d) assessingstudents' needs, (e) climate building, (f) participation in the learning process, and (g) flexibilityfor personal development (Conti, 1985). Use of the scale is limited by reliance on self-reportsto determine teaching mode, and because it measures support for only two approaches toteaching (Conti, 1984).The Principles of Adult Learning Scale has generated a large number of researchprojects, six of which were chosen as representative to review for this dissertation. Most ofthe studies examined not only instructors' support for the collaborative teaching mode, butsought to determine the interaction of such support with a variety of factors, such as trainingin adult education (Douglass, 1982), instructor's philosophy (Franklin, 1989; Pearson, 1980),students' perceptions of their instructors' approach (Clow, 1987), student retention rate(Graham, 1989), and student achievement (Welborn and Conti, 1986).Findings were mixed among adult educators as to their support for either acollaborative or teacher-centered mode of instruction. Regarding the interaction of supportfor these modes of teaching with other factors, Douglass (1982) found that training in adulteducation was positively related to support for the collaborative mode. Franklin (1989) andPearson (1980) reported that a Theory X managerial philosophy was related to support for ateacher centered approach to instruction among training and development professionals,however Franklin found Theory Y to be the predominant philosophy among her respondents.The more interesting findings revolved around the relationship of students'perceptions, retention rates, and achievement to teaching mode. Clow (1987) found thatstudents' perceptions of college instructors' teaching approach differed from the instructors'professed collaborative mode. Graham (1989) measured community college students'satisfaction with instructors' teaching approaches which she defined as their retention rate.Review of the Literature^ 34She found that instructors' who preferred strong teacher control had higher retention rates inthe first half of the course, whereas instructors favoring the collaborative approach retainedmore students in the last half of the course. The only factor related to increased retentionrate over the entire course length was allowing students to contribute to topics of discussionand to types of activities.Welborn and Conti (1986) related support for the collaborative teaching mode tostudent achievement in university health-related programs. They measured achievement bycumulative grade point average. Teaching style was found to be significantly related tostudent achievement: students of teachers who moderately supported the collaborative modehad the highest achievement, students of teachers who strongly favored a teacher-centeredapproach achieved above the mean, whereas students of teachers with moderate ormoderately high preference for the teacher-centered approach achieved less. High and lowscores on PALS represented strong support for respectively, a collaborative or learner-centered approach to teaching and a teacher-centered approach. In other words, there wasstrong support for a definitive teaching style, whether it was learner-centered or teacher-centered (Welborn and Conti). Scores near the mean indicated that instructors drew fromboth modes for their behavior appearing to espouse a situational approach to teaching.However, Conti (1985) maintained that discussions with teachers indicated that moderatescores represented conflicting behaviors that confused students. This appeared to contradictConti's earlier statement in the same article that the findings from another study of basiceducation instructors (Welborn & Conti, 1986: students in GED classes achieved greater gainswith teacher-centered instructors; ESL students achieved more with collaborative teachers)"switch the general argument from a combative stance of which style is best to a morepractical position of when is each style most appropriate" (p. 8). This may be a case ofconfusing instructors' espoused theories of teaching and learning with their theories in action,Review of the Literature^ 35which can be contradictory because of contextual and social constraints, a point which wasmade in the Stockholm study cited earlier (Touchette, Beder, Carrea & Rubenson, 1983).The results from this group of studies were again mixed: some instructors preferred acollaborative teaching mode, others, a teacher-centered mode. In some cases, students'perceptions agreed with those of their teachers, in other cases they differed. Achievementappeared to be related to a definite teaching style whether that was andragogical orpedagogical. The data collection instrument was the same for all of these studies, and thesample sizes appeared to be somewhat larger than in other groups of studies, however it isdifficult to make a precise assessment because the research reports did not always providethe response rate. And as noted earlier, the results were limited because they were based onself-reports of only two pre-determined modes of teaching.Educational Orientation This next group of studies, although similar in intent to the previous group, was basedon a different instrument, the Educational Orientation Questionnaire (EOQ), developed byHadley (1975). This instrument was designed to measure instructors' attitudes towardeducation along an andragogy-pedagogy continuum. As with PALS, high scores indicated anandragogical orientation whereas low scores signified a pedagogical approach. Items,measured with a five-point Liked scale, were constructed around six elements of the prac-titioner's role: purpose of education, nature of the learners, characteristics of the learningexperience, management of the learning experience, evaluation, and relationships of educatorto learners and among learners. Instructors with an andragogical orientation were thought tobelieve in collaboration with learners and that learners are responsible for their own learning.Pedagogically oriented teachers were thought to believe in instructor and agency control overthe knowledge and skills to be learned as well as over the learning process (Holmes, 1980).Review of the Literature^ 36After a field test among 409 adult educators from a variety of programs, the EOQ was foundto have a test-retest reliability of .90 with a coefficient alpha of 0.94 (Hadley, 1975). Factoranalysis identified eight factors: pedagogical orientation, andragogical orientation, competitivemotivation, pedagogical teaching, social distance, student undependability, standardization,and self-directed change, with pedagogical and andragogical orientations being dominant.A number of studies using the EOQ or a modified version of it were found and fourwere chosen to review (Holmes, 1980; Kerwin, 1979; Logue, 1983; O'Gorman, 1981). All ofthe studies examined the interaction of educational orientation with other factors. Kerwin(1979) found college technical and general education teachers, and female instructors to havean andragogical orientation to teaching; he found college vocational instructors to bepedagogically oriented. O'Gorman (1981) found adult basic education teachers also to bepedagogically oriented. Holmes (1980) found that differences in educational orientation werecontinuous rather than dichotomous, so the same person may have elements of either.Three studies investigated the relationship of instructors' behavior to their educationalorientation. Logue (1983) found that teachers' classroom behavior as measured by aresearcher-developed observation schedule was related to educational orientation, howeverHolmes (1980) found that interpersonal behaviors as measured by the FundamentalInterpersonal Relationship Orientation Behavior Scale (FIRO-B) were moderately butsignificantly related to the andragogical orientation but not to the pedagogical orientation.Several researchers examined the interaction of learners' perceptions or retention rateand instructors' educational orientation. Kerwin (1979) found differences between students'perceptions and instructors' perceptions of the instructors' educational orientation. O'Gorman(1981) found that a higher retention rate among basic education students was related to theandragogical orientation of their instructors. Logue (1983) reported that students' courseReview of the Literature^ 37evaluations were related to instructors' behavior but not to a similarity or dissimilarity betweeninstructors' and students' educational orientations.Like inquiries based on PALS, these studies were limited by reliance on self-reports todetermine educational orientation, and by the assumption that there are only two approachesto teaching of which the andragogical approach is preferred for teaching adults. Theypresent varied results from which nothing conclusive could be derived.Instructional StyleTwo other studies investigated instructors' assumptions about teaching and learningbut defined them differently. Brostrom's (1979) Training Style Inventory (TSI) organizedclusters of beliefs around four approaches to instruction that he labeled behaviorist,structuralist, functionalist and humanist. It was used as a component of a five-part survey byWilliams (1984) in four adult education settings (four year college, community college,compensatory education program and continuing education program) to investigateeducators' teaching style, teaching practices, and perceptions about discrepancies betweenthe two. He found that instructors used elements of various styles, but on the whole,humanism and behaviorism were equally favored, and structuralism, which involved the mostinstructor control, was the least preferred. However, community college instructorsdemonstrated a preference for structuralism and favored humanism less strongly. Teachingexperience and previous student experiences were factors most closely related to teachingstyle.Moore (1982) investigated the interaction of learning style and teaching style amongadult basic education teachers using the TSI and Kolb's Learning Style Inventory (LSI). Onlyone relationship was found: the assimilator learning style was significantly related to theReview of the Literature^ 38behaviorist teaching style, which was the preferred style among the instructors. Thestructuralist teaching style was least favored.In these two studies, it was not assumed that any one particular teaching style waspreferred, but that teaching style was related to philosophical assumptions. There are notenough similar studies in this group to draw any conclusions, but one of the more interestingfindings was that the same instructor used elements of various styles.Instructors' Ways of ThinkingThe following studies focused more on instructors' teaching experience as a wholethan on individual elements of the instructional process. In various ways, they describeinstructors' perceptions, understandings, and ways of interpreting their experiences ofteaching. No one understanding was assumed to be "correct," although for specific purposesone may have been judged more effective than others; all elements of the instructional ex-perience were usually eligible for discussion, although some studies were more focused thanothers. All of these researchers used unstructured or semi-structured interviews, and someincluded other field study techniques. The underlying assumption of these studies was thatinstructors' professional behavior is influenced by the way they understand and interpret theinstructional situation.Ulichny (1989) did an ethnographic case study of an English as a Second Languageclassroom to explore how the teacher's values, past experiences, beliefs and professionalknowledge interacted with classroom pressures (from students as well as the institution) toproduce the classroom interactions. The study continued over an entire semester andincluded audio-taped observations and interviews with the teacher and students. Theresearcher found that the instructor's involvement of the learners in the instructional processchanged from the earlier lessons where discourse was adjusted to allow for students'Review of the Literature^ 39participation at their appropriate levels of ability, to the later lessons, where more autonomousstudent participation was encouraged.Bray (1986) focused on the content and processes of the thinking of instructors oflandscape design during teaching. She also compared their reported thoughts with theirteaching behavior and investigated the effects of individualized feedback on ways of thinkingand observed behavior. In the initial phase of the study, Bray used a stimulated recalltechnique, which included open-ended interviews with ten instructors. She then repeated thestimulated recall process with four instructors to compare their thoughts and behavior afterreceiving feedback. Content analysis of the data revealed that teachers' thinking centered ontheir students (especially students' knowledge and attention), instructional procedures, andself-awareness; and that their thought processes included interpretations, intentions, andperceptions. Unlike some of the studies described previously, she found that instructors'behavior did correspond with their thinking, and that their thought content, thinkingprocesses, and teaching behavior changed after receiving feedback from the researcher.Several studies investigated conceptions of teaching using a phenomenographicresearch approach similar to the one being reported in this dissertation. Larsson (1983a,1983b, 1986) did a study of instructors' conceptions of their professional world by interviewing29 teachers of adults in the Swedish adult education system about how they understood andmade sense of such elements as knowledge, teaching skills, teaching problems, characteris-tics of the learners, and the use of learners' experiences in teaching. From semi-structuredinterviews, he (1983a) derived two qualitatively different conceptions of teaching: (a) contentshould be presented and structured for the students (strong teacher control), and (b) studentsshould be involved in interpreting and structuring the material to be learned (weak teachercontrol). Teachers with a B conception viewed the students' conception of teaching aswanting the teacher to control the instructional situation. Therefore, teachers who thoughtReview of the Literature^ 40that students should be involved in the educational process, yet did not want to control thelearning situation, yielded to the wishes of the students and used what the teachers perceivedas inadequate teaching methods. Other teachers who also prized student involvement, urgedstudents to be involved in participative learning against their will, thus attempting to controlthe instructional situation, which was against their professed beliefs. Larsson analyzed theseresults in terms of the students' desire for success in the educational system which thestudents perceived to be measured by periodic reports from the teachers or grades. Thestudents knew that it was difficult for teachers to evaluate their progress when the teachersdid not control the teaching-learning situation, therefore they forced teachers with a Bconception to be in control. Larsson concluded that such situations could be problematic forlearning because of studies (Marton, Hounsell & Entwistle, 1984) that found that whenstudents focused on the reward (grades) rather than the material to be learned, anunderstanding of the content was not attained because the students utilized a surfaceapproach to learning.From further analysis of the data, Larsson discovered various ways in which teachersuse learners' experiences as part of the instructional process (1983b). Literature frequentlyrecommends that instructors utilize the experiences of the learners as resources for learning,however instructors' interpretation of this admonition in practice has not often been explored.Larsson uncovered five different ways of defining the experiences to be used: (a) thepractical experiences of one or several learners providing information for the remaininglearners; (b) life experiences of the majority of the learners providing a focal point for the topicbeing taught; (c) learners' job experiences to be used in the instructional situation; (d)learners' viewpoints that conflict with the perspective being taught; and (e) life experiencesproviding an openness for understanding alternative perspectives. According to Larsson, themost useful interpretations of learners' experiences in the classroom are D and E becauseReview of the Literature^ 41they offer the possibility of different perspectives. Only if instructors are aware that learnersmay have different interpretations of the phenomenon being studied, can the instructorsattempt to change the learners' perspective to the authorized or scientific perspective.From his data, Larsson (1986) also identified four conceptions of instructors' skilldevelopment over time. The ways that teachers interpret changes in their skills as a result ofexperience is useful for their own ongoing professional development. The conceptionsdiscovered by Larsson were: (a) with experience in teaching, instructors' focus moves fromtheir own actions and planning to the actions and understandings of their students; (b) withexperience, instructors acquire knowledge about how different aspects of instruction functionso as to be able to choose the most effective; (c) with experience, instructors change fromwanting to transmit quantities of information to focusing on principles and ways of thinking;and (d) with experience, teaching becomes methodical so that the instructor loses interest,ceases to grow, and becomes less effective. Although these views are different, they are notmutually exclusive in any one teacher, and in fact could be seen "as aspects of a commonprofessional culture emanating from teaching experience rather than from teacher training" (p.42).Samuelowicz and Bain (1992) sought to discover how academic teachers understoodtheir experiences of teaching. They interviewed thirteen teachers, seven in distance educationand six from a traditional university. Using phenomenographic analysis, they found fivequalitatively different conceptions: teaching is (a) supporting student learning, (b) directedtoward changing students' understanding of the world, (c) facilitating understanding, (d)transmitting knowledge and attitudes toward knowledge, and (e) imparting information.Continuing their analysis, Samuelowicz and Bain extracted five dimensions from theseconceptions to compare them: (a) the expected outcome of learning, (b) knowledge gainedor constructed by the student, (c) students' existing conceptions, (d) directionality of teaching,Review of the Literature^ 42(e) control of content. Each of these dimensions was then characterized in a bi-polar manner,for example, the expected outcome of learning was interpreted as being represented in eitherqualitative or quantitative terms. For each dimension, the poles were labeled A or B, and therespondents' comments were coded as being A or B or a combination of AB. The fiveconceptions of teaching were then defined in terms of student-centeredness (B) or teacher-centeredness (A), with the distribution of the teachers' coded responses determining thecenteredness of each conception. Based on the type of teaching preferred in otherresearch, student-centered teaching was classified as higher and teacher-centered teachingas lower. By counting the number of A's and B's, the conceptions were ordered from highest(supporting student learning) to lowest (imparting information). The researchers concludedthat (a) there are a limited number of conceptions of teaching held by academic teachers, (b)their coding system is a useful tool for delimiting and ordering conceptions of teachingbecause it can be used to compare findings of different studies, and (c) the dimensions theyextracted from the conceptions can help to define student-centeredness and teacher-centeredness.Other phenomenographic research into conceptions of teaching was a series ofstudies by Pratt (1992) in which he investigated understandings of teaching of both learnersand instructors. These were cross-cultural studies done in several Asian countries as well asCanada and the United States. Over 250 adults were interviewed to determine theirunderstandings of teaching. Pratt derived five conceptions of teaching from the data ofseveral studies: teaching is (a) delivering content, (b) modeling values and knowledge, (c)cultivating intellectual development, (d) nurturing personal agency, and (e) seeking a bettersociety. He found that there was as much difference in conceptions within cultures as acrossthem, although the understanding of teaching as the cultivation of the intellect was not foundin data from the People's Republic of China. Among Pratt's conclusions were that (a) learnersReview of the Literature^ 43experience the beliefs and intentions which inform teachers' understandings of teaching aswell as instructional activities; (b) beliefs about normative behavior and desirable states ofexistence which pervade conceptions of teaching are often culturally bound; and (c) althoughindividuals often held two or more conceptions of teaching, one conception usuallypredominated.In a handbook for teachers in higher education, Ramsden (1992) identified threetheories of teaching from a variety of interviews and research by several researchers.Although the focus of this book is prescription for practice rather than reporting research, it isincluded because of its close affinity to the research reported in this dissertation and becauseit was based on phenomenographic studies of learning and teaching. The theories orconceptions found were: (a) teaching as telling or transmission in which the validity of thecontent being transmitted is not questioned, the teacher is the source of information, thelearners are passive receivers, and learning occurs when learners absorb a sufficient amountof information; (b) teaching as organizing instructional activities in which learners are thecenter of focus, the teacher manages the involvement of the learners in a multiplicity ofactivities regardless of appropriateness for the content, and learning automatically follows; (c)teaching as enabling learning in which learning is the focus, knowledge is seen as beingactively constructed by the learners, instructional techniques are related to the content, andteachers work with the learners in a cooperative relationship to help them change their under-standing of the topic (learning). These conceptions were described as hierarchical becauseeach succeeding one includes and builds on the characteristics of the preceding one.Ramsden devised a cyclical model of teaching for helping teachers change theirunderstandings of teaching and improve their practice. In the first place, teachers' theories orconceptions of teaching influence how they think about each aspect of teaching such as howto teach a particular topic. At the same time, the teachers' perceptions of factors within theReview of the Literature^ 44teaching context also affect their thinking about teaching. Their understanding of teachingdirects their "teaching in action" (p. 119) or all the activities that are related to teaching. Theteachers' reflections on the quality of their teaching then affect their theories of teaching andtheir future teaching actions to complete the cycle. Ramsden concluded that excellentteaching involves focus on: (a) the content to be taught, (b) the understandings the learnersare to achieve, (c) the best way for learners to construct that understanding, (d) the students'understanding of the content in the beginning and throughout the course, and (e) aconception of learning as changing understanding and conceptualization.This group of studies is difficult to summarize because the focus was so different foreach one. In most cases, there was an assumption that learner-centeredness was better thanteacher-centeredness, although Ramsden (1992) focused on learning-centeredness. It wasalso evident that teachers understood and interpreted the instructional experience in variousways, and in one case, understanding and teaching behavior changed over the length of thecourse. Larsson (1983a), Pratt (1992), Ramsden, and Samuelowicz and Bain (1992)concluded that instructors' conceptions of teaching were influenced by the contexts, in Pratt'scase, particularly the cultural context. Pratt, Ramsden, and Samuelowicz and Bain found onecommon conception, that teaching is imparting or transmitting content, and Larsson'sconception that content should be presented and structured for the students was similar. Ofnecessity, these studies involved a small number of respondents because of the indepthnature of the data collection and analytic processes, although Pratt combined data fromseveral studies. The results of this type of inquiry are not meant to be generalized in thesense that teachers in other settings can be assumed to have these same conceptions.However, the set of categories constructed by the researcher can be used to investigate otherteachers' conceptions. The findings also provide a more comprehensive understanding ofhow teaching is viewed in adult education.Review of the Literature^ 45Other Relevant LiteratureWhen the interview data for the study being reported in this dissertation wereanalyzed, two topics outside the adult education literature that had already been reviewedwere found to be of sufficient importance to warrant examining additional sources. Thosetopics were knowledge and learning and the literature consulted will be reviewed here.Understandings of Knowledge Important differences in the way the respondents thought about knowledge werefound in the data even though knowledge was not a primary focus of the research. Twostudies on ways of thinking about knowledge by Perry (1970) and by Belenky, Clinchy,Goldberger, and Tarule (1986) were consulted to help in the clarification of those differences.Intellectual Development During College In the early '50's and 60's, Perry (1970) and his associates interviewed approximately140 college students at Harvard, some of whom were interviewed during each of their fouryears, about their college experience. The purpose of the study was to discover how thestudents "responded to the relativism which permeates the intellectual and social atmosphereof a pluralistic university" (p. 4).This study that was at first intended to describe the variation in thinking of thestudents, resulted in a scheme of nine positions mapping the intellectual, moral, and worldview development that the students progressed through over their college years. Thesepositions move from a basic dualism in which the world is viewed in terms of two poles ofrightness and wrongness, to commitment to a point of view or some life focus. Three majorpositions were identified, and within each position are three sub-positions. Toward the end ofthe main position the emergence of the next main position is found. In the first position ofReview of the Literature^ 46basic dualism, the world is assumed to exist in terms of absolutes, right (usually identifiedwith the self - "we") vs. wrong ("others"). Authority is usually equated with rightness and isembodied in the instructor "whose role was to mediate (teach)" the "Right Answers" (Perry,1970, p. 9). Knowledge is the "quantitative accretions of discrete rightnesses to be collectedby hard work and obedience" (p. 9). Meaning, rightness, and agency or power exist outsidethe knower. Dualism persists in the next two positions, but is gradually modified as amultiplicity of views are perceived. In the fourth position, multiplicity is accepted, often asproblematic, resulting in an assumption that all knowledge is uncertain and any opinion isacceptable, making each individual his or her own ultimate authority. Perry described thisposition as "double dualism" with the right-wrong of the first position as one polarity and"personalistic diversity" as the other (Perry, 1981, p. 84). Absolutes are doubted altogether orat least perceived to be inaccessible.Multiplicity gives way to contextual relativism in which a plurality of viewpoints areperceived to exist and are to be validated on various contextual factors, such as evidence,source, logic, and patterns of thought. The capability for "meta-thinking" is evident in whichways of thinking including one's own can be explored and compared (Perry, 1981, p. 88)."The person, previously a holder of meaning has become a maker of meaning" (p. 87)."Knowledge is qualitative" and contextual (p. 80)). The learner's sense of responsibility forcareful and critical thinking within particular contexts becomes internalized.In the sixth position, there is a need for conscious commitments to a point of view, acareer, a personal relationship, or values in the midst of relativism. Ambiguity and paradoxare accepted as part of the human condition to be transcended as much as possible bypersonal commitments. The last three positions describe the development and balancing ofsuch commitments throughout life.Review of the Literature^ 47Perry (1970) characterized his scheme as developmental in that "more complex formsare created by the differentiation and reintegration of earlier, simpler forms" (p. 44). Eachsucceeding position includes the assumptions of the previous ones and persons thinking inthe style of the later position can understand those assumptions, but the reverse is not true:persons with the thought patterns of earlier positions can not understand assumptions of thelater positions. At each position some challenge is perceived to the beliefs and assumptionsof the earlier positions, so that they have to be examined and reformulated.Perry was concerned that persons would be evaluated in terms of their growth alongthis scheme. He acknowledged that the scheme was culturally bound, and that it was theresearchers' opinion that the last positions represent optimal ways of responding to thehuman condition. Any judgement as to a person's maturation level on this scheme is relativeand contextual, "that is, delimited by the context of the scheme" (p. 45). The purpose of thestudy "was to determine whether the scheme provided a useful ordering of the students's ownreports of their intellectual and moral experience" (p. 45). Following Piaget, Perry (1981) alsomade the point that "individuals mature their cognitive structures at different rates in differentareas of their lives" (p. 89). In other words, a person's academic way of thinking may bedifferent from his or her social way of thinking, although such thought patterns can betransferred from one area of life to another.Women's Ways of KnowingOne limitation of Perry's work was that although he interviewed both men and womenfor his original study, only data from the interviews with men were used to develop hisscheme. Belenky and her associates (1986) sought to hear the voices of the other half of thehuman race by interviewing 135 women about their experiences of learning and knowing.These women had recent formal educational experience or were from what the authors'Review of the Literature^ 48identified as "invisible colleges" (p. 12), agencies that assist women with parenting. The datafrom indepth interviews yielded five "epistemological perspectives" (p. 15) which describeddifferent ways in which these women learned about and perceived their world. The authorsdid not assume that these categories were developmental, but left that question to futureresearch.Belenky et al. used the term "voice" to classify the various points of view found in theirdata because the women who were interviewed spoke in terms of speaking and listening,rather than with the visual metaphors more commonly used for knowing, like seeing,perceiving and viewing. The first epistemological perspective identified was that of silence orhaving no voice which is characterized by a total, mindless dependence on authority. Thisperspective is oriented to the present, the real, the concrete and specific. Authorities areviewed as all-powerful persons who expect women to know what they are to do. The womenin the study were powerless, passive, and subordinate to authority figures, usually men, andthey saw life in terms of the polarities of good and evil. In the sample interviewed, fewexpressed this perspective, but the authors felt it was important to describe it as the"anchoring point for our epistemological scheme, representing an extreme in denial of selfand in dependence on external authority for direction" (p. 24).The next perspective is that of received knowledge in which all knowledge, even self-knowledge, is received from external authorities who possess the single "right answer" (p. 37).Learning is collecting facts in order to reproduce them rather than understanding ideas toform opinions. This perspective is most like Perry's basic dualism, however the womenappeared to "listen" to the authoritative word of others, whereas in Perry's study, menidentified themselves with the authorities who possessed the right answer which the menwere more apt to expound to others. In the pluralistic atmosphere of higher education, bothBelenky and Perry found this position to be short lived.Review of the Literature^ 49Subjective knowledge is Belenky et al.'s third perspective wherein there are noabsolute truths, only opinions grounded in the persons holding them. This perspective is stilldualistic in that there is still one right answer, but it now exists within the person rather thanexternal authority, and true knowledge comes from intuition and personal experience.However, rather than employing rational processes to construct meaning from theirexperiences, these women saw themselves as "conduits through which truth emerges" (p. 69).Like Perry's position of multiplicity, everyone is her own expert, but while men defend theirright to their opinion and attempt to persuade others of it, women tend to communicate theuniqueness and limits of their opinions with statements like "'It's just my opinion"' (p. 66). Forwomen with this perspective, the criterion for what is right is what is pragmatic and relevant totheir experience.In the fourth perspective of procedural knowledge, truth is seen as being not"immediately accessible" (p. 94), but must be sought through observation, analysis, andreflection. The focus moves from what is learned or known to how opinions are formed, sothat knowledge becomes a process of looking at ideas in different ways. Belenky et al.distinguished between two forms of procedural knowledge, separate knowing and connectedknowing. In separate knowing, which is more like Perry's relativistic position, the emphasis ison the impersonal application of analytic techniques beginning with an adversarial stancewherein contradictions are sought and intuition is suspect. Connected knowing begins withthe subjective viewpoint that truth comes from experience, making it difficult to really gainaccess to the knowledge and opinions of others. Access to ways of thinking is built on trustand empathy rather than distrust and suspicion, and its purpose is to understand rather thanto judge.Constructed knowledge involves the integration of the voices of others with personal,intuitive knowledge. Knowledge is constructed by different individuals in different contextsReview of the Literature^ 50with different points of view resulting in different answers to the same questions. Ambiguity,complexity and contradiction are tolerated and even welcomed as necessary components ofidentifying with and responding to different situations. The analysis of opinions andknowledge involve not so much "what" questions as "who," "why," and "how" questions. Theself is also used as a tool for understanding through which points of connection are soughtbetween what is being examined and personal experience. Unlike the men in Perry'spositions of commitment, in which a career choice that would dominate their lives was usuallyinvolved, for the women in Belenky's study commitment to a career was seen in relation toother aspects of their lives.Both of these studies specifically sought to discover how knowledge and thinking wereunderstood by two different groups of people, men and women. Although there are manysimilarities in the main categories of thinking, subtle differences that are revealed demonstratethat a developmental scheme derived from one group cannot be wholly generalized to theother. These findings will be compared with the findings of this dissertation in Chapter Five.Understandings of LearningAnother element of instruction that emerged as important in the data but was coveredonly incidentally in the preceding literature review was learning, therefore, a work by Beaty,Dall'Alba and Marton (1990) which built on and extended earlier research by Saly5 (1979) andinvestigated understandings of learning, will be reviewed at this time. These authors analyzedin greater detail a portion of data from a larger study of students at the Open University inGreat Britain. In the original study, a longitudinal, phenomenographic approach was used inwhich students were interviewed near the beginning of their course work and at the end ofthe first and subsequent years about their experiences of studying at the Open University.Beaty et al. found the same five conceptions of learning that Sälyi did plus a sixth conception:Review of the Literature^ 51Learning is (a) increasing one's knowledge, (b) memorizing and reproducing, (c) applying, (d)understanding, (e) seeing something in a different way, and (f) changing as a person.Moreover, they found a characteristic that was common to all conceptions of learning whichthey called "'the essence of learning"' (p. 7). Learning was always understood as having anacquisition phase and an application phase implying to the researchers a temporal dimensionas well as a notion of permanence. In other words, time elapses between the acquisitionphase and the application phase during which learning becomes permanent. They found adivision between conceptions A-B-C and conceptions D-E-F based on the concept ofmeaning which they found to be absent from the first three conceptions but central to the lastthree. Furthermore, there is a pairing between Conceptions A and C, and betweenConceptions D and E. Conception A represents only an acquisition phase of learning(increasing knowledge) whereas Conception C represents the application phase ofConception A. Conception B contains both an acquisition phase (memorizing) and anapplication phase (reproducing). In all of the first three conceptions, learning is thought of asthe quantitative increase and acquisition of information and facts to be later reproduced orapplied. The difference between Conceptions A-C and Conception B is that in the former,learning is thought of in the context of the person's life-world, whereas in Conception B, thecontext is the person's study situation.Meaning is a central component of Conceptions D-E-F, and E is related to D as C isrelated to A. In other words, Conception D represents the acquisition phase of learning(gaining meaning), and E represents the application phase (seeing something in a differentway implying that once meaning of a phenomenon is gained, a person's way of viewing itchanges). The context of Conception D is the study situation, and of Conception E, theperson's life-world. Conception F is a further elaboration of E: once meaning is gained andthe individual's perspective changes, he or she changes as a person. Another aspect of thisReview of the Literature^ 52work by Beaty et al. is their structural analysis of the conceptions of learning which will beexplained in the next chapter.In each conception, there are also different ways in which learning is understood totake place. In Conception A, one's knowledge is increased by taking information and storingit in the mind. In Conception B, memorizing and reproducing occurs by taking and storingfacts (as in Conception A), or by repeated acts of learning. Learning as applying (ConceptionC) takes place by retrieving information that was stored and using it. Understanding, inConception D, is accomplished by looking into or deriving meaning from learning material. InConception E, a phenomenon is viewed in a different way by gaining more knowledge aboutit or by becoming skillful at analyzing it. And in Conception F, one changes as a person byviewing things differently, by a continuous process of growth, or by seeing oneself as anagent of change rather than the object of change.It will be seen in Chapter Four, that in the study being reported in this dissertation,there appeared to be a relationship between the respondents' thinking about instruction andtheir thinking about learning. This work by Beaty et al. helped to clarify that relationship andalso provided a useful tool for the structural analysis of the conceptions of instruction.Conceptual FrameworkIn the first chapter of this dissertation, instruction was defined as a set of actionsundertaken by the person recognized as a teacher in a given learning situation with theintention of bringing about learning. This very basic definition does not account for all thefactors involved in instruction. In this study, the interest was in studying not the objectivereality of instruction, but instructors' experiences of instruction involving their relationship withdifferent aspects of the phenomenon. Therefore it was thought important to broaden theconcept of instruction to guide the development of interview questions and initial dataReview of the Literature^ 53analysis. This was done by developing a conceptual framework, loosely based on one fromDeshler and Bernardot (1979), but primarily derived from the literature reviewed for the study.Placed here in the dissertation, it also serves as a summary of what was found in the literaturereview.A conceptual framework may appear inappropriate in a phenomenographic studybecause predetermined categories of meaning are not usually imposed on the data.However, this framework was developed as a guide for the preliminary stages of research, notas the final categories for interpreting the data. It will become evident in Chapter Five, that asa result of the data gathered, the sub-elements of each major element of instruction didindeed change because what the respondents found to be relevant was not necessarily whatwas found in the literature. Furthermore, in the seminal work of phenomenographic studies,Experiences of Learning by Marton, et al. (1984), even though conceptual frameworks werenot presented as the basis for individual studies, frequent references to various learningtheories (e.g., Piaget's stages of cognitive development, Biggs and Collis' SOLO taxonomy)were made. This suggests that the researchers were guided by these frameworks at thebeginning of their research even though they frequently concluded that such frameworks didnot fit all learning contexts (Dahlgren, 1984).From the review of the literature, research appeared to focus on six elements: (a) thecontext, (b) the instructor, (c) the content, (d) the processes, (e) the learner, and (f) learning.As depicted in Figure 1, the instructor and learners relate through the content and processesto bring about learning (which may or may not take place). This relationship takes placewithin a context which in this study is identified as the workplace. Rather than assuming thatany one of these elements has greater or more significant influence than the others oninstructors' thinking about instruction, the study sought to investigate them all equally in theinterviews to discover their meaning and significance to the respondents. The description ofCONTENT• Knowledge• Skills• AttitudesLEARNERS • Physiologicalcharacteristics• Psychologicalcharacteristics• Sociologicalcharacteristics.NNN.N.NNNN. PROCESSES ,77• Teacher-controlled• CollaborativeINSTRUCTOR • Characteristics• Competencies• Assumptions -->LEARNING • Change• EspousedtheoriesL  ^ -IReview of the Literature^ 54each element that follows was derived from the literature that has just been reviewed.However, because the works on knowledge and learning in the last sections were notreviewed prior to data collection, they are not reflected in the conceptual framework used toguide the interviews.CONTEXT:• Organizational goalsWorkplace •Organizational policies• Administrative resources& restraintsr^ -^ -iFigure 1. Elements of instruction,.Element One: Contextof e slA elements  depicted in Figure 1 was investigated by researchers in avariety of ways, either as the main topic or as a factor in studies of other issues. The contextReview of the Literature^ 55was not a main topic in the literature reviewed, but emerged as a contributing factor toinstructors' understandings and assumptions about instruction. Several researchers (Knox1980a; Larsson, 1983a; Pratt, 1989, 1992; Touchette, Beder, Carrea and Rubenson, 1983)concluded that the context does affect conceptions of instruction as well as instructionalprocesses and learning. A variety of contextual factors can be assumed to impact instructioneither positively or negatively. For example, organizational goals determine the type oftraining that is provided through the human resource development function. Administrativeresources and restraints, such as funding, equipment, physical space and time available fortraining might affect the instructor's ability to instruct according to her or his espousedtheories of instruction and learning. Organizational policies, such as the compulsory orvoluntary nature of training, and additional pay for time spent in training outside of regularwork hours, may affect the learners' attitude toward and motivation for learning, which in turncan impact the instructor's teaching practice.Element Two: InstructorFigure 2 illustrates the major research issues regarding the instructor of adults. Thesub-elements listed below are among those that were factors in a variety of studies and werethought to be relevant in a study of instructors in workplace settings. The characteristics ofinstructors are important so that the sample being studied can be accurately described. Theywere sought in the questionnaire given to the respondents after the interview.There are many competency studies of teachers of adults, as described in ChapterTwo. In general, they appeared to fall into the first three categories listed under"Competencies" in Figure 2. However, Pratt (1989) identified mastery of such knowledge asonly the first stage of teaching competency. He labeled the second stage as problem solvingin which teachers are able to adapt their professional knowledge to differing situations. AndReview of the Literature^56at the highest level of competence, instructors are able to critically examine their practice interms of underlying values.INSTRUCTORCharacteristics^Competencies^Assumptions• Gender• Age• Professional training• Time spent teaching• Experience teaching adults• Knowledge of subject matter• Knowledge of learningprocesses• Knowledge of instructionalprocesses• Problem solving• Critical reflection• Purpose of instruction• Nature of the learners*Learning• Instruction (role, style,principles of practice,problems, evaluation)• ContextFigure 2. Research pertaining to the instructor.An assumption of the research of this dissertation is that choice of actions-- in thiscase, instruction --is based not only on professional knowledge, but on how instructorsinterpret various elements of instruction (their conceptions), which in turn, are influenced bywhat they believe to be true (their assumptions). In Figure 2, listed under "Assumptions" areelements of the instructional experience found in the literature that appeared to be pertinentto this study. "Context" was already discussed, and the "Nature of the learner," and"Learning," will be discussed in subsequent sections.In the literature, the purpose of instruction was sometimes assumed to reflectinstructors' philosophies and values, although it may also represent their adoption of the aimsof the organization for which they work. The purpose of adult education most frequentlyprescribed was the development of increasingly independent learners. Instruction, which isthe central focus of this research project, was studied in the literature in a variety of ways. An instructors' st le of .4^I • " • •collaborative. The instructors' role refers to the way in which teachers define theirReview of the Literature^ 57relationships and responsibilities in the instructional situation. For example, they may relate tothe learners and the content as a model, resource, mentor, facilitator, instructor, or co-learnerand identify their responsibilities differently for each role. Much of the literature focused onprinciples of teaching and learning, although in the strict sense they are not principles butrather guiding rules of practice. Because the literature usually prescribed guidelines, itseemed important to find out what principles guided the respondents. Evaluation in theliterature usually referred to the success with which instructors attained the goals of thecourse, and in some cases to the relationship of such achievement to instructors' values.Closely associated with evaluation are the instructors' problems and difficulties which areimportant for discovering what might keep teachers from being able to act in accordance withtheir values and espoused theories.Elements Three and Four: Content and Processes Content is one of the elements of instruction through which instructors relate tolearners. Instructional processes are usually determined by it, and in a phenomenographicstudy, experiences are studied in relation to their content. In general, content was usuallydescribed in terms of knowledge, skills, and/or attitudes. Not much research was found thatfocused on content within the adult teaching experience; however, the literature includedmany prescriptions for ways in which content should be handled. Thus, various authorsrecommended that it be meaningful, organized, appropriately sequenced and paced, andrelated to previous knowledge. For this research project, content was explored primarilythrough the respondents' description of the course they taught and as the focal point fromwhich to discuss their experience of instruction.Instructional processes are important because it is through the processes that thecontent is made attainable for learning. Processes also represent the other element throughReview of the Literature^ 58which the instructor and learners relate to each other. Instructional processes werementioned frequently in the literature, usually in terms of guidelines for practice that werepresented as practical implications of learning principles. They were usually characterized asbeing either teacher-controlled or collaborative, the latter being regarded by many aspreferred for the instruction of adults. Many strategies, which were meant to be somewhatapplicable across situations, were recommended to the instructor of adults, such as (a)climate building; (b) diagnosis of needs and understandings; (c) providing information,advance organizers, opportunities to practice skills, and feedback; (d) challengingperceptions; and (e) presenting alternative viewpoints. Specific techniques were studied fortheir effectiveness or recommended for particular objectives, such as individualized,programmed, competency based, discovery, Socratic, decision-making, support group,discussion, lecture, and critical reflection techniques. Within this study, instructionalprocesses were explored in relation to the content by asking how the instructor sought toachieve instructional goals.Element Five: LearnerFrom the attention given to the learner in the literature on teaching adults, it is obviousthat this was considered an important element of instruction. Part of Cross's (1981)framework was borrowed to organize research on the learner as illustrated in Figure 3. Theliterature provided recommendations for instructional processes related to all of thesecharacteristics. For example, instructors may have to make accommodations for adults astheir physical faculties such as eyesight and hearing decline.Regarding the psychological characteristic of self-concept, adults were often portrayedas perceiving themselves to be more independent than dependent, though other writerssuggested this is a situational condition. Although there was disagreement among authorsPhysiological characteristics Psychological characteristics Sociological characteristics• Age• Health• Gender• Self-concept• Developmental stage• Ability to learn• Attitude toward learning• Learning needs• Conceptions of subject matter• Learning style• Life situation• Societal role• Culture• Ethnicity• Life history/experience• Organizational roleReview of the Literature^ 59about developmental stages, most agreed that adults continue to grow and developthroughout their lives, and that each new phase of growth brings with it certain challenges. Afundamental assumption that instructors of adults are expected to have is that adults continueto maintain the ability to learn, although it differs from person to person and changes as oneages. Researchers found that learners' attitude toward and motivation for learning are factorsaffecting learning as are their learning needs and expectations, therefore, it wasrecommended that instructors explore these factors early in the instructional situation.Researchers, especially the Gothenburg group (Marton et al., 1984) found that learners' pre-conceptions of the subject being studied affect learning outcomes. Research was also donerelating learners' styles of learning to instructors' teaching style.LEARNERFigure 3. Research pertaining to the adult learner.Not as much research has been done in the area of sociological characteristics,however, it was often suggested that teachers of adults base instruction on needs that ariseout of learners' societal roles. In the workplace, instruction is probably most often oriented tothe learners' organizational role. Adults' life experiences were also thought to be factors inlearning although not a lways in the positivc manner that many adult educators assumea.Because instruction involves a relationship between teacher and learners, and because manyReview of the Literature^ 60of the learners' characteristics were assumed to be factors in learning outcomes, it isimportant to discover instructors' understanding of and assumptions about the adult learner.Element Six: LearningAlthough instruction was defined here as an intentional activity directed toward anoutcome identified as learning, the literature clearly pointed out that learning does not alwaysfollow instruction. At the same time, teaching and learning were always closely aligned, forexample when the instructional process was referred to as the teaching-learning process. Inan attempt to remain focused on instruction, research on learning was not included in thepreliminary literature review, however many of the teaching principles and recommendationsfor practice that appeared in handbooks and research studies were based on the writers'beliefs about conditions necessary for learning to occur (espoused theories). For example,the principle that learning was more apt to take place if learners received feedback on theirprogress became formulated into the recommendation that instructors should providefeedback to the learners. Learning was not always clearly defined, but it usually was seen asinvolving change of some sort, either in behavior, in understanding, or in perspective.Because the purpose of teaching is learning, it seemed important to explore respondents'assumptions about learning.This conceptual framework accounts for the literature reviewed for this dissertation onthe instruction of adults. It served as a guide for the interviews that were conducted as wellas for the beginning stages of data analysis. As the data were analyzed, the frameworkchanged, particularly the sub-elements, to reflect what the respondents found relevant in theirconceptions of instruction. These revisions will be discussed in Chapter Five.Review of the Literature^ 61ConclusionsThis chapter illustrated the way instruction is understood in adult education literature.Guidelines for teaching adults were often given in handbooks for instructors who had little orno instructional experience. Although there was no lack of recommendations andadmonitions regarding the instruction of adults there were few real principles or general lawsthat can be substantiated or even tested. Several models were devised to explain theelements involved in adult learning and teaching, however none of them explained all of thefactors affecting the instruction of adults, and there was little evidence that they apply only toadults.The research examined for this dissertation related to what teachers of adults broughtto the instructional situation, such as competencies, assumptions, orientations, perceptions,and understandings. Most often the assumptions were designated as andragogical and werebased on an underlying assumption that adults differ from pre-adults and therefore should betaught differently. The most frequently derived admonition was that learner-centered andcollaborative styles of instruction are most appropriate when instructing adults. The oppositeand less favored instructional style is teacher-centered and controlled. The studies revieweddid not demonstrate any clear support for these two dichotomous approaches to instructingadults, much less for a single preferred approach. Even though many instructors thought thecollaborative approach to be more appropriate for instructing adults, they often did not teachcollaboratively, and at times felt unable to teach in that way because of institutionalconstraints. One finding that appeared in various ways in different groups of studies was thatthe same instructional style is not appropriate in every context suggesting a situationalapproach rather than an exclusively collaborative approach.More importantly, the lack of "compelling findings of theoretical significance" (Shores,1985, p.168) suggests that it may be time to reconceptualize and reframe the researchReview of the Literature^ 62question. Rather than asking if instructors "hold andragogical assumptions and report usingthem in practice" (Shores, p. 168), more basic questions need to be asked - what do teachersof adults think about their instructional experience, how do they interpret and make sense ofit, what are their conceptions of instruction?That is the question addressed in this study, but in a specific context: What are thequalitatively different conceptions of instruction held by instructors in the workplace? Thequestion is not limited by preconceived assumptions about what those conceptions shouldbe. The next chapter of this dissertation describes the research design, including the samplethat was studied, as well as the data collection and analytic techniques.CHAPTER IIIDESIGN OF THE RESEARCH STUDYIn this chapter the design of the research study will be described, beginning with anexplanation of the research approach, followed by a description of the data collectionprocedures, the sample that was studied, and the process of data analysis.PhenomenographyThe general purpose of this study was to discover how instructors of adults in theworkplace conceive of and understand instruction. Phenomenography was chosen as theresearch approach because its purpose is to describe "the qualitatively different ways inwhich people experience, conceptualize, perceive and understand various aspects of, andphenomena of the world around them" (Marton, 1986, p. 31). Examining the subjectivemeaning that people ascribe to a phenomenon can enable researchers to understand hithertounexamined dimensions of that phenomenon.Characteristics and Assumptions As a research approach, Marton (1986) characterized phenomenography as beingexperiential, relational, contextual and qualitative, all of which are interrelated concepts. It isexperiential in the sense that researchers utilizing this approach are interested in studying theworld or some phenomenon in the world as it is experienced and interpreted by humanbeings. Marton identified this as a second-order perspective in contrast to a first-orderperspective which examines phenomena in the world as defined by scientific concepts andmethods of observation. In other words, if this study had been done from a first-orderperspective, it would have been assumed that there is a public conception of instruction thatshould have been understood by the rpspnnrlent5  and some aspoct of thcir teaching would63Design of the Research Study^ 64have been scientifically observed and explained. However, in phenomenography, therespondents' are not assumed to hold a single defined understanding of the phenomenon,but may hold various different conceptions and these differences become the object ofinvestigation. The question becomes "How do instructors of adults conceive of instruction?"rather than "How do they teach?" Phenomenographers "try to look with them [therespondents] and to see the world as they see it" (Stalker, 1989, p. 39).Within a second-order perspective, it is assumed that people ascribe meaning to aphenomenon as a result of their experience with it, and "act on their interpretation of thesituations they find themselves in...." (SdIjO, 1988, p. 36). It is further assumed that individuals'experiences involve a relationship between them and their world. Thus the research interestis not in observing and describing a phenomenon apart from the actors' understanding of itnor in describing instruction as an abstract entity, but in describing this person-worldrelationship (Marton, 1986). Neither is the phenomenographer interested in individuals' pre-reflected experience, but in their interpretation of experience. Experience and understanding,along with other mental acts, are assumed to be intentional, that is to be always "directedtowards something beyond themselves" (Marton & Neuman, 1988, p. 3), to be aboutsomething. Therefore, in phenomenography, people's conceptions are described within aparticular context, in relation to specific content. Predetermined categories of understandingsare not imposed on the data (Marton & Svensson, 1979), because "situational variation in howpeople construe meaning is the natural point of departure" (SaljO, p. 7).In phenomenography, the data, which consists of individuals' statements about aphenomenon, are used as a starting point for describing the nature of the phenomenon. Inthis qualitative analysis, the categories of description which emerge from the data and areorganized into an outcome space, are the primary findings of the study. The end result is adescription of variations in the way people relate to and experience a phenomenon. AlthoughDesign of the Research Study^ 65phenomenography adopts an experiential, "'from-the-inside" research perspective, instead ofor in addition to the observational, "`from-the-outside"' perspective, the two approaches arecomplementary because they provide different types of understanding (Marton & Svensson,1979, p. 472).In this study, the focus was on how instructors of adults experienced andconceptualized instruction, what they thought about instruction, rather than on what theresearcher could observe about their characteristics, teaching behavior, or the instructionalsituation. Because phenomenographers examine a phenomenon in relation to a context, andbelieve conceptualization to be intentional, the research began by asking respondents tofocus on a particular course that they had taught. Marton (1981) argued that "process andcontent are two different aspects constituting a logical unity; there can be no process withouta content and there can be no content except in terms of mental activity....ln otherwords,...operatory structures, conceptions as psychological entities are epistemologicallyunattainable independently of context and content" (pp. 184 & 194). In this study, it wasassumed that instructors' mental activities (processes) of understanding and interpretinginstruction were related to the content they taught and the particular context in which theinstruction occurred. Because conceptions are assumed to vary among instructors and evenwithin the same instructor in different contexts, and are assumed to relate to actions within thesituations, it is important to bring to light these often invisible understandings of theinstructional process (Lindblad & Hasselgren, 1983).ConceptionsThe hallmark of phenomenographic research is the conception of meaning held byindividuals regarding the phenomenon of interest, the "filter through which the world is seen ifit is to be meaningful" (SAO, 1988, p. 37). It is often used synonymously with perceptionDesign of the Research Study^ 66meaning the result of interpretive, cognitive processes used to make sense of experiences.However, Webster's Third International Dictionary (Gove, 1981) indicated that perception is theimmediate awareness of a thing or experience through the senses, whereas a conception isthe "product of abstract or reflective thinking" (p. 470). "Conception" goes beyond theimmediate sensation of encountering an experience to understanding based on previousexperience as well as beliefs, assumptions, and theories of action. Furthermore,understanding is viewed as "interpretation in terms of a pattern or a complex of meanings...."(Marton & Svensson, 1979, p. 481). So conceptions are the results of reflecting on themeaning not only of the different elements of an experience, but also on the relationshipamong the elements. In effect, viewing "conception" in this way, separates the cognitiveprocesses of detecting and decoding sensations. In discussing communication theory, Hills(1987) stated that in ordinary usage, perception includes both detecting and decoding.However, instead of saying "we heard or perceived a car door slam," it would be moreappropriate to say "...that we sense or detected sound waves which, given our previousexperience, we decode, or interpret, as the slamming of a car door" (p.11). In reality, themove from perception to conception is so quick that they appear as one. However, it isuseful to separate them for study so that the richness of conceptions can be probed morethoroughly.In the complex experience of instruction, instructors encounter or perceive variouselements, then interpret each element in relation to the other elements to form conceptions ofinstruction. Conceptions represent integrated wholes wherein individual elements areunderstood in relation to each other as well as to the content being taught and the context inwhich it takes place. Instructors' conceptions are assumed to influence not only theirinstructional actions, but future perceptions as well. Because the move from perception toconception to action happens so quickly in real life, and because only an interpretation of aDesign of the Research Study^ 67person's perceptions can be known, it is nearly impossible to gain access to individuals'perceptions. However, in the research interviews, instruction was separated into variouselements, and the respondents were asked to share with the researcher their understandingof them. This made accessible their decoding of their perceptions which has been identifiedas conceptions.Conceptions are formed not only from the immediate perception of a phenomenon, inthis case instruction, but also from individuals' past experiences of the phenomenon.Instructional experiences, in turn, are interpreted in the light of various other cognitiveprocesses such as theories of action, models of teaching, assumptions, beliefs and values.Assumptions, beliefs and values are similar in meaning and relate to what individuals hold tobe true about various aspects of reality. Assumptions are more or less "taken-for-grantedbeliefs" (Brookfield, 1992b, p. 13) the truthfulness of which has usually not been investigated.Values are more fundamental beliefs "...about how one ought or ought not to behave, orabout some end-state of existence worth or not worth attaining" (Rokeach, 1968, p. 124).According to Rokeach, beliefs cannot be directly observed but can be inferred through wordsand actions. In this study, respondents' beliefs about the elements of instruction wereinvestigated in a variety of ways, for example, by asking them what they were trying toachieve, how they defined learning and teaching, what they thought was important to knowabout the learners, what principles or metaphors guided them in their teaching, and how theirthinking about instruction had changed with experience.Theories of action refer to the rationale for what individuals do, reflected in thisresearch by the respondents' beliefs about the effects of instructional actions. However, thetheories given by individuals to explain their actions, labeled espoused theories by Argyris &Schtin (1974), may or may not be the same as theories-in-use which are the realexplanations. It was not the purpose of this research to investigate the respondents' theoriesDesign of the Research Study^ 68of action, so no attempt was made to probe beyond their espoused theories. Espousedtheories of action were of interest only insofar as they were antecedents to conceptions.They were evident in the respondents' answers to questions about their reasons for acting asdescribed and about what they thought the conditions for learning were.Models of teaching are frameworks or tools for thinking about and simplifying theinstructional process (Flanders, 1987). They enable instructors to decide what to teach, howto proceed, and what materials to use. At the same time, models "impose a point of view" (p.20), because in emphasizing some aspect of teaching, other aspects are deemphasized.Models of teaching are frequently considered to be metaphors because they compare whattakes place in instruction to some other activity. For example, Shulman and Elstein (1975)compared teaching to the clinical decision making of physicians involving "planning,anticipating, judging, diagnosing, prescribing and problem solving" (p, 35). Models are usedby researchers not only to describe the instructional process, but also to prescribe theprocess that instructors should follow. As with theories of action, models of teaching werenot a primary focus of this research but were sometimes evident in the way respondentsdescribed how they approached instruction as well as the metaphors they used.Models of teaching are probably most frequently learned through training or readingand provide a structure for planning an instructional event. Formal educational theories maybe learned in the same way, but they appear to become translated into more practicaltheories of action that provide the rationale for actions believed to be effective (Sanders &McCutcheon, 1986). Beliefs about teaching and learning are derived in part from models ofteaching and educational theories learned, (although more fundamental beliefs about humannature and life purposes are also implied). However, these formal models and theories arethen confirmed or questioned by the instructor's teaching experiences.Design of the Research Study^ 69These are some of the more obvious cognitive processes that are assumed toprecede and possibly inform the way instructors interpret and ascribe meaning to instruction.Instructors' conceptions of instruction are then linked to their styles and approaches or theways in which they carry out instructional actions. Instructors' styles are related to personalityand are relatively consistent, often unconscious preferences for acting in particular ways(Pintrich, 1990). Their approaches are the strategies they choose depending on their goals,the organization's culture, the learners' needs and their own preferences. In this research, therespondents were not observed while instructing because their actions were not beinginvestigated, therefore their styles and approaches were apparent only as perceived anddescribed by them.Although these cognitive processes and conditions, namely instructors' beliefs,theories, models, conceptions, styles and approaches, have been separated for descriptivepurposes, in reality they are interactive, dynamic activities of the mind that precede andinform the instructional process. This is not a definitive delineation of cognitive processes -others could be involved and other researchers might label and describe them differently; butfrom the literature reviewed for this study and the interviews completed, the processesdescribed here appear to be the primary ones requiring clarification.The variation in the way a phenomenon is interpreted can be the result of differencesin knowledge, personal history, and even culture. In this sense, "people do not have specificconceptions of phenomena in the world around them" (Saljii, 1988, p. 42) as more or lesspermanent characteristics. They rather interpret a particular situation using a certainconception of reality that may or may not be useful in other situations. Saljei noted that "in acomplex society there is a rich variety of conceptions of reality providing varieties ofexplanatory frameworks that are used for different purposes" (p. 38). In order to achieve afuller understanding of how a phenomenon is conceptualized, the aim of this type of researchDesign of the Research Study^ 70is to uncover the variations in conceptions rather than the essence of the phenomenon(Lindblad & Hasselgren, 1983). The focus is on the variation itself, not the sources ofvariation which are open to future investigation (Marton, 1981).Through empirical research, Marton (1986) and his research team found that there are"a limited number of qualitatively different ways in which phenomena are comprehended" (p.37), although the pool of meanings is always open to the construction of new conceptions.The pool of meanings can vary from one study to another temporally and/or contextually. Forexample, different meanings may be found at different points in time because earlier oneswere dropped as superstitious or naive and replaced by new ones. Or the pool of meaningscan vary depending on the people who were incorporated into the study. In this study ofinstructors in the workplace, it cannot be assumed that the resulting pool of meanings wouldbe the same as one resulting from a study of elementary teachers even though some aspectsmay be the same. However, the understandings of instructors of adults in the workplace cancontribute to a more comprehensive understanding of teachers in general and their world(Marton & Svensson, 1979).Individuals are assumed to hold various conceptions about phenomena around them,but the only way their conceptions can be made known to others is by their descriptions ofhow they interpret the object of investigation. The researcher assists in the elicitation of theseunderstandings in a variety of ways including interviews. Following the data collection, theresearcher must analyze individual data by abstracting the respondents' understandings of thephenomenon into a super-individual, "structured pool of ideas, conceptions, beliefs underlyingthe possible interpretations...of reality" (Marton, 1981, p.198). It is from this pool of meaningsthat qualitatively different categories of description are derived to comprise the researchresults. The resulting categories of description, called conceptions in phenomenographicresearch, are the researcher's way of describing the respondents' experience of theDesign of the Research Study^ 71phenomenon of interest (F. Marton, personal communication, July 20, 1989). Because theunderstandings are abstracted from individual data into a pool of meanings, it is not to beassumed that the resulting conceptions necessarily represent the exact conception of any onerespondent, in fact, they probably do not. They are rather a composite of meaningsconstructed by the researcher. F. Marton (personal communication, July 20, 1989) likened itto the distinction between the terrain and a map of the terrain--the cartographer's maprepresents the terrain; the researcher's conceptions represent respondents' conceptions oftheir experiences.The conceptions are then formed into a structure called an "outcome space" so thatthe conceptions can be separated into component parts. Unlike a cognitive map, which isassumed to represent the mental organization of concepts within one individual, the outcomespace depicts the variations in conceptions of many individuals (Lybeck, Marton, Stromdahl,& Tullberg, 1988). Marton (1988) called an outcome space a "set of possibilities" (p. 188).The conceptions are thus frequently not characteristics of the individual, rather, they arecharacteristic of ways of functioning. Instead of seeing the different conceptions asrepresenting different groups of individuals, the intraindividual variation found invites usto think in terms of an abstract system of description, a gigantic space of categories, inwhich the individuals move--more or less freely--back and forth. (Marton, 1984, p. 62)The resulting outcome space which has been decontextualized or lifted out of "the context inwhich [it] has been discovered makes it possible for us to apply [it] to other contexts and tosee structural similarities [as well as variations] between different kinds of entities" (Marton,1984, p. 63).Collection of the DataA problem with interpretive research is that, unlike empirical-analytic research, thereare no codified algorithms for the collection and qualitative analysis of data (Marton, 1986).To be true to the assumption of the contextual nature of human experience, the researchDesign of the Research Study^ 72methods must be adjusted to the situation and the problem being studied (SaljO, 1988). F.Marton (personal communication, July 7, 1989) pointed out that the only general rule for thedesign and implementation of a phenomenographic study is that there are no general rules,only examples of other research conducted in this manner, and guidelines provided by otherphenomenographers.Setting and RespondentsFor reasons stated in Chapter One of this proposal, the setting of interest for thisresearch study was the workplace, and the focus was on instructors or trainers in this setting.Because a purpose of phenomenography is to reveal the variation in conceptions amongrespondents, and because it is assumed that people's conceptions are related to the context,it was decided not to focus on one workplace setting, but to draw from a variety of contextsto maximize the variation. What was common to the sample studied was that they were allmembers of the Puget Sound Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development(ASTD). Anyone who is involved in or is interested in training, education, or personneldevelopment is eligible to belong to this organization, resulting in a broad basedmembership. However, with 539 members listed in its 1990 Directory, it was the largest poolof possible respondents working in a variety of settings available in the Seattle, Washingtonarea where the research was to be conducted.With the aim of achieving a sample of twenty volunteer respondents, one hundrednames were drawn from the Directory based on an indication from the person's title that he orshe trained or instructed adults in the workplace, and on geographical proximity to theresearcher. A letter (see Appendix A) was sent, explaining the research project, askingpotential respondents to self-select according to whether they had instructed or trained otheradults in a work-related setting within the previous year, and requesting that they volunteer toDesign of the Research Study^ 73become involved. A return card was included with the letter, and appointments werescheduled with those willing to be interviewed.Borg and Gall (1983) identified the use of volunteers as respondents as a form ofsampling bias because volunteers are not usually representative of the larger population towhich research results are often intended to be generalized. However, in the case ofphenomenography, the purpose is to identify qualitatively different conceptions of meaningregardless of whose conceptions they are rather than the generalization of the individualconceptions to other groups of people. If the resulting set of conceptions were to be used ina future comparative or experimental study, then sampling procedures for that type ofresearch would be followed (F. Marton, personal communication, July 18, 1989). It was alsonoted by Borg and Gall and by Hammersley and Atkinson (1983) that for ethical and practicalreasons, using volunteers is the only way in which much research in the social sciences canbe accomplished.A sample size of twenty was determined by reviewing other phenomenographicstudies (e.g., Larsson, 1983a; Lindblad, 1984; Renstrom, Andersson & Marton, 1988; Stalker,1989). Sample sizes in these studies ranged from twenty to ninety, but in the case of thelarger samples, the studies were conducted by a team of researchers, and/or the studiesextended over a period of years. Because the data collection and analysis is "often very time-consuming...it [is] necessary to have as few subjects as possible in the study while stillhaving some guarantee that a range of possible descriptions will be achieved" (Lindblad,1984, p. 6). It was anticipated that recruitment of respondents from ASTD with its wide varietyof workplace settings would assure variation in conceptions. Of the 100 letters sent, twenty-six members indicated that they were willing to be interviewed. A sample of twenty-twomembers of ASTD, eighteen female and four male, were finally interviewed. The largelyfemale sample is a reflection of the membership of the organization. The population ofDesign of the Research Study^ 74members listed in the 1990 directory was 70% female and 30% male, and that ratio wasmaintained among those invited to participate in this study. Of those invited, only four males(18% of the sample) volunteered to be interviewed. Reasons for the large female populationof ASTD can only be surmised; for example, in businesses, women are more apt to beassigned to the training function. Another possible reason is that many people move fromteaching in formal educational institutions to training in business, and teaching hastraditionally been a largely female profession. It is difficult to know the reason for the lack ofmale volunteers for a study such as this.A questionnaire was given to each respondent at the end of the interview to obtaindemographic data to aid in describing the sample. They were questioned about their agegroup, education, teaching experience, and training role. For a group of volunteerrespondents, this sample was surprisingly diverse. As far as age was concerned, one of therespondents was in her twenties, two were in the 55-64 year age group, with the majoritybetween 35 and 55. Their education ranged from a high school diploma to doctoral degrees,the majority having college undergraduate degrees. Of those holding degrees, most were ineducation, communications, or business, but with some as diverse as theater and geography.The majority of respondents had some training in adult education, and four of them hadtraining certificates. A little over fifty percent had from one to ten years experience instructingadults, whereas the remainder had between 11 and thirty years experience. A majority hadother instructional experience, particularly in K-12 and university.In the recruiting of volunteers for this study, it was hoped that a variety of workplacesettings would result, and that was indeed the case. The breakdown of respondentsaccording to work category is presented in Table 1. Six were external consultants, meaningthat they contracted to instruct in a variety of work settings. Of the internal consultants, onewas in telecommunications (cellular phone service); four were in finance (banking andDesign of the Research Study^ 75insurance); four in health care; one in a law firm; two in manufacturing (computer softwareand lumber products); three in public service industries (utilities and transportation); and onein retail. The common denominator among the respondents was that they all trained adults ina workplace setting and all were members of ASTD. However, as can be seen in the tablebelow, the settings in which they were employed were quite diverse.Table 1Type of TrainerEXTERNAL^ INTERNAL/INDUSTRYCommunications^Finance^Health^Law^Manufacturing^Public^Retail6^1^4^4^1^2^3^1N = 22Interviews Although there are a variety of techniques through which people's conceptions of aparticular phenomenon can be discovered, "interviewing has been the primary method ofphenomenographic data collection" (Marton, 1986, p. 42). In this study, semi-structuredinterviews of forty to forty-five minutes were conducted and tape recorded. Borg and Gall(1983) stated that "the semi-structured interview is generally most appropriate for interviewstudies in education. It provides a desirable combination of objectivity and depth and oftenpermits gathering valuable data that could not be successfully obtained by any otherapproach" (p. 442). Few of the phenomenographic studies reviewed for this study indicatedthe length of interviews; however, Renstron, Andersson and Marton (1988), as wall As Stalker (1989) described their interviews as lasting forty to forty-five minutes.Design of the Research Study^ 76Lincoln and Guba (1985) referred to an interview as "a conversation with a purpose"(p. 268). F. Marton (personal communication, July 20, 1989) called for interviews to be asopen and yet as focused as possible. It is important to begin with one or two direct butopen-ended questions in order to focus the interview, but then to let the respondents "choosethe dimensions of the question they want to answer. The dimensions they choose are animportant source of data because they reveal an aspect of the individual's relevance structure"(Marton, 1986, p. 42). The interviews were directed in that if the respondents did notvoluntarily address all six elements of instruction identified in the conceptual framework, theinterviewer prompted them to discuss them. The interviews were open in that therespondents discussed those elements in whatever ways they chose resulting in theidentification of sub-elements which were not necessarily the same as those found in theliterature. In this way, the interviews became more or less unique conversations.The interviews proceeded in the following manner. The purpose of the research studywas reviewed, a written consent form to tape record the interview was presented for therespondent's signature (see Appendix B), confidentiality regarding the respondent's identitywas assured, length of the interview was again agreed upon, and some general questionswere asked to relax the respondent. Because individuals' understandings are assumed to becontextual, the respondents were asked to describe briefly the externals of a course they hadrecently taught. Then, because there are differences in individuals' relevancy structures, theywere asked what the first things were that they thought about when they knew they weregoing to teach this particular course. Their response was summarized back to them and themeaning they ascribed to various elements of instruction were probed from there. It was atthis point that each interview took on its own character.To attain deeper understandings of instruction, the remainder of the interviewquestions were designed at three levels (see Appendix C). First, at the most superficial level,Design of the Research Study^ 77respondents were asked to describe their instructional activities in regard to the course theyidentified as having recently taught. To obtain a deeper level of understanding, they wereasked their intentions in regard to their instructional activities (sometimes in response toanswers to the descriptive questions), that is, what they were trying to accomplish. At thedeepest level of meaning, they were asked about values underlying their actions; in otherwords, their rationale for what they did, their guidelines and principles of practice. The otherway of trying to lead the respondents from the concrete to the abstract was that afterquestioning them about the course they taught in regard to its content, the learners, and thecontext, they were asked more generalized questions, for example, "What is learning?", "Whatgifts do you bring to teaching?", "What challenges you?" This was usually the turning point inthe interview from mere descriptions of what they did to their underlying assumptions, beliefs,and values about instruction.When the questions were exhausted or the time negotiated for the interview was up, itwas brought to a conclusion with a summary of the main points of the respondent's replies.A brief, structured questionnaire was given to the respondent to obtain the demographicinformation reported in the above description of the sample (see Appendix C). Therespondents were also asked whether they were interested in a meeting at a later date afterthe data from all the interviews had been analyzed. Appreciation for the instructor's time andeffort was expressed.Method of AnalysisThe analysis of phenomenographic data "is distinctive and rigorous" (Entwistle, 1984,p. 17) because rather than aiming at a narrative description of respondents' thoughts asexpressed in interviews, it attempts to describe categories of thinking in terms of relationshipsbetween the categories and the context, and of differences among the categories. TheDesign of the Research Study^ 78researcher's "competency has to be 'bracketed' in order to be maximally open" to responses"without imposing one's judgment....Yet one's own understanding of the field has to be usedin order to grasp the [respondents'] ideas in depth and to relate them to each other" (Lybeck,Marton, Stromdahl, & Tullberg, 1988, p. 87).The analysis of data may begin after a limited number of interviews have beenconducted in a process somewhat similar to the constant comparative analytic methoddescribed by Glaser and Strauss (1967). However, there is an important difference betweenthese two methods. In the constant comparative method, the analysis proceeds at the sametime as the data collection and the researcher often returns to the setting to either reinterviewrespondents who have already been interviewed or to interview additional people related toemerging themes in the analysis. In phenomenographic work, the respondents are notusually interviewed again as part of the ongoing analysis nor are additional peopleinterviewed. However the individual transcripts are constantly compared with each other asthe categories of description are being derived. The results of the research study areconceptions of the phenomenon, in this case, conceptions of instruction, which may havebeen based in adult education literature or are simply the practical understandings of ex-perienced instructors, because both types of understanding can provide a basis for instruc-tors' ways of thinking about instruction (Larsson, 1983b).Derivation of ConceptionsThe analysis process consisted of a series of steps in which the interview data wereread and reread a number of times, then sorted and resorted into categories according tovarious criteria. The first step was to select thought units, labeled units of meaning, from theinterviews that appeared to express how the respondents thought about and understood thesix elements of instruction described in the conceptual framework. Particular attention wasDesign of the Research Study^ 79paid to beliefth, assumptions, values, theories of action, intentions, and principles of practicethat were implicit or explicit in their comments. The meaning of the comments wasinterpreted not only from the words themselves, but in relation to the entire interview. Theseunits of meaning, in the form of quotations from individual interviews, made up a "pool ofmeanings" (Marton and Saljei, 1984).In the second step, attention moved from the individuals in the context of theirparticular interviews to the meaning of the comments in relation to other units of meaning inthe pool. For each element of instruction, quotations with similar meanings were thengrouped together for analysis. For ease of handling, the quotations were broken down intophrases that captured the essence of their meaning with frequent references back to the fullquotations to assure the meaning was not lost. Each like group of units of meaning wereexamined to discover the variation in understandings among them. Because the units ofmeaning of each element of instruction were analyzed separately, the elements had to bereassembled to provide a holistic representation of instruction. This presented a problem,because although some respondents presented a single or at least a dominant conception ofinstruction, this was not true for all of them. At least one person for each conception beganto emerge as an exemplar for that conception, so her or his thinking about each elementbecame the criterion for the way in which that element was understood. Throughout thisprocess of analysis, references back to the individual interviews were constantly being madeto assure that their meaning was preserved even as the units of meaning were beingexamined in relation to the units of meaning from other respondents. This is an iterativeprocess of examining each unit of meaning in two contexts, the context of the individualinterview and the context of all the interviews (Marton & SAO, 1984).Design of the Research Study^ 80Structural Analysis of the Conceptions Most phenomenographic studies depict the outcome space by showing therelationship among conceptions through an analysis of different aspects of each conception,a process that was somewhat obscure in the early reports of phenomenographic studies (onlearning). However, more recent examples of how this process of structural analysis could beaccomplished have been made available. Two works were reviewed in Chapter Two, one astudy by Samuelowicz and Bain (1992) of conceptions of teaching of academic teachers, andthe other an analysis of conceptions of learning by Beaty, Dall'Alba, and Marton (1990). Inthe first study, certain dimensions of the conceptions found were characterized in a bi-polarmanner, and that characterization was then used to code the respondents' commentsresulting in an ordering of the conceptions from highest to lowest. In the second study,conceptions were analyzed in terms of meaning and structure. Although both methods ofanalysis were meant to compare phenomenographic conceptions, the process used in thesecond of those studies was used to describe the outcome space of the findings presented inthis dissertation, because this process makes it possible to account for similarities anddifferences that would have been lost in a simple bi-polar analysis.Differences and similarities among conceptions were shown through an examination ofthe component parts of a conception. A conception is made up of "dialectically intertwined"(Beaty et al., 1990, p. 2) components identified as referential aspects and structural aspects.The referential aspect is the global meaning, the WHAT aspect, of the phenomenon beingstudied. The structural aspect shows HOW the elements of the phenomenon "are delimitedand related to each other" (p. 2). The structural aspect is defined in terms of twocomponents, an external and an internal horizon. The external horizon shows how thephenomenon is limited to its context; the internal horizon demonstrates how the elements ofthe phenomenon are perceived and related to each other. Beaty et al. further cited RenstrOmDesign of the Research Study^ 81as having "demonstrated that within the same conception, different component parts of thephenomenon may be focused on and thus a figure-ground variation can be found" (p.2), sothat the same conception may have more than one "how" aspect depending on what elementis emphasized.To provide an example of structural analysis, one conception of learning from Beaty etal. (1990) is included here. (They found that a complete conception of learning had a WHATcomponent and several HOW components, all of which had referential and structuralaspects. However, the complete form was seldom expressed by a single respondent. Forthe sake of brevity, only the WHAT component will be presented here). In Conception A,learning was understood as increasing one's knowledge. This understanding is the globalmeaning, the WHAT or referential component of the conception. As part of the referentialaspect, learning was further described as being quantitative and directed toward discretepieces of information. The external horizon of the structural aspect was the person's lifeworld, an interpretation which requires some explanation. The subjects of the study werestudents studying at the Open University in Great Britain, so that some conceptions oflearning were clearly limited to a study context. However, in this conception, learning was notseen as distinct from the respondents' everyday life, but rather was part of it, therefore theexternal horizon was their life world. The internal horizon was comprised of component partsof the referential aspect of the conception: the learner with some knowledge at a given time,the learner with more knowledge at another time, and the transition between the twoconditions. (The "transition" gave rise to the "hoW' components of the conception, each ofwhich was then analyzed in terms of their referential and structural aspects.)Even though this method of analysis was used to compare the conceptions ofinstruction found in this study, some observations are necessary. First of all the study beingreported is about instruction, not learning, so the analysis cannot be done in exactly the sameDesign of the Research Study^ 82way as Beaty et al. (1990) did it. Secondly, this study began with a conceptual frameworkthat specified the elements of instruction, and it was around these elements that theinterviews were organized. Although the interviewer was open to other elements that mightappear during the interviews, no substantively different elements were found in the data. Sofor the internal horizon of the conceptions, it was from the conceptual framework that thepredominant elements were identified and defined.The relationship among the conceptions that was depicted through the above analysisuncovered those aspects of the phenomenon, instruction, that were the primary objects of therespondents' focus (Renstrom, Andersson, & Marton, 1988). It also portrayed various ways inwhich the different elements were understood. Unlike empirical-analytic research where thistype of description might constitute the first step toward the testing of hypotheses, in aphenomenographic study, the conceptions of meaning arranged in an outcome space are theprimary results of the research study. This is because "the nature of what is being describedis in itself considered to be problematic" (Entwistle & Marton, 1984) and is investigated.However, hypotheses could be derived from the outcome space and tested in subsequentresearch.Confirmation of Results In scholarly research, there is concern for the accuracy of the research findings andfor the replicability of the research design. In empirical-analytic research, these concerns areaddressed by measures of validity and reliability. There is no less concern for these issues inresearch such as phenomenography which relies principally on the qualitative analysis ofdata, they are just defined differently and determined in other ways.Reliability represents the degree to which a research study could be duplicated byanother researcher, who, using the same methods, would obtain the same or similar resultsDesign of the Research Study^ 83(LeCompte & Goetz, 1982). It immediately becomes obvious that this would be difficult in anyresearch employing semi-structured interviews where each interview can be different. It isalso inconsistent with the phenomenographic assumption that context affects the way inwhich individuals interpret their experience. In interpretive research, external reliability (theextent to which other researchers would consistently find similar results in the same or similarsettings) can be enhanced by detailed descriptions of the contexts, the respondents, and theresearch methodology. For the present study, such descriptions have been provided in thisdissertation; furthermore, both written and taped verbatim transcripts of the interviews areavailable from the researcher; and whenever possible, the rationale for methodologicaldecisions has been provided.To provide a further check on the external reliability of the analysis of the interviewdata, seven transcripts were given to two of the researcher's colleagues in education. Eachcolleague examined five transcripts so that three of the transcripts were reviewed by both.They were asked to complete the first step in data analysis which was to identify units ofmeaning that represented the essence of the respondents' thinking about the six elements ofinstruction. As criteria, they were given questions that the researcher considered whileidentifying units of meaning: What seemed important to the respondents? What were theirbeliefs, values, guidelines relating to instruction? How did they relate to the learners? Howdid they view their responsibilities? How did they define instruction and learning? What wasconsistent or inconsistent throughout the transcript? The co-judges agreed with the originalresearcher on an average of 82% of the units of meaning. To determine this agreement, foreach co-judge, the total number of possible units of meaning for all seven respondents wasfound by adding those identified by the original researcher to the additional ones identified bythe co-judge. Then the number of times that the original researcher and co-judge were inDesign of the Research Study^ 84agreement was added and divided by the total possible units of meaning. The two resultingpercentages were added and divided by two (see Table 2).Table 2Units of Meaning Agreed Upon by Researcher and Co-JudgesTotal Units^Agreed Uponof Meaning Units of Meaning^%Co-judge, 152 120 79Co-judge2 137 115 84Average 82The 82% agreement between the co-judges and the researcher provides some assurance thatother researchers employing the same method of abstracting units of meaning from interviewdata would obtain similar results.In interpretive research, another type of inter-judge data analysis is used to establishinternal reliability, which is the degree to which others would match conceptual categories todata in the same way that the original researcher did (LeCompte & Goetz, 1982). Becausethe categories of description are constructed by the researcher, it cannot be assumed thatanother person, reading the data, would discover the same conceptions (Marton, 1986). "Infact...it follows from a constructivist conception of reality that the possibility of interpretingreality differently applies to the activity of describing conceptions of reality itself" (SáljO, 1988,p. 45). Rather, the conceptions should be defined with sufficient clarity that another personwould • lace agories Marton (1986) likcned it to two butaii6lbaz 49 - - ■ a a •-^- se-independently discovering the same plants on the same island. It would not be expected thatDesign of the Research Study^ 85they would both classify the plants in the same way, but that the explanation given by eachone as to the way in which they classified the plants would make sense to the other one."Co-judging can then be understood as a process of testing if it is possible to communicatethe findings to another person in a sufficiently explicit way that this person would classify thestatements made by interviewees in the same way as the researcher has done" (Sago, p. 45).F. Marton (personal communication, July 20, 1989) considered a phenomenographic study tobe sufficiently reliable if it obtains inter-judge reliability of at least 75%.A colleague, who is an educational psychologist and who had read the proposal forthis study and was therefore familiar with the tasks of phenomenographic analysis, was theindependent judge. She was provided with descriptions of each of the conceptions, as wellas an explanation of the differences among the conceptions and examples of quotations usedto illustrate each conception. These definitions, identified as "judgment instructions" (SAO,1988, p. 45), were taken from the data analysis chapter (Four) of this dissertation. She wasalso given a random sample of quotations that were used to substantiate the analysis. Thissample (N=38) represented approximately 25% of the quotations for each conception. Shewas then asked to indicate the conception with which the quotation was linked based on thedescription of the conceptions that was provided. The results were that the independentjudge related 92% of the quotations to the same conceptions as the researcher did, thusproviding evidence of sufficient reliability for this study.Validity refers to whether the data collected authentically represents reality. Internalvalidity is the extent to which the descriptive categories derived from the data coincide withthe experiences of the respondents. External validity is the degree to which researchconclusions can be applied to other groups. LeCompte and Goetz (1982) argued thatinternal validity may be the major strength of this type of research because of the closeadherence to the respondents' words in the construction of descriptive categories. AnDesign of the Research Study^ 86epistemological assumption of phenomenography is that reality has meaning only as it isexperienced by humans, so it may be argued that the only authentic representation of realityis the description provided by those who experienced it. F. Marton (personal communication,July 20, 1989) equated validity with the meaningfulness of the conceptions constitutingphenomenographic research results. He argued that validity can be judged by examining theinternal logic of the relationship (a) between the conceptions and the data and (b) among theconceptions in the outcome space. Inter-judge reliability, or the degree to which anotherperson would place the same data in the researcher's conceptions (92% in this study), is anindication of internal validity. Just as in empirical-analytic research, reliability is a necessarybut not sufficient criterion for validity.External validity usually refers to the degree to which research findings can begeneralized to other settings. It has already been stated that the main intention ofphenomenography is not to generalize but to provide a description of the variation inindividuals' interpretations of their experience of some phenomenon. The "generalizability ofunderstanding is [to] be investigated and not assumed" (Renstrom, Andersson, & Mallon,1988, p. 12). This can be achieved by comparing the conceptions of instruction in this studyto findings from other studies, especially where they have focused on the same types ofexperiences in the same or similar settings. Even though the distribution of people over theconceptions may vary in other settings, the set of categories in the outcome space ofconceptions is generalizable to other instructional settings and can be used in future studiesto discover the sources of variation in conceptions and to compare various groups of personsas to the situations in which they hold certain conceptions. Likewise, "the rediscovery of themain constructs by independent researchers in differing contexts" (Entwistle & Marton, 1984,p. 226) attests to the validity of the research findings. A comparison of the findings of thisstudy with those of other studies will be provided in Chapter Five.Design of the Research Study^ 87In interpretive research, the burden for determining the applicability of results is onfuture perusers of the research who must decide whether the context and the respondentsare similar enough to their situation to be useful (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). Therefore, theresearcher must provide sufficiently thick descriptions of the findings and the methodology sothat others can make that determination.In this study, the instructional behavior of the respondents was not investigated norcould it be definitively inferred from their conceptions of instruction; however, the research didmake visible those aspects of the situation on which the respondents focused when makinginstructional decisions (Lindblad & Hasselgren, 1983) as well as their interpretation of variouselements of instruction. Reflection on their own relevancy structures and on alternative waysof constructing instructional situations can lead instructors to a "qualitatively better way ofthinking" (Marton, 1986, p. 46) about instruction.Limitations of the StudyAs with any research, this study is limited because of the research design. First of all,the use of volunteers as respondents meant that only the type of person who is likely tovolunteer was heard. In this study, the majority of the volunteers were white, middle-classfemales, probably accurately reflecting the membership of the American Society for Trainingand Development making the generalization of findings somewhat problematic. However, themost generalizable aspect of a phenomenographic study is the set of categories that is foundeven though the distribution of a group of people over the conceptions may vary dependingon the composition of the sample. Besides, as was noted earlier, for ethical reasonsrequiring the informed consent of respondents, it is nearly impossible to conduct a study withother than volunteers.Design of the Research Study^ 88A study like this is also limited by the researcher's preconceived ideas of thephenomenon when conducting the interviews and analyzing the data. However, researchers'biases enter into any kind of research, either in the assumptions underlying the study, or indecisions regarding the type of data collection or data analysis techniques (F. Marton,personal communication, July 7, 1989). Such researcher bias can be lessened only bymaking it clear in the research report, and by submitting a sample of the analysis to anindependent judge. It may be argued that any number of interpretations could be imposedupon the research data in a phenomenographic study; however, it is important that theresearcher approach this task with competency in the field being studied. Saljii (1988)insisted that a "prerequisite for analyzing data is that the researcher is acquainted with thesubject matter in question" (p. 41) so as to be able to discern meanings from an informedperspective. The review of literature in this dissertation has been presented as evidence ofthe researcher's grasp of the instruction of adults. Larsson (1986) argued that "the possibilityof arriving at different conceptions of the same data....could also be regarded as anopportunity of seeing new dimensions in a phenomenon" (p. 38).The results, or conceptions of instruction, were also limited by the research sampleand the setting. The sample was necessarily small because of the time-consuming and labor-intensive nature of data collection and analysis (Lindblad, 1984; Marton, 1986). Although thevariation in conceptions arose out of a particular context, it is possible that instructors in othercontexts may hold some of the same conceptions so that a similar study in different contextscould add to the outcome space of conceptions discovered here. In this way, the studybeing proposed "may be viewed as a contribution to knowledge that is destined to beincomplete" (Larsson, 1986, p. 42).Probably the major limitation of phenomenography is that there are no clear rules forthe design and implementation of such a study (Marton, 1986). It could be argued asDesign of the Research Study^ 89inevitable that when people's interpretations of reality are assumed to be contextual, theresearch methodology "has to be adapted to the context in which it is being employed andthe particular types of problems that are being pursued" (SdIjO, 1988, p. 47). The only waythis limitation can be mitigated is by examining other similar studies, consulting with otherswho have used this research approach, and conducting a pilot study. Phenomenographicstudies were included in the literature review of this dissertation, and others were consultedfor the design of the study. The research advisory committee included two members whohave done phenomenographic studies. After a pilot study of four interviews was completed inthe summer of 1990, it was determined that a conceptual framework was needed to guide thestudy and that the interview schedule needed revision. Three more pilot interviews werecompleted in January, 1991, resulting in a further revision of the interview schedule. Anadditional pilot interview was done to test the final interview schedule before the sample wasrecruited from ASTD. Some analysis of the pilot data was attempted, but it was determinedthat until the interview process was sufficiently refined, the resulting data could not beadequately analyzed. So, although research design limitations remain, steps were taken tolessen their effect.SummaryThis chapter began with the rationale for choosing phenomenography as the researchapproach for studying instructors' conceptions of instruction. Because the purpose ofphenomenography is to describe the variation in the way people relate to and experiencephenomena, it was judged to provide an appropriate vehicle for identifying different ways ofthinking about and understanding instruction. It was assumed that individuals' interpretationof a situation is related to its context, and that their actions within that situation are related tothe way they make sense of it. Because of this assumed variation in instructors'Design of the Research Study^ 90understandings of instruction, it is important to discover what their conceptions of instructionare.Conceptions are people's understandings of their experiences, and in aphenomenographic research study, are the researcher's construction of those understandingsderived from the research data. Together, these qualitatively different conceptions constitutethe outcome space and are the primary research results. Generally, although not always,further analysis may also be carried out to describe the nature of the relationship between thevarious conceptions within the outcome space.As with other types of interpretive research, there are few agreed upon procedures orrules for the design and implementation of a phenomenographic study. Instead, theresearcher must rely on examples and guidelines provided by other phenomenographers.The process for selecting a sample of twenty-two respondents from ASTD who instruct, train,or teach in a workplace setting was described. Data regarding the respondents'understanding of instruction were gathered by means of semi-structured interviews whichwere tape recorded. The interviews were centered on an actual course taught by therespondents because the context of instruction is assumed to be a factor in the wayinstructors construe instruction.The interviews were transcribed verbatim, and relevant quotes were analyzed formeaning within each interview as well as in relation to quotes abstracted from all theinterviews. Based on this analysis, qualitatively different conceptions of meaning wereformulated and analyzed for their referential and structural aspects, thus forming an outcomespace.In this type of research, reliability is demonstrated by a process of co-judging thematch of data with the researcher's categories. Sufficient information about the design andimplementation of the study was provided so that other researchers could undertake a similarDesign of the Research Study^ 91study. In the sense that reality is always an experienced reality, the instructors' conceptionsof instruction validly represent the reality of instruction for them. The validity of the outcomespace can be judged by examining the internal logic of the conceptions. Although thegeneralization of findings to other settings is not the purpose of phenomenographic research,the set of findings in the outcome space, can be used in other studies to discover the sourceof variation in conceptions and to compare different groups of persons as to the situations inwhich certain conceptions are held.This research was restricted by the use of volunteers as respondents, by researcherbias, by the small number of respondents, and by the lack of precise rules for the direction ofphenomenographic research. However, precautions were taken to mitigate these limitationsas much as possible.Just as phenomenography is a context-dependent methodology of research becauseindividuals' interpretations of the world are not stable, neither is teaching "an algorithmicprocess" (Marton & Svensson, 1979, p. 483). It consists rather of "human acts conducted bypeople who have certain ideas about reality and who are situated in certain realities" (p. 483).Instructors' choices of actions "must be based on profound knowledge of and familiarity withthe specific circumstances" (p. 483) of their instructional situation. Knowledge of their ownrelevancy structures and of alternative ways of construing instruction "should raise the level ofawareness in the participants and in this way indirectly increase the likelihood of better, moreconsidered and open decisions" (p. 483).CHAPTER IVDATA ANALYSISIn this chapter, a description of the conceptions of instruction that were derived fromthe interview data will be presented. Through the process described in Chapter Three, threequalitatively different conceptions of instruction were derived from the interview data tocomprise the outcome space. These conceptions of instruction are:1. The Transmission Conception - imparting information to learners who receiveand apply it.2. The Enablement Conception - assisting learners to share and apply ideas andexperiences.3.^The Constructive Conception - involving learners in an experiential process ofconstructing meaning.In the first place, an overview of the global meaning of each conception will be presented withseveral typical quotations from interview transcripts. Then each conception will be analyzedfor its referential and structural aspects with further substantiating quotations. The chapter willbe concluded with a comparison of conceptions based on the structural analysis.Global Meaning of the ConceptionsIn this section, each conception of instruction will be described. It is important to notethat the conceptions described here are categories of description derived from the interviewdata to represent the conceptions these instructors in the workplace had of their instructionalexperience. The conceptions are abstracted from various transcripts so that individualrespondents cannot be characterized as necessarily holding any particular conception ofinstruction. However, because the conceptions were derived from the respondents'comments, they are not unlike the respondents' interpretations of their experience eventhough the respondents were also likely to express thoughts and beliefs aligned with more92Data Analysis^ 93than one conception. As Beaty et al. (1990) pointed out, even though individuals are quotedto substantiate a particular conception, "the conception is... hardly ever expressed by thesubjects in a complete form..." but their comments "generally reflect only fragments of thecomplete conception" (p. 11) Through the iterative process of constantly going back andforth between individual transcripts and the pool of meanings from all the respondents,conceptions are gradually built of which the individual fragments can be said to be part.Transmission Conception In the Transmission Conception, instruction is understood as imparting information.The focus is on the content which appears to be the most important element of instruction. Itis perceived as an authoritative body of information that is to be transmitted to the learners.Instructors are seen as content experts who present information in various ways, usuallymaintaining primary control over the content and lesser control over the processes. Learnersreceive information and apply it on the job.Quotations depicting this conception are the following:And so I feel that you have to be sensitive to their needs. Not to the point where itdisrupts what you're trying to teach them, because you have a goal and you're trying toimpart information, but I think you have to be sensitive and very aware all the time ofthe signals that they're sending you of whether they're receiving what you're talkingabout. You can have the most knowledge in the world, and if you're presenting it in away that they're not receptive to the way you're presenting it, then you've got a problemand so, that really boils down to the presenting it in different ways... (R3-Carl)Its more in teaching or training, its more didactic - I am the source of informationand in facilitation, I am partially the flow-through, I'm the conduit of information.... Butin instruction, you really do need to know the subject. And while you can facilitatediscussions around it, you have to be prepared in some format to present content.(R 12-Lois)***Data Analysis^ 94They're not absorbing that last week's information, and that when they get on the job, orback and start to do some of their training, they've lost it, especially that last week. Andprobably even some things in the beginning, because they get hit with so muchinformation so fast and it can be very - you go from product information to processinformation to tax law information to, you know and they - I just don't think that itcements, that it sinks in. (R2-Barbara)In the first two quotations, respondents spoke of presenting or imparting information orknowledge. The importance of the content is evident in the first quotation where Carl talkedabout adjusting his ways of presenting but not adjusting the content to the needs of thelearners. This comment is fairly typical of the way knowledge (which comprised the content)was discussed in this conception. All of these quotations, but particularly the last one,projects the image of an objective and external body of information to be given to thelearners.It is clear from these citations that instructors are the presenters or givers ofknowledge, who as information sources, are required to maintain content expertise. Thevaried instructional processes spoken of by several respondents appear to consist of differentways of presenting information as illustrated in the first quotation, or of practice exercisesdefined and directed by the instructor.The receptive nature of learning in this conception is evident in the first quotationwhere Carl spoke about learners receiving information, and particularly in the last commentwhere Barbara talked about information sinking in and being absorbed. The last quotationalso suggests that learning includes application of what is learned on the job.Enablement Conception In the Enablement Conception, instruction is understood as assisting learners to shareideas and experiences. Learners are the primary element of focus and they are regarded asimportant resourrAs A nri participants in the instructional situation. It is thcir ideas andexperiences that are shared with each other. Another important element of this conception isData Analysis^ 95the application of what is learned on the job. Instructors are thought of as process facilitatorsrather than as teachers, and they appear to lead the learners primarily in discussion activities.The following quotations illustrate this conception:Teacher is an expert, a person who lectures and instructs students, a facilitatorfacilitates the discussion, is not the expert, the participants are really the experts. (R11-Kathleen)***I try and stay out of an authority figure-expert role with every ounce of my being. Iconstantly say, "Look, I don't know. What do you think?" And I, when / present contentthat may be new to them, I say, "I got really excited about this information, I was reallyable to apply it, let me just share it with you." And I do it from a much differentperspective than... at a previous teaching experience, pointing to [Bank], where it wasvery easy for me to step into an authority role and be the source of information. And Ithink that's maybe the biggest change has really affected how I deal with this group ofpeople, because they're my peers, and some of them are one level above me, so Ireally strive to give them a lot of chance to work with one another.... But more than that,just really worked to build in a lot more group discussion, because they learn from oneanother, rather than them getting one-way stuff from the instructors.... (R7-Gail)***Its very interactive, we call them workshops because we expect them to bring theirpersonal situations to the classroom and we work through based upon what they'redoing. (R9-Irma)***Its [facilitating] again, its maybe throwing out an idea and getting them to talk about it,and apply it, make it sense to them.... To me, a pure teaching is more of a lecture.One-hour lecture. All good information, all good information you have to have, but -and you might even ask a few questions, but there isn't any, to me, the teaching part ofit, you're not looking for their responses and practical application. So there is someteaching, obviously, in what we're doing, but the key thing is how do I apply it. (R9-Irma)All of these quotations, as do many others, portray an emphasis on the learners who areviewed as "experts" because of their common sense knowledge of the content derived fromtheir experiences. Classes are designed around their experiences and needs, and theirresponses are sought as an essential part of the instructional process. The first twoquotations demonstrate that instructors are not perceived as experts or authorities who giveData Analysis^ 96information, but as facilitators who assist in the learning process. The expectation of learnerinvolvement is evident in the quotations where learners were spoken of as being givenopportunities to "work with one another" and as being expected to work with their "personalsituations," as well as where instructors were described as "look[ing] for their responses."Throughout all the interviews, including these, the instructional activity most frequently citedwas discussion, also implying learner participation.The last quotation, which is typical of the responses describing facilitation, illustrates asecond important element of this conception, the application of learning, presumably on thejob. The other two conceptions include the notion of the application of learning, but not inthe sense here where it appears to be a defining element of facilitating.The first two quotations depict the aspect of this conception that is different from theother conceptions, and that is the belief that instructors are not experts in the subjectcomprising the content of instruction, but that the learners or participants are. This is differentfrom the Transmission Conception in which instructors are assumed to be experts, and it isdifferent from the Constructive Conception in which the role of instructor and learners inrelation to the content is seen as interchangeable depending on who has expertise relating toparticular topics.Constructive Conception In the constructive conception, instruction is understood as involving learners indiscovering meaning. The emphasis is on learning understood as constructing or construingmeaning through learning activities that are meant to give learners as close an experience ofthe concepts being taught as possible. Unlike the Transmission and EnablementConceptions in which the instructors' role as respectively, content or process expert isseparate from the learners' role, instructors in this conception are seen as partners with theData Analysis^ 97learners. Instructors are expected to have content and process expertise, but it is notassumed that their proficiency covers all topics. Learners are presumed to have hadexperiences that at times could be useful as resources for learning, making instructional andlearning roles interchangeable between instructor and learners. As partners with the learners,instructors are seen as sharing responsibility for all aspects of the instructional process fromgoal setting to evaluation.The following quotations are typical of this conception and give it meaning:I do a workshop in a couple of weeks with [Company X] Computer Services and this isan example of what I was telling you about earlier about always having to - realizingthat you don't have to be the teacher, and I came off this exercise of one-sentenceproblem situations,...and about eight or ten people who had very strong answers andwe talked about those things. We went for three or four hours. It was amazing, andthey loved it. They said it was the best part of the workshop. They loved it. Theyloved hearing what other people had to say and learning from their differentapproaches to things. It was amazing - it was like, what a simple way - you know - toget the point across, ...We had already talked about the other conceptual stuff,...so thiswas an example of applying that material. And they were then drawing upon all thestuff we were talking about as well as their own experiences to problem solve. (R1 7-Robert)***... And the other thing I think is being somewhat strict - my idea about teaching hasprobably become stricter in that I really, truly believe people have to do thingsthemselves. And spoon feeding in general, spoon feeding knowledge doesn't go veryfar, so I tend to, for instance, in the team building problem. I worked at the ...Schoolfor Citizen Leadership last summer and I'll be doing it again this summer. I go as aloaned - the firm loans me as a loaned executive to that organization and we work withteenagers, but during the staff training portion of that last year, I taught the staff anOutward Bound exercise that takes about two hours, its a group problem solving andcommunication exercise and I taught it to staff, because we're going to have a hundredkids and I needed two staff per group of ten kids, or twelve kids or something like that.And I was very interested to see that the staff wanted to - they're all nurturing typepeople, and I was very interested to see that the staff wanted to help, help, help. Giveclues here and there. And I had to really struggle myself to come up with a way tohelp them understand that that's not the way that their students are going to learn whatthey need to learn from this exercise. And, so for me, you know, that's been a realchallenge to say, well what do I want to get out of it and do I need to - it kind of goesboth ways, because I can tend to get too strict, and then somebody says, "Gees, ifyou'd just told us that, we could have caught on a lot faster, or whatever. You reallywasted^II - ., ,.becomes a real important area is letting the learner learn by experience, discover on• a it atData Analysis^ 98their own, through their own, you know, gut wrenching process of realization, whetherits technical or philosophical, the learner has to grasp it. (R6-Faith)***The biggest hurdle I had to overcome was that in a formal academic environment, theteacher is the expert and the students are there to pick up what they could from theinstructor. In adult learning, I've come to know that we all are experts in some thingsand were all learners in others. And that I do not have to be responsible for being thefountain of wisdom for all things. (R4-Donna)In the first quotation, Robert provided an example that epitomizes many of the beliefsassociated with this conception. In the first place, it is an illustration of an experientialproblem solving process in which the learners constructed meaning from the learningactivities just completed and their own experiences. Robert assumed a role of partner withthe learners by sharing instructional responsibilities with the learners who acted as resourcesfor each other. He saw this as the application of what had been learned totheir real life experiences, which was also an important element of this conception.The second statement depicts the strong belief that it is through experiential activitiesthat meaning is discovered and understanding achieved. Faith had previously given anexample of learning the concept of teamwork and leadership through a joint team buildingproject. In the third quotation, Donna described the interchangeability of instructional andlearning roles in which responsibility for providing knowledge resources is shared with thelearners.In this conception, the context is viewed as an important element of instructionaffecting the instructor's ability to instruct, whereas in the other conceptions it seems to betaken for granted. The following quotation from Eileen provides an example of the way thecontext was seen as affecting instruction. Eileen was an external consultant who instructed invaried workplace settings and one challenge for her was having enough time in which tomeet instructional °flak-Data Analysis^ 99Well, certainly, there are the reality constraints, how much time, you know, I mean - thiswas pretty good - I got to design this course with the city and two days felt pretty good.I mean, I'd kind of like to have more time, but I know realistically not too many peoplecan afford to take it off, let alone the cost, but just the time - so with the city, I felt realgood, that I could have a lot of impact. But other places, you know I have sometrainings coming up and they want three different topics in three hours. And its like,well, gosh, you know, its going to be really hard and I keep trying to work with them toget more focused, and they just like well, "we may never get these people in hereagain. This may be our only chance. We just want to get it off to them." Its like, wait asecond, you know, what's really going to work here. So that can be very frustrating.And then you're real torn - "do I throw away all the experiences?" - because they taketime and just throw a bunch of stuff at them, and I know that's not really going to doanything, so why do that? So its really hard in those situations.... I mean I accept thatthe real world is far less than ideal. And that, you know, ok, at least they're getting that,so how can we make it work the most. I will not say, "well, I won't do it." Because Ithink, well, hey, at least they're going to get something and I'm sure I can do as good ajob as anyone with that little bit, and yet its not as good as a three day but.... (R5-Eileen)Eileen explained that she tried to negotiate ideal instructional conditions with organizations;however, at times she had to make compromises and adjust to the situation. Otherrespondents cited factors that pointed to the organizational culture as a source of positive ornegative impact on instruction.This is also the only conception in which goals were espoused that reached beyondthe workplace setting as Eileen expressed:My basic goal - my overall goal is to change the world definitely, bring peace on earth.Yeah, I'm real clear on that. Yeah, that is my goal, ultimately. (Laugh). Yeah, I meanliterally, I am a peace-maker, yes. ... And how am I progressing? Well, yeah, a lot of itis, its opening up blinders, helping people be more accepting of themselves and ofeach other, to feel more alive and excited and empowered, and therefore to be all theycan be, and I believe that, that it is human nature - my view of human nature is veryoptimistic.... (R5-Eileen)She usually taught personal growth courses and saw them as ways of helping people achievea positive self-image that could give them the confidence to try to effect societal change.Another respondent viewed the subject matter that she taught, health education regardingdrugs, alcohol and AIDS, as directed toward the betterment of society.The char • . - •^• 1 ..:-- :Data Analysis^ 100It can be seen from this figure that each conception has a different global meaning and at thesame time that various elements of instruction are conceived differently. Not all elements areequally important in each conception. For example, in the Transmission Conception, thecontent is emphasized; in the Enablement Conception, learners are emphasized; and in theConstructive Conception, learning is stressed. However, each element could be defined tosome degree from the data. The different ways in which instruction in the workplace isunderstood will become clearer in the next section where the structure of each conception willbe analyzed, and in the final section where the conceptions will be more thoroughlycompared.ImpartinginformationFacilitatingsharingSharing respon-sibility forinstructionContent: Pre- Learners asdefined bodyof knowledgeparticipants &expertsLearning asconstructingmeaningTransmission Instructor as Enablement Learning as ConstructiveConception expert Conception applying Conception ExperientialprocessesLearning asreceiving andapplyingInstructor asprocessfacilitatorInstructor &learners aspartnersLearners asreceiversDiscussionactivities Context assource of impactDirected beyondthe workplaceFigure 4. Characteristics of Conceptions of InstructionStructural Analysis of the ConceptionsThe other part of data analysis is the examination of component parts of theconceptions to discover their referential and structural aspects. The referential aspect is theglobal meaning of the phenomenon being studied and was briefly described for eachconception of instruction in the preceding section. The structural aspect is defined in terms^Data Analysis^ 101of two components, an external and an internal horizon. The external horizon shows how thephenomenon is delimited by the context. In other words, the units of meaning wereexamined to determine whether the respondents were limiting what they said aboutinstruction to the context of the workplace or whether they would apply their understanding ofinstruction to other settings or situations, for example, teaching university or teaching scubadiving. Even within the workplace, certain components of a conception could be limited tocertain situations such as the specific course being described or the job situation to whichlearners returned after training. However, some components were not limited by the contextof the workplace at all, but could refer to life in general so that as Beaty et al. (1990) stated,"as far as the external horizon is concerned the only delimitation made is a delimitation of theperson's life world" (p. 10). The internal horizon demonstrates how the elements of thephenomenon (instruction) are perceived and related to each other. A diagram of a completeconception of instruction is presented in Figure 5.CONCEPTION OF INSTRUCTIONI 1WHAT^ HOWI 1 1^1 I^ 1^Referential^Structural^ Referential^StructuralAspect Aspect Aspect Aspect{ 1^1^ 1^I^iExternal Internal External^InternalHorizon Horizon^ Horizon^HorizonFigure 5. Diagram of a conception of instruction.Because the external hori7nn is not a r-nmponent about which the rcaponden s t..ca 1 Ludirectly questioned, it usually was surmised by the researcher. Unless there was evidence toData Analysis^ 102the contrary, it has been assumed that the external horizon for most components of theconceptions is the workplace setting because that is the focus of the study. For example,one of the components of the Transmission Conception is "presenting information." Whetherrespondents thought of instruction as presenting information in other settings besides theworkplace is impossible to know definitively; therefore, it was usually assumed that thiscomponent of instruction is limited to the workplace. In some conceptions, one or twoindividuals expressed views indicating a belief that their thinking about instruction isapplicable in a different setting from the workplace. In those cases, the other settings areincluded as part of the external horizon to illustrate the broadest possible limitation of thatconception. However, by examining all the units of meaning, it was usually possible topinpoint the external horizon of the majority of respondents for whom a particular conceptionwas their predominant way of viewing instruction.In examining the conceptions of instruction, it was found that some units of meaningare not only about instruction but also about learning, whether or not the respondentsidentified their comments as being about learning. Therefore, in the structural analysis thatfollows, it will be seen that some components of instruction describe learning rather thaninstruction and have been labeled as such. However, because all constituent elements oflearning were not explored in the interviews, it cannot be assumed that these are conceptionsof learning, but rather the respondents' thinking about some aspects of learning.In the next section, the description of each conception will begin with a table thatsummarizes the structural analysis in terms of the conception's referential and structuralaspects, and of the WHAT and various HOW components that were found to comprise theconception. Under the structural aspect of the conception, the external and internal horizonswill also be outlined.Data Analysis - Transmission Conception^ 103Transmission Conception Transmission Conception: WHAT ComponentIn Table 3, the referential aspect of instruction in this conception is shown as impartinginformation to learners who receive and apply it. It was evident in such comments as:Well. To me, its [teaching] imparting information or concepts. (R13-Margo)***Interviewer: When you're in the role of expert, what is your responsibility, then?Respondent: To as clearly, concisely, as I possibly can, give them, share informationwith them. (R21-Wilma)***When it comes time for me to train a particular group of people, I become solelyfocused on that knowledge of that particular training aspect, so I can impart thatknowledge. (R20-Vera)For the WHAT component of the conception, the external horizon is primarily theworkplace setting because with one exception, there was little indication that respondentsthought of instruction in this way for other contexts. One respondent indicated that her viewof instruction changed in different situations: she saw it as imparting information when shetaught a university class, and as facilitating discussions in the workplace. Therefore theuniversity setting is included as a secondary external horizon. It was more difficult to identifythe external horizon for this conception because the decision was based on the absence ofevidence rather than its presence. In a few instances, certain respondents spoke of viewinginstruction differently depending on the situation or the content. However, with the exceptionjust mentioned, there was no evidence that instruction was understood as impartinginformation in any other setting than the workplace. For these reasons, the external horizonfor most of the components of the Transmission Conception is the same - the workplacesetting. It will be seen in the last component that describes learning, that the external horizonbecomes more specific.Data Analysis - Transmission Conception^ 104Table 3Structural analysis of the Transmission ConceptionReferential aspect^ Structural aspectExternal Horizon^Internal HorizonWHAT Component Imparting information tolearners who receiveand apply itWorkplace & University • Focus on content• lnstructor as expert/authority• Learners needingknowledge• Movement ofknowledge frominstructor to learnersHOW, Component Presenting information^Workplace & University • lnstructor as presenter•Act of presenting• Information as objectacted upon• Learners as recipientsof informationHOW, Component^Persuading learners^Workplace^•Instructor asmarketeer•Act of persuasion• Information as objectacted upon• Learners as customersHOW, Component Demonstrating skills^Workplace^•Instructor as model•Act of showing how• Skills as object actedupon• Learners as recipientsof skills(Learning)^Absorbing information^Workplace^•LearnersHOW, Component^•Act of receiving•Object acted upon(content)HOW, Component^Repetition of information Workplace^•Learnersor skills^ •Repeated acts oflearning•Act of getting it"HOW, Component^Relating new^Workplace^•Learnersinformation to existing^ •lnformation ("stuff')knowledge "Acts of relating & re-trievingHOW, Component^Applying new infor-^Job situation in^^Learnorsmation/skills on the job^workplace •Situation•Act of using informa-tion/skillsData Analysis - Transmission Conception^ 105Internal horizon: Focus on content. The way that the elements of instruction areunderstood and related to each other comprise the internal horizon of instruction. In theTransmission Conception, the focus is on the content which the instructor wants to impart.This was evident in the above quote from Vera as well as in the following one from Barbara:Well, I think that my responsibility in teaching is to not - one of the biggest things is tonot become the issue, that the material is the issue rather than the person... And thatthe information should be the key part, and ensuring that I have a style that is notoverbearing, that doesn't offend anyone, so that the responsibility of the teacher is toinsure that material gets out there and that becomes the most important issue, not the -not housekeeping kind of things, are they late for class or - those kind of things. (R2-Barbara)Both Vera and Barbara believed it was important to focus on the content that was to bepresented rather than on the personality of the instructor.Internal Horizon: Instructors. Instructors, by virtue of their role and their expertknowledge of the subject matter, possess the authority to deliver the preferred way of thinkingabout the content to the learners. Here are examples of how instructors are viewed in thisconception:So these people - I kind of have a profile on them, I know what they're going to be like.They're going to be a lot more submissive, in that they're used to professors and theprofessor is kind of like a god and whatever the professor tells them, they acceptthat.... Those people are - if you'll pardon the expression - easier to manipulate,because they accept the authority of a person teaching. (R3-Carl).***... It's more in teaching or training, its more didactic - I am the source of informationand in facilitation, I am partially the flow-through, I'm the conduit of information.... Butin instruction, you really do need to know the subject. And while you can facilitatediscussions around it, you have to be prepared in some format to present content.(R 12-Lois)In the first quotation, even though Carl was describing some of the employees in his course,in doing so he revealed his view of the instructor as the authority. In the second quotation,Lois contrasted t • • -^il . •^• -^; •Data Analysis - Transmission Conception^ 106subject matter experts and information sources whose role was primarily understood asconveyor of information.Because of their role as expert and information source, instructors are responsible toknow the content, as was evident in the preceding comment from Lois and in the followingfrom Vera:So I just focused on learning material - to be as well-versed in the subject andknowledge of it as possible, and let the other fears fly away. (R20-Vera)***Yeah, to be the best that I can be at all times. To know the subject, to always beprepared as best as possible going into a training session. People can see rightthrough you if you're not, you know. Don't try to pull the wool over somebody's eyes,be genuine, be enthusiastic, you know, if you can, be enthusiastic. (R20-Vera)Besides being responsible for subject matter knowledge, Wilma also saw instructors asresponsible for assuring that learners meet goals prescribed by the organization, particularlywhen accuracy was essential to the job:...In that role [expert], it does become somewhat my responsibility to try to make surethey get it. I mean I can't just simply say, "OK. I'm going to share this with you and,hey' - true, it is their responsibility, but I feel in that role I have more of a responsibilityfor how they then perform after I've shared. I'm trying to change their performance,either to have them improve or learn something and to do it consistently. And in thebank, 99.9% error is not good enough, I mean you've got to be 100% error-free, so.(R21-Wilma)Knowing the subject matter is an important responsibility for instructors, as is assuring thatlearners acquire the information the organization wants them to learn.Instructors exercise control over the content but can be somewhat flexible in regard toprocesses which was apparent in Barbara's explanation of how she adapted the material:Interviewer: In using training thats already prepared, do you pretty much followwhatever the outline is, or do you adapt it to...Respondent: I did originally, because I was just so unsure, so I pretty much followedthe outline and now with that specific that products training, [Did, re] and I talk abouthow we could practically train in our sleep, because we've done it so many times, butData Analysis - Transmission Conception^ 107we adapt it to the group, or adapt some activities that we'll do and we have games weplay and things like that, so those are the things we do.Interviewer: Can you give me an example of how you adapt to the group - like howwould you decide to do one thing with one group and not to do that with anothergroup?...Respondent: ...there are certain groups that like being with each other and they followeach other through this whole three week course, and they love to play games and"What are we doing with our game today?" Other people are very individual and theymight not want to, so as far as the material goes, its probably the same, but its theextra things that you would make decisions on. (R2-Barbara)She spoke of adapting processes, "the extra things" but not the content. This quotationfurther supports the argument that content was the element of focus in this conception.In the Transmission Conception, instructors are expert sources of knowledge andinformation responsible to maintain subject matter knowledge and to assure that learnersmeet goals prescribed by the organization. They control the content but are somewhat moreflexible in regard to instructional processes.Internal horizon: Learners. Learners were portrayed as receivers needing theknowledge that could be given to them by the instructors. This is evident in comments likethe following:Always the audience is important. And I have two different types of audiences - oneaudience is middle level managers within our operational area.... The other type ofaudience that I teach are brand new, fresh out of college kids, most of them. And I saykids, because they're 22-24 years old. To me that's a kid.... (R3-Carl)***...uh, most of them are computer experts - electrical engineers and computerengineering - and they really haven't had much background on making presentations....(R1-ArnoId)***I came in as an expert in effective presentations. None of them are. They are allexperts in using computer°. (Al Arnold)Data Analysis - Transmission Conception^ 108Receiving was implied when respondents, such as Carl in the first quotation referred to thelearners as his "audience." In the other two quotations, Arnold described learners as non-experts in the skills he was teaching, which was in contrast to his role of expert, thus implyingthat they needed these skills.When learners were spoken of as needing knowledge, "need" had a meaning inaddition to the more common understanding of a gap between current knowledge or skill anddesired knowledge or skill; need was also perceived as the learners' receptiveness to theinstructor's teaching. This was evident when Carl explained how he dealt with learners'needs:And so I feel that you have to be sensitive to their needs. Not to the point where itdisrupts what you're trying to teach them, because you have a goal and you're trying toimpart information, but I think you have to be sensitive and very aware all the time ofthe signals that they're sending you of whether they're receiving what you're talkingabout. You can have the most knowledge in the world, and if you're presenting it in away that they're not receptive to the way you're presenting it, then you've got a problemand so, that really boils down to the presenting it in different ways... (R3-Carl)"Need" understood in this way as receptiveness to the information the instructor is trying toimpart suggests an underlying assumption that instructors know what content the learnersneed so that it is not necessary to consult learners regarding knowledge needs they mayhave. Thus in this conception, learners are seen as an "audience" needing to receiveinformation that the instructors have to give them.The last part of the internal horizon of the WHAT component of this conception is themovement of knowledge from instructor to learners. This movement is explained by the firstthree HOW components of the conception which refer to how acts of instruction were thoughtto take place. It will be seen that the last four HOW components are more clearly aboutlearning.Data Analysis - Transmission Conception^ 109Instruction Components HOW,  component: Presenting information. The first understanding of how informationis given to the learners is by presentation and is apparent in comments such as the following:But in instruction, you really do need to know the subject. And while you can facilitatediscussions around it, you have to be prepared in some format to present content.(R 12-Lois)***"As they are making their presentations, the primary purpose is, they're teaching" (R1-Arnold).***You can have the most knowledge in the world, and if you're presenting it in a way thatthey're not receptive to the way you're presenting it, then you've got a problem and so,that really boils down to the presenting it in different ways,.... (R3-Carl)In the first and third citations, Lois and Carl spoke of presenting content. In the secondquote, Arnold equated the giving of presentations, a skill which he was teaching, withinstruction.Other evidence that instruction was perceived as presenting can be found inrespondents' descriptions of instructional processes. Although a variety of processes werementioned including interactive ones, didactic processes were associated more often with thisconception than with the others. The respondents were not asked to define "didactic,"however it appeared to be understood as "giving information" or "lecturing." This way ofthinking about instructional processes was evident in the following comments:Unfortunately, it is just - because we generally have like 50 or 60 people in thecourses, so its truly didactic. When we teach that EKG portion, that 16 hours, wherepeople actually learn how to read heart monitors and rhythm strips, there's practicesessions. When I teach that portion I give them work time, and then I kind of walk upand down the aisles and talk to people and see how they're doing and if they'remeasuring things in the right spot, but when you teach the rest of it, its purely didactic.We do one case study, that's about 15 minutes long with the group, chiming in enmass- it sounds really horrible. (R13-Margo)***Data Analysis - Transmission Conception^ 110...It's more in teaching or training, its more didactic - I am the source of informationand in facilitation, I am partially the flow-through, I'm the conduit of information.... SoI've taught at the university for several years, and continue teaching in the [university's]Training Certificate Program - I'm much more the fountain of information in many ofthose environments. (R12-Lois)In the first quotation, Margo, an instructor of critical care nurses, contrasted didacticprocesses with practice sessions; and in the second quotation, Lois labeled instructionalprocesses as didactic when she was acting as the source of information. These references todidactic processes imply that they consist of the presentation of information, thus illustratingthe referential aspect of this HOW component.For this way of viewing instruction, the external horizon is primarily the workplacesetting and secondarily the university setting because respondents did not relate this meaningto other contexts. (It may be recalled that one respondent [R12 - Lois] viewed instructiondifferently depending on the situation, and presenting information was the way she thought ofinstruction for the university setting.) The internal horizon of this component can be deducedfrom the above quotations: the instructor is a presenter or information source; the process isthe act of presenting or giving information; the content is the object that is acted upon orpresented, and learners are the recipients of that object or content.HOW,  component: Persuading learners. A second way in which instruction takesplace in the Transmission Conception is by persuasion or selling. This was evident in onlyone interview, but it seemed important as a variation on the HOW, component because itgives further support to the assumption that instructors know what information learners need,making it necessary for instructors to persuade learners of what they need, as Carl stated:Training is a marketing - you're a marketeer when you're out here training. You're tryingto get somebody to accept something for what its worth. Sometimes they're therebecause they want to be, sometimes they're not there because they want to be, but youstill are trying to markot a particular product. In my case, its band matiaye►tiutil. (R3-Carl)Data Analysis - Transmission Conception^ 111This component of the Transmission Conception appears to be limited to the context of theworkplace which has been designated as the external horizon. For the internal horizon, theinstructor is viewed as a salesperson or "marketeer" and the process is the act of persuading.The learners are customers or buyers of a product as can be seem by Carl's later comment:I think probably being sensitive to the audience's needs, because I look at an audiencethat you're talking to as a customer. That's your client or your customer. Everybodyhas a customer, everybody. No matter - unless you're a hermit and never see anybodyelse, you've got a customer, whatever way you want to look at it. I'm your customer,right now. (R3-Carl).These two components of instruction are different only in the way the elements ofinstruction are described. In the first, the instructor is a presenter, in the second, asalesperson; in the first instructing is an act of presenting, whereas in the second it is an actof persuasion; in both, learners are recipients of information, but in the second they are seenas customers. Presenting implies a freedom on the part of the receivers to accept or notaccept that which is given. However, persuasion implies pressure on the part of sellers toconvince customers (learners) that they need something that they may not think they need,thus restricting their freedom.HOW,  component: Demonstrating skills. Some respondents described themselves asdemonstrating certain skills or processes to be learned as is evident in the followingexamples:I provide them with a lot of information about how a bank is managed, then I give thema setting and I show them a process - both a mental process and a physical process ofhow they go about determining and making a bunch of decisions. (R3-Carl)***...At the same time, I'm demonstrating this. I'm telling them, "OK, now, you'll notice Ijust made this remark - I made a few because you're a supporter. How does that makeyou feel?" "Oh, I feel good." So I'm demonstrating because I want them to - I have topresentations, they will keep that in mind, too. (R1-Arnold)Data Analysis - Transmission Conception^ 112In the first quotation, Carl told how he demonstrated the process of managing a bank, and inthe second quotation, Arnold explained that he demonstrated effective presenting through histeaching. This way of instructing is consistent with the first HOW because instructors still areexperts who deliver knowledge by showing the learners how to exercise a skill. The externalhorizon of this component is the workplace setting because there is no indication that theserespondents applied this meaning to other settings. The internal horizon is comprised of theinstructor as demonstrator, the act of showing or demonstrating, content as the specific skillor process that is being demonstrated, and learners as recipients of the skills.Learning Components HOW, component: Absorbing information.  The remaining HOWS of the TransmissionConception refer to the way respondents viewed learning. For the most part in thisconception, learning was not thematized; in other words, it was not discussed and definedunless the interviewer initiated the topic, but rather appeared to be taken for granted.However when the respondents were asked for their understanding of learning, there werefour ways of looking at it. The referential aspect of the fourth HOW of this conception is thatlearning takes place by receiving or absorbing information. It was expressed in the followingways:...Learning is the process of what the person that's being trained receives. (R3-Carl)***They're not absorbing that last week's information, and that when they get on the job, orback and start to do some of their training, they've lost it, especially that last week. Andprobably even some things in the beginning, because they get hit with so muchinformation so fast and it can be very - you go from product information to processinformation to tax law information to, you know and they - / just don't think that itcements, that it sinks in. (R2-Barbara)"absorbing" and "sinking in" of information.Data Analysis - Transmission Conception^ 113The external horizon for the next three ways of learning is the workplace setting, againbecause there is little or no indication that the respondents thought of learning in any broaderterms than they did instruction. The internal horizon consists of the learner, the act ofreceiving, and the content which is received.HOW,  component: Repetition.  The fourth HOW of the Transmission Conception isthat learning takes place by the repetition of information or skills so that content can belearned and retained and was suggested by the following quotations:There's another thing about learning, you know the learning or the forgetting curve, thatthat can be kept up if you use review. So every time you take a break - when theycome back - "What was it we were talking about?" or "Let's go back over this again.Now that you've had a chance to think about it, what's your understanding now?" Andso, each time that you - you've probably read Tony Buzan shows that that kind of curvewhich is kept up. You know, it comes up like this, but it drops very, very rapidly. Wellyou can hold that line up if you review in between. And I don't know how manyreviews - it probably needs to have some research as to how many reviews peopleneed? (R1-Arnold)* * *I think they needed persuasive, those kind of skills. So I was hoping that rather thanthrow them into the wolves and let them learn the hard way, that a three day seminarand with role plays and practice sessions, that they might learn a little bit faster and bea little more comfortable when they got on the phone than they would have been had Inot presented that seminar. (A 19-Teresa)* * *Well, some of it [evaluation] is by observation, skill practice, consistency because theyrepetitively do a lot of the same things over and over again, and its very important thatthey get that repetition and that they get it right, because they're dealing with finances,and a mistake, depending on its seriousness, can cost them their job. (R21-Wilma)In the first quotation, Arnold related review and practice to retaining information in hisreference to the "learning curve." In the second quotation, Teresa associated the practice ofskills with a more rapid learning outcome. And when Wilma was asked how she evaluated• • • • . - •was important for learning correct procedures which themselves had to be done repeatedly.Data Analysis - Transmission Conception^ 114The external horizon for this way of learning is the workplace because therespondents' thinking about learning appears to be limited to that context. The internalhorizon consists of the learner, repeated acts of learning, and the act of retaining informationand skills.HOW6 component: Relating information.  The sixth HOW of the TransmissionConception is that learning occurs when new information is related to previously learnedknowledge and integrated with it so it can be retrieved. That was evident in such quotationsas the following:Its [learning] the integrating, the integrating of that information to where they can use it.(R 13-Margo)***I like to, I think the thing that I do in seminars that I don't see other trainers do is I tryreal hard to make it real life, to find examples that have happened that they rememberand then apply whatever it is we're learning to what they remember. I think if youdon't - I think of it as a plug, you know there's this plug in your head and somebody'sgoing to plug a plug into it and if there's nothing there to plug it in, if there's no socket,then you can't plug in the plug. So I try to find the sockets to plug into. And I've beenin seminars where people just - its wonderful material and you sit there and say, "Yeah,yeah, yeah," and then you go back to your office - like, "Yeah, but." You know, thephone's ringing and everybody needs me and how do I apply what they just taught me.And it's out the window, you don't remember it till the next day. (R19-Teresa)***Some of learning is drudgery - for me anyway and its not just what I learned inelementary school. Its just stuff I do not care to know, but I will - its kind of like thecard catalog - I'll consolidate the information - put it someplace and hopefully I'll beable to dredge it up at the time its required. (R12-Lois)In the second quotation, although Teresa was talking about what she did as an instructor, herunderstanding of learning was revealed when she spoke about plugging new material intoexperiences or knowledge they already had (their "sockets"). There is an assumption here ofData Analysis - Transmission Conception^ 115some sort of mental structure of knowledge with which new information is to be integrated sothat it can be retrieved for future use. In the third quotation, Lois's analogy of a card catalogimplies a mental filing system into which information can be integrated for retrieval.The external horizon of this component is difficult to determine because it could easilybe assumed that new information can be related to any life experience, which could be oneinterpretation of the third quotation (Lois). However, the first two quotations (Margo andTeresa) more clearly presented this component in the context of the workplace. And becausefew respondents in this conception referred to other contexts, the workplace has been desig-nated as the external horizon of this component. The internal horizon is the learner,information ("stuff"), and the acts of relating information to previously learned knowledge andof retrieving information when needed. The quotations used to substantiate the HOWcomponents referring to learning demonstrate that learning was not thematized in thisconception. It was explicitly described by the respondents only when they were asked howthey understood it. In the other quotations, some aspect of instruction was being discussedthat the researcher discerned as alluding to learning.HOW,  component: Applying information. The last HOW of the conception, is theapplication or use of new knowledge and is evident in many of the preceding quotations.The external horizon can be more specifically designated the job situation in the workplacebecause respondents identified that as the context for application (e.g., "when they get on thejob" [Barbara, p. 112]; "when they get on the phone" [Teresa, p. 113, 114]; "then you go backto your office" [Teresa, p. 113, 114]). The internal horizon consists of the learners, thesituation, and the act of using the information. This HOW component is common to all threeconceptions of instruction.Data Analysis - Transmission Conception^ 116Taken separately, each of these HOWS presents a partial view of learning, however, ifthe components are combined, a more complete picture results of how some of theprocesses of learning are understood in this conception. The learner receives informationfrom the instructor, the new information is related to previously learned knowledge andintegrated with it, then reviewed and practiced so it can be retrieved and applied whenneeded in the job situation.Other Indicators of the Transmission Conception There are other indicators of the Transmission Conception, which are important for acomplete understanding of it. These indicators are related to elements of instruction thatwere not covered in the structural analysis just completed. It may be recalled that twoelements depicted in the conceptual framework on p. ? were "content" and "context." A sub-element of content that emerged as important in the data was knowledge and is the firstindicator addressed here. Following that, the way the context was understood in theTransmission Conception is also discussed.Knowledge. In the Transmission Conception, knowledge is viewed as a body of pre-defined information obtained from authoritative, external sources, to be imparted or passed onto the learners. The nature of knowledge was not explicitly explored in the interviews, butwas suggested by many of the respondents' comments about content and about instructing.The first hint of their thinking about knowledge came early in the interviews when they wereasked how they began thinking about the course they were describing. Barbara's responsewas typical in that her immediate focus was on content:And what I started thinking about were my information suppliers - who did I need to getinformation from and maybo concurrcntly with that, was how was this going to flow -what would be a logical flow for all of this information. (R2-Barbara)Data Analysis - Transmission Conception^ 117When asked for an explanation of information suppliers, she replied:People like - well I need to get information from actuarial and they would give meproduct specification, and then marketing would give me marketing materials and howthey were anticipating marketing the product in the field and then from theadministrative people, I would need process issues - how did they want this to beprocessed, so I could do training on those processes. (R2-Barbara)Barbara's first need was for information about the product that would form the content of herinstructional program. Many quotations from the preceding structural analysis of theconception also imply an understanding of knowledge as a body of pre-defined information.For example, the emphasis on content, the perception of instruction as the presentation ofinformation by expert instructors to non-expert learners, the references to learning as the ab-sorption and "sinking in" of information.Knowledge, in the form of content, appears to exist outside the learners and to acertain extent, even the instructor, who seems to believe as Barbara did that authoritativeinformation for instruction is located in such sources as literature, vendor packages, orvarious members of the organization.Authority as vested in external sources is evident in the following comments:Interviewer: Like you say, you use vendor - you use a vendor's package, do you followthat pretty closely, or do you adapt it at all?Respondent: It depends. Like on the [Consulting Firm] side, where they did that, theyworked together with [our company].... And we have the opportunity to modify it moretowards our use here if we desire. They come out and review how we teach it the firsttime. The first time I did it, they came out and said, "Yes, you're blessed, you can teachthis course." Or its "no you can't"... (R18-Sally)***Well, since I've taught speech before, I had a lot of things, but I started lookingparticularly at business - there was a book - um, now I can't think of the name of it - butat any rate it was written by a couple of women from San Francisco just on businessspeaking - you know, making presentations, making presentations to boards. And so Iread through that and picked out a lot of things from that. I looked in the Toastmastersbook - I'm very much into Toastmasters - and Toastmasters had a super, super programnn speaking_ And then a lot of things that Pvc pickcd up on the way, mysclf, in makingpresentations. (R1-Arnold)Data Analysis - Transmission Conception^ 118***Well, um, I thought - I taught it a lot before, so what I thought about most was what Ineeded to know as a new nurse. What kind of things would have been helpful for meand then went back and picked out some good textbooks and then did a literaturereview, and then went way over board, and it got too complex, and then whacked itdown to where its more basic. (R13-Margo)In the first quotation, Sally explained that an external consulting firm worked with hercompany to design the management training program. Although instructors were permittedto alter it for their needs, the consulting firm, as authorized by the organization, approved thefinal implementation of it. In the second quotation, Arnold suggested that in addition toexternal sources, expert instructors could also be considered sources of legitimateknowledge. This is further substantiated in the third quotation where Margo saw her ownbeginning nursing experiences as the starting point for a search for information.These quotations imply that the information to be presented to the learners wassanctioned by some authority. The literature, vendor package, organization, or instructorwere recognized as containing or possessing valid knowledge as suggested by theinstructor's use of the resources and the organization's approval or acceptance of theinstructor. Thus knowledge consists of information that originates outside the knower, and isassumed to be "right" when possessed by a source recognized as authoritative by thelearners.Context. The context is important because in phenomenographic research, it isassumed to frame thinking about other elements of instruction. It is defined here as thesetting within which instruction and learning takes place and includes such sub-elements asorganizational structure, goals, resources, policies, and culture. Structure, goals, resourcesand policies are often officially recorded sub-elements of the context, which in this study werenot investigated. Closely related to these sub-elements is the organizational culture whichData Analysis - Transmission Conception^ 119has been described as "the pattern of values, beliefs, and expectations shared byorganization members" (Huse & Cummings, 1985, p. 35). These taken-for-granted andsubjective assumptions about relationships and work were of more interest in this study whichinvestigated people's assumptions and thinking.The discussion that follows includes the perceptions of respondents for whom theTransmission Conception was their predominant understanding of instruction. Workplacesettings represented by these respondents were financial institutions (bank and insurance), ahospital, a retail clothing store, a cellular phone service company, a public transportationcompany, a computer software manufacturing company, and an electrical utility company. Inother words, respondents working in these settings were cited throughout the description ofthe Transmission Conception leading to the conclusion that this was the primary way in whichthey understood instruction.The structure of the organizations could only be surmised from the interviews becausenone of the respondents described it in detail. However, it can probably be assumed that thestructure for the most part, was hierarchical, first of all, because that is how most businessorganizations are structured, and secondly because of indications in some of therespondents' comments. For example, Carl's inability to reach upper management to presenta case for the need for further training suggests both the type of structure and the culture thatexisted in his organization:Interviewer: What would you say your biggest challenge is in training?Respondent: Upper management. And convincing them of a greater need for training,not a lesser need. We're in a mode, as a corporation right now - we had the mostsuccessful year we've ever had in 1990 in terms of profits, and yet they have tighteneddown even more than they ever have in the past on expenses, and that includes thingslike training. To me that is very short range thinking, and I tend to - I study economics,banking - the industry itself, and I feel that I'm probably as knowledgeable as most highlevel people in this bank in terms of what's going on in the whole world, today. And I• • . • •^If •^• "^I^• ••^so _ _^ethem so at every opportunity I get. One of these days, somebody's going to club meright between the eyes, but I feel very strongly that its short-sighted. I do understandData Analysis - Transmission Conception^ 120that its the share-holders, the people that own the stock that create this problem. Theysay, " I want good results. If you don't give me good results, I'll go sell your stock andbuy somebody else's," so its a catch-22. And I think that the key thing is to keepworking on management to try and provide more training. The "Train America'sWorkforce" - unfortunately I don't have as - I'm not high enough up to get to the very topguy. I work at my own - about two levels up or so - I work at those people, but I justdon't have enough clout to - I keep on at it - I don't have enough clout to reallyinfluence it that much. And I feel that management - convincing management andgetting managements support for training is probably one of the biggest things. But Idon't make a crusade out of it. I don't spend all my waking moments trying to figureout ways to do it. (R3-Carl)There was little evidence in the data of efforts of upper management to collaborate withemployees in their organizations, nor did employee needs appear to be a majorconsideration, factors that were evident in the other conceptions.Structure and culture could also be surmised from respondents' perceptions oforganizational goals as can be seen in the following comments:... My goal is to provide them with more information, more knowledge that will allowthem to do their job better in the long run, and therefore the corporation will makemore money. (R3-Carl)***But there's a lot of concern about public image because of all the bad press financialinstitutions received, even the healthy ones got lumped into that category, which weare, very, very healthy. But like any financial institution, probably any company in thisday and age, the bottom line is so important, and the best way to get the best bottomline is to cut back on, you know, have really tight budgets and to do the most you canwith the least amount of resources. And we are definitely one of those branches, Imean one of those banks where to keep our good, you know, record, so no, they don'tjust freewheel, spend money around training, and we're very handicapped in that we donot have a CEO that's real training-oriented. (R21-Wilma)***That its up to us to be the best that we can be because oftentimes we're the onlylifeline for those patients because the physician's aren't around all the time, and so togather as much knowledge as you can so there's an expert available to consciously tryto do the best that you can. (R13-Margo)In the first two quotations, both respondents who trained in the banks viewed the "bottomline" of making morn/ as being important in thoir organizations. Whereas in the thirdquotation, the bottom line was saving the lives of critical care patients.Data Analysis - Transmission Conception^ 121There are two other indicators of the culture of these organizations, first of allrespondents' views about lack of support for training as suggested in the precedingcomments from Carl and Wilma, and secondly a perception of fear in various groups withinthe organizations. This "fear" was described in the following quotations:...In critical care nursing you have a captive audience that has a vested interest in thatbecause they know that they're going to have a patient just like that sitting in that bedone day, and it may be them, their own responsibility to make sure that that patient atleast lives through their shift, you know, I mean, its true and that fear really doesmotivate them. Plus its really intriguing. (R13-Margo).***And then on a personal level, I talk way too much. I get - I'm so concerned withgetting them all the information, I'm not - sometimes I forget to prioritize what's reallyimportant for them to get. I cram it all in and then - so sometimes I'm a little too detail-oriented and get them too wrapped up into the details, when really what they need is agood big picture focus, and it's enough that they get some basic information. I'm soworried that they're going to leave the room with a question I didn't answer andsomehow they'll tell their store manager and the store manager will say, "Well howcome you didn't cover that?" So I try really hard to - and that then gets into the wholeproblem of not having enough time. (R15-Olivia)***People are scared to death to communicate with me, for whatever reason, Jane. Idon't know. I'm an ogre. I'm awful...! Its history. Its got to be the history of the bank,the history of what that position has been, the history of maybe they've been burned inthe past.... I think they're afraid its going to come back at them, because they spokeout and said something, fingered someone, or something you know, I guess that's theway they view it, at least this is what I heard. (R21-Wilma)In the first quotation, fear was a motivator for the nurses to learn. In the second quotation,Olivia expressed fear of not providing enough information to the employees to satisfy storemanagers. In the third quotation, Wilma described an atmosphere of fear surroundingtraining, which she then perceived as being extended to her.Even though respondents did not always explicitly relate these various factors to theirability to instruct, such a relationship clearly existed. In the bank where Carl worked, the lackof support for training was perceived as a challcngc to him in his job, and Wilma felthandicapped by non-support in her bank. The fear factor evoked varied responses: MargoData Analysis - Transmission Conception^ 122regarded fear in the nurses she taught as a motivator for learning rather than a negativefactor; however, Olivia related a tendency to provide too much information to her fear of thestore managers, and Wilma viewed the atmosphere of fear surrounding training in her bankas a barrier to communication between her and other employees. So although respondentsdid not state that the context affected their ability to instruct, it was obvious from theircomments that they were impacted.To summarize this conception, instruction is understood as imparting information; theemphasis is on the content which consists of a body of predefined information; instructors arecontent experts who present information that they discern is needed by the learners who inturn receive and absorb it. There are several variations in how instruction takes place - bypresenting information, persuading learners, and demonstrating skills. Four learningprocesses are evident in this conception, absorbing information, repeating information andskills, relating new information to prior knowledge, and applying new information and skills onthe job. For the most part, this conception appears to be delimited by the context of theworkplace, although one respondent limited it to teaching in the university.Enablement Conception Enablement Conception: WHAT ComponentAs shown in Table 4, the referential aspect of instruction in the EnablementConception is assisting learners to share and apply ideas and experiences and wassuggested by such statements as the following:I see training, not as teaching, but as facilitating. You're not teaching people, you'resharing ideas. (R8-Helen)***Data Analysis - Enablement Conception^ 123Table 4Structural analysis of the Enablement ConceptionReferential aspect^ Structural aspectExternal horizon^Internal horizonWHAT Component Assisting learners to^Situational within^•Focus on learnersshare and apply ideas^workplace^•Learners withand experiences experiences, needingknowledge• Instructor as processexpert• Movement ofknowledge amonglearnersHOW, Component Eliciting knowledge^Situational withinworkplace• Instructor as facilitator• Act of elicitingknowledge• Learners' acts of re-vealing knowledgeHOW2 Component Sharing ideas^Situational withinworkplace• Instructor as facilitator• Act of offering opin-ions• Learners' acts of dis-cussion & sharingHOW, Component Nurturing growth^Learners' life world • Instructors as nur-turers• Act of encouraginggrowth• Learners as resourcesfor organization(Learning)HOW, ComponentTaking information^Situational within^•Learnersworkplace^•Act of taking (ob-taining)• Content ("stuff") beingacted uponHOW, Component Relating newinformation to pastexperiencesLearners' life world • Learners• Object of learning(content)• Acts of relating &challenginginformationHOW, Component Applying new^Job situation in^•Learnerinformation on the job^workplace •Job situation• Ability to apply newinformation/skill Data Analysis - Enablement Conception^ 124...in your teaching, you don't really teach adults, you facilitate concepts.... To me, apure teaching is more of a lecture. One-hour lecture. All good information, all goodinformation you have to have, but - and you might even ask a few questions, but thereisn't any, to me, the teaching part of it, you're not looking for their responses andpractical application. (R9-Irma)As shown in the second quotation, facilitating is usually seen as a rejection of theunderstanding of instruction as transmitting information. There is more assurance about theexternal horizon for this conception because most of the respondents for whom this was theirprimary way of thinking about instruction directed this understanding to the instructionalsituation they described in the interview. Frequently they differentiated their understandingbetween workplace training settings and formal education settings, but distinctions were alsomade within workplace settings. According to several respondents, certain ways of thinkingabout instruction might be appropriate in one setting such as with a particular type of content,whereas a different way of thinking would be appropriate with other content. Therefore theexternal horizon of this conception is situational within the workplace setting becausealthough the understanding of instruction as facilitation was limited to the context of theworkplace, it might not be appropriate for every instructional situation there.Internal horizon: Focus on learners. As part of the internal horizon, learners are the primaryelement of focus because on the one hand, their knowledge needs are the center of programplanning; and on the other hand, they bring practical knowledge to the instructional situationfrom their prior experience. Because of their prior experience, they are a major source ofknowledge, which was apparent in several comments from the respondents:Its very interactive, we call them workshops because we expect them to bring theirpersonal situations to the classroom and we work through based upon what they'redoing. (R9-Irma)***Data Analysis - Enablement Conception^ 125.... At the beginning of my sessions, I say, I go, "I think you have a lot of valuable ideasto share, so when you have a question or idea, please feel free to bring it up." And Isay, I really want a lot of discussion. And so they know that first hand, and then they'recomfortable with it. (R8-Helen)***Teacher is an expert, a person who lectures and instructs students, a facilitatorfacilitates the discussion, is not the expert, the participants are really the experts. (R11-Kathleen)In the first quotation, Irma considered the learners' experiences as important resources for theimplementation of instructional programs. In the second quotation, Helen also found learners'experiences to be useful resources. And in the third quotation, Kathleen contrasted teachersand facilitators, identifying learners as the content experts in contrast to facilitators who werenot. Whether learners are considered experts or holders of valuable life experience, theirideas and experiences are a major source of the content of training programs.Unlike the Transmission Conception, in this conception, it is not assumed that theinstructor knows what the learners' needs are. Needs are understood primarily as needs forknowledge, or gaps between current and desired competence, as Gail stated whendescribing her needs assessment process:So I did a paper-pencil needs analysis that was actually pretty extensive. It delineatedspecific behaviors in different, you know around a set of different managements orcompetencies. And I got real specific about what that meant, and asked them howeffective are you at this, and how important is this to your success as a manager. Andsort of gathered importance and effectiveness data and then I had the administratorsdo the same thing. And out of that I identified some really clear - it was really clear tome, going through that and analyzing the results, where the needs were. And so I thenwent back to the management team, and said, "OK, here are some of the key conclu-sions." And that did change where we ended up focusing. It got a couple of classescompletely off the docket, and got us focused more on, well, softer managementskills.... So its one thing to say, "We think you need marketing, finance, you know, allthese other kind of skills." And it was another - these people just looked at that andsaid, "Well, we don't use these. What are we going to do with this?" So, long storyshort, I guess the objectives kind of grew out of the needs analysis and looking at thestrategic objectives of the hospital.... (R7-Gail)Data Analysis - Enablement Conception^ 126This quotation provides an example of how organizational goals can be integrated withlearners' needs. Although the organization had certain content it wanted managers to learn,there was no assumption that its content was the only content needed by the learners, northat the learners' and the organization's priorities were the same.Another belief supporting the argument that learners are the major focus of thisconception is that learner involvement is essential to learning, whereas in the TransmissionConception the purpose of learner involvement seemed to be to keep learners alert. Theimportance of learner involvement in the instructional process was apparent in suchcomments as:I also, I'm really in tune to adult learners - adult learning theory. Adults don't like to bepatronized, and they like to know that what they're learning is directly applicable to theirsituation, and they learn best when they are, when they are actively involved with theirlearning process. (R8-Helen)***Respondent: ... So each facilitator does have their own little personal and unique wayof - beyond that, its a matter of don't talk more than four minutes without getting theminvolved.Interviewer: That's kind of a standard that you have?Respondent: Yes. (R9-Irma)***But more than that, just really worked to build in a lot more group discussion, becausethey learn from one another, rather than them getting one-way stuff from theinstructors.... (R7-Gail)In the first comment, Helen viewed learner involvement as a component of adult learningtheory. In the next quotation, Irma cited learner involvement as a principle of practice in hertraining organization, and in the last quotation, Gail expressed her belief that learners shouldbe involved because they learn from each other. At the same time, she did not want them tobe uncomfortable, so ChP prnviried various wayc of bccom ing involved, as she expldiriml.Data Analysis - Enablement Conception^ 127I think I do a pretty good job of - this is a personal view, but some people believe thateverybody needs to participate in class, if you ask a question, somebody, everybodyhas to talk at some point, I truly - I used to try and do that, and I don't try anymore.What I do instead, is set up different activities, different opportunities to participate, andI assume that talking in a full group is something that some people are comfortablewith and some people aren't, and so I don't even, I don't hassle that, I allow there to be,you know, six people that talk a lot in a full group, but I just make sure that those otherpeople have the opportunity to participate in other ways that they will feel comfortablewith, so I try and build in a lot of mixed, I don't know what you call these, but mixedactivities. (R7-Gail)Although learner involvement is important in this conception, its extent and type are not asexplicit as they will be in the Constructive Conception. Here it appears to consist mainly ofsharing and discussing ideas and experiences.Thus learners as the focus of this conception are perceived as sources of contentwhose needs for knowledge and skills form the basis for instructional programs, and whoseinvolvement in the instructional process is viewed as necessary for learning.Internal horizon: Instructors. In the Enablement Conception, the role of the instructoris that of a facilitator whose function is to lead the process of sharing and applying ideas andexperiences. The instructor's role and function were evident in comments like the following:Yeah. Teacher is an expert, a person who lectures and instructs students, a facilitatorfacilitates the discussion, is not the expert, the participants are really the experts. (R11-Kathleen)***I guess the concept that we've worked with is instructors and teachers have a body ofknowledge that is new to the person that they need to tell them, similar to a collegesetting. For us, we're more of a vocational kind of a situation in which we have a bodyof knowledge, but a lot of it is common sense, and we need to be more of a facilitatorto get them to hear a concept and work it through so they can own it. (R9-Irma)This role was frequently contrasted with that of a teacher in academic situations, as bothKathleen and Irma did. As facilitators, instructors are not necessarily required to have contentknowledge, and in some instant-Pc were charactorizcd by  rc3pondents as Iru►i-experts" aswas apparent in the following comments:Data Analysis - Enablement Conception^ 128I try and stay out of an authority figure-expert role with every ounce of my being. Iconstantly say, "Look, I don't know. What do you think?" And I, when I present contentthat may be new to them, I say, "I got really excited about this information, I was reallyable to apply it, let me just share it with you." And I do it from a much differentperspective than... at a previous teaching experience.., where it was very easy for me tostep into an authority role and be the source of information. (R7-Gail)***I think that's a big responsibility to place on someone that you are the expert, youshould have all the answers. And I think in the real world, we don't have all theanswers. (R11-Kathleen)In the first quotation, Gail equated expertise with authority and possession of "the finalanswer" on the subject matter. In the second quotation, where Kathleen, was discussing therole of instructor as facilitator and not expert, she also equated expertise with possession ofthe truth, viewing it as the totality of truth.Unlike Kathleen and Gail who viewed instructors as "non-experts," Helen viewed theinstructor as having some responsibility for knowledge about the content, as she explained:Yeah. Facilitating is enhancing group discussion and helping the group, using yourselfas a tool to help the group learn from their own ideas. A facilitator though, also knowsthe subject matter at hand pretty well, so they can keep a grasp on the subject matter.And if there's a question, or something that other people might not know, the facilitatormight be able to answer it.... (R8-Helen)However, it was also clear that the learners are to be the first source of knowledge, and thefacilitator only fills in the gaps.In this conception, the roles of instructor and learners appear to be reversed, or atleast blurred, especially when learners are regarded as experts. Instructors relate to thelearners more as peers and assume leadership roles only to aid in the sharing of informationand experiences among the learners. Instructors intend that at some future time, learners willacquire the needed knowledge. How knowledge is to be moved from learners who have it tothose who need it can be anr:nmplighed in three difforont way3.Data Analysis - Enablement Conception^ 129Instruction ComponentsHOW,  Component: Eliciting knowledge.  As in the Transmission Conception, some ofthe components refer explicitly to instruction while others are more about learning. The firstcomponent referring to instruction is eliciting knowledge from the learners. It was evident inthe following quotations:...I'm not there to be the expert and to tell them I know it all and I'm going to tell youhow to do it, but more or less, that they have that knowledge intrinsically in them.Maybe they need it refreshed, pulled to the surface, put in some organized manner forthem. Its in there, but its not working for them for whatever reason, and to have them,basically learn it for themselves. (R21-Wilma)***To me, a pure teaching is more of a lecture. One-hour lecture. All good information,all good information you have to have, but - and you might even ask a few questions,but there isn't any, to me, the teaching part of it, you're not looking for their responsesand practical application. (R9-Irma)***.... At the beginning of my sessions, I say, I go, "I think you have a lot of valuable ideasto share, so when you have a question or idea, please feel free to bring it up." And Isay, I really want a lot of discussion. And so they know that first hand, and then they'recomfortable with it. (R8-Helen)Instructors are to "pull" the ideas and knowledge from the learners, organize it for them, andhelp them apply it in practical situations. The external horizon of this component is situationalwithin the workplace because even though some respondents differentiated ways of thinking,instruction as facilitation was limited to workplace settings depending, for example, on factorssuch as content. For the internal horizon, the elements of instruction are the instructor who isa facilitator rather than an expert; the process of drawing knowledge from the learners; andthe learners' acts of revealing their knowledge.HOW2 component: Sharing ideas.  The next HOW component of the EnablementConception is very similar to that just described, yet there is a different nuance in theData Analysis - Enablement Conception^ 130instructor's role. The referential aspect of this way of instruction is that it is sharing ideas, butit differs from the previous HOW because in this component the facilitators share their ideasalong with the learners, whereas in HOW,, instructors tend not to put forth their own ideas. Atthe same time, in HOW2 the facilitators' ideas are to be presented as opinions, rather than asexpert knowledge. This HOW is suggested by the following statements:I'm kind of learning to express my opinions as opinions, and then open them up forattack and criticism, you know. (R7-Gail)***But, now, a large part of my training sessions is on discussion. And getting people -it's more of an informal setting, relaxed, throwing out questions, giving information whenthey need it, that kind of thing. (R8-Helen)***Its [facilitating] again, its maybe throwing out an idea and getting them to talk about it,and apply it, make it sense to them.... Again we are doing some teaching - there's nodoubt about that, these are concepts that we have to discuss. (R9-Irma)As much as the respondents deemphasized the expertise of the instructor, they knew that insome instances, the instructor had some expert knowledge to share with the learners.However, even when the respondents were willing to share their expertise, they still wantedthe learners to participate as resources, as Gail explained when asked how she described herfunction:Well, facilitating rather than instructing. Which I do have one class in which I am theexpert, at least in the class setting. But I guess, in that particular setting, I frequentlyknow more than most of the people in the class. But, there is always one or twopeople that have studied it, and so I defer to them a lot, I'll call on them and say, "Jim,what did you guys do with this when you took this in your MHA program?" And get,you know, just keep bringing them in as experts. (R7-Gail)The external horizon of this HOW component is situational within the workplace because ascan be seen in the last quotation, Gail referred to a workplace situation in which she viewedinstruction somewhat differently, but not so differently that she would espouse a totallydifferent conception of instruction such as the Transmission Conception. In other words,Data Analysis - Enablement Conception^ 131situations exist in which it is necessary to convey information, but the emphasis remains onthe learners whose expertise takes precedence over the instructor's expertise, thus placingthis component within the Enablement Conception. The internal horizon is somewhatdifferent: the instructor is still viewed as a facilitator and the learners are active participants,but the process consists of the instructor presenting ideas along with eliciting knowledge, andof the learners' acts of discussion and sharing.It seemed important to separate these two ways of instruction because somerespondents were so resolute in their assertion that they did not instruct. It can bespeculated that such an assertion is an espoused theory, because it seems doubtful that theynever shared their own ideas, however tentative, with the learners.HOW3 component: Nurturing growth. A third way of instruction suggested by the datais nurturing the growth of the learners. This is not necessarily a way of moving knowledgefrom learners who have it to those who need it, but it is consistent with the focus on learnersin this conception and is an activity that group process leaders would do. It was evident insuch statements as the following:Respondent: That's, you know, I think that's what training attempts to do, that's whattraining does, or training does with adults. It helps, you know, cause that extra foliage,you're branching out a little bit, growing more.Interviewer: So would you say, maybe thats kind of your overall goal in instruction isthis growth in the people that are...Respondent: Definitely. Also, though, is - I'm concerned with [my company], or with anorganization too, and how [it] will benefit from the training, too. So on an individuallevel, but also on an organizational level. Its good to have that well-rounded idea ofwhat the organization wants, too. (R8-Helen)***Respondent: The mission in my life, I've discovered, is to help people learn how to be m '•:41" • 11 .1• •“0.^•t - •do here, even though its sales, is teaching them how to be more compassionate ofData Analysis - Enablement Conception^ 132other people, how to be more lovingly considerate, and yet get things accomplished....So I think it's a matter of we really enjoy seeing people grow. (R9-Irma)***And really, the end result, though, is to help employees move along and be challengedand be productive and be content.... So it's [goal of the course] real focused onbuilding up the employees, their skills, their place in the company. (R 18-Sally)In all of these quotations, the respondents mentioned goals of wanting the learners to growas persons, although this was for the benefit of the organization as well as for the learners'own good. It could be argued that the external horizon is the workplace because personalgrowth is ultimately for the organization. However, in keeping with the above definition thatthe external horizon should be the broadest context for which there is evidence, it seemsmore appropriate to designate the learners' life world because personal growth can surelyextend beyond the confines of the workplace to life in general. As the internal horizon,instructors are seen as nurturers, the action is encouraging growth in abilities, and learnersare viewed as resources for the organization.The first two components of instruction are quite similar except for the addition in thesecond one, of the instructors' acts of sharing their own ideas with the learners. The thirdway of instructing is different from the first two in terms of the internal horizon. It seems toweaken the focus on the learners in this conception, because it suggests that the real focus isthe organization for which the employees are considered to be resources.Learning ComponentsHOW, component: Taking information.  This HOW component is very similar to that ofthe Transmission Conception, both in terms of its referential aspect and how it isaccomplished. The difference is in the source of information. The referential aspect isreceiving or taking information from othor Ic\arncra, as suggested by the fuliowirly comments:Data Analysis - Enablement Conception^ 133For adults, learning is the process of obtaining new information about a topic whichthey may already be familiar with.... (R8-Helen)***But more than that, just really worked to build in a lot more group discussion, becausethey learn from one another, rather than them getting one-way stuff from theinstructors.... (R7-Gail)From these two quotations, it can be assumed that information is thought to be received("getting one-way stuff") or taken from other learners ("obtaining new information"). Therewere not many explicit examples in the data of taking or receiving information, howeverneither was learning thematized in other ways except as application. The presumption is thatthe process of discussion consists of the giving and receiving of information among thelearners. The external horizon of this component is situational within the workplace becausethe context does not appear to be differentiated in any way from the WHAT component of thisconception. The internal horizon consists of the learners with knowledge and experiences,the act of taking or obtaining, and the content or "stuff" being acted upon.HOW  component: Relating information.  The referential aspect of the second learningprocess is relating new information to past experiences, as suggested in the followingquotations:For adults, learning is the process of obtaining new information about a topic whichthey may already be familiar with and applying what they're - applying the information totheir past experiences.... (R8-H elen)***What's learning?... I guess building a personal context for information, I mean you canbe handed information, you can take in information and if you don't build a personalcontext for it, that may be where it stays. So I think it, I mean one aspect of it isbeginning to think about it in terms of your own experience and how it applies there.But I think another aspect of it also is challenging the information that is presented, soon the one hand its taking it in and personalizing it and on the other side, itsquestioning and challenging it and asking if that's really true, you know, do I have anyexperience that cnnfirms that or experience that dcnic3 that. (117-Gail)Data Analysis - Enablement Conception^ 134These responses were given to the interviewer's question of "What is learning?" suggestingthat learning was not thematized by many of the respondents. Even though both Helen andGail used the word "apply" to refer to this learning process, from the context of the quotationsit appears to mean that once information is obtained, it is related to prior knowledge andexperience, then applied to the present situation.This learning process is similar to that described in the Transmission Conception inwhich new information is to be related to existing knowledge and experience. However, theprocess of integrating new information with existing knowledge described in the TransmissionConception appeared to be missing, or possibly assumed in this conception. At the sametime, a feature of the learning process found in this conception but not in the TransmissionConception is that introduced by Gail, namely that new information should be challenged andquestioned before being accepted, which could be construed as part of a process ofintegration.The external horizon of this component is the learners' life world because thesubstantiating quotations do not appear to limit experiences to work but to assume that newinformation can be related to any life experience or prior setting. The internal horizonconsists of learners with prior experiences, the object of learning (content), the act of relatinginformation, and the act of challenging information that is incongruent with experience. Thislast element of the internal horizon differentiates it somewhat from a similar way of learning inthe Transmission Conception in which no indication was given that learners might find thatwhat was being learned conflicted with their prior experience.HOW6 component: Applying information. The application of information is the finalexplicit learning process of this conception and the learning outcome as well. It could beargued that learning is not thematized in this conception because it was usually taken forData Analysis - Enablement Conception^ 135granted unless introduced by the interviewer. However, when instruction was described,application was frequently cited as a distinguishing characteristic, as is evident in thequotation below from Irma; and when respondents were asked about learning, applicationwas usually part of their response. Therefore, it could be said that in this conception, learningis thematized as the application of knowledge. Its importance is evident in the followingquotations:To me, a pure teaching is more of a lecture. One-hour lecture. All good information,all good information you have to have, but - and you might even ask a few questions,but there isn't any, to me, the teaching part of it, you're not looking for their responsesand practical application. So there is some teaching, obviously, in what we're doing,but the key thing is how do I apply it. (R9-Irma)***Respondent: And the only real way I have for evaluating that is whether - is whatpeople tell me about it when I ask, "Have you used this? How did it go? What did youdo specifically?" And people are able to tell me exactly what they did....Interviewer: So maybe you'd say, then, that learning is being able to utilize theinformation of whatever you've heard or...Respondent: Sure. Yeah. Apply it. And get the results you anticipated. (R7-Gail)***I think with a good class, people leave feeling motivated, like, "Wow! I've learnedsomething. I can really do something with this information." (R8-Helen)In the first quotation, Irma expressed her belief that the practical application of newinformation is the process that distinguishes facilitating from instruction. In the last twoquotations, evidence of learning for Gail and Helen is the ability to use new information. Itcan probably be speculated that the external horizon of this component is the job situation inthe workplace setting, although that is not entirely clear in the preceding quotations.However, the respondents appear to be referring to the use of information by the learners intheir jobs, thus limiting this component to that context. The internal horizon consists of thelearners with new information, thp jnb situation, and the ability to ut-.c and apply information ofskills.Data Analysis - Enablement Conception^ 136As in the Transmission Conception, these three learning processes suggest a morecomplete understanding of learning than the individual quotations do. Information is obtainedfrom other learners, related to existing knowledge and past experiences, challenged if it isincongruent, then applied on the job. It differs from the Transmission Conception in severalways: (a) the source of information is primarily other learners rather than or in addition to theinstructor, (b) both steps of integrating new information with previously learned knowledgeand reviewing or practicing information or skills are omitted, and (c) challenging informationwas present in this conception but absent from the Transmission Conception linking thisconception to the Constructive Conception. As in all the conceptions, the learning processesdescribed here represent a very incomplete picture of what is involved in learning and areonly presented to illustrate how learning, as part of an overall concept of instruction, isconstrued.Other Indicators of the Enablement ConceptionBesides these WHAT and HOW components of instruction, there were other indicatorsof the Enablement Conception in the data related to how respondents viewed knowledge andthe context.Knowledge. In the Enablement Conception, knowledge is still thought of as a body ofinformation, but rather than existing in external, authoritative sources, it exists within thelearners as a kind of experiential knowledge. It was described as "common sense," and isderived from practical experiences which are the source of its authenticity. Many people areassumed to have some knowledge of a phenomenon; therefore, there are multiple ways oflooking at the same phenomenon with no evident criteria for determining validity. Evidence ofthe respondents' thinking about knowledge is contained in comments like the following:Data Analysis - Enablement Conception^ 137...I'm not there to be the expert and to tell them I know it all and I'm going to tell youhow to do it, but more or less, that they have that knowledge intrinsically in them.Maybe they need it refreshed, pulled to the surface, put in some organized manner forthem. Its in there, but its not working for them for whatever reason, and to have them,basically learn it for themselves. (R21-Wilma)***I guess the concept that we've worked with is instructors and teachers have a body ofknowledge that is new to the person that they need to tell them, similar to a collegesetting. For us, we're more of a vocational kind of a situation in which we have a bodyof knowledge, but a lot of it is common sense, and we need to be more of a facilitatorto get them to hear a concept and work it through so they can own it. (R9-Irma)In the first quotation, Wilma thought of knowledge as intrinsic to the learners only needing tobe drawn forth by the instructor. In the second quotation, Irma contrasted the academicworld (in which she had previously worked) with training and described knowledge in trainingsituations as common sense knowledge with which learners need help to apply to theircurrent jobs. No attempt was made to discover what the respondents meant by commonsense knowledge; however, it was clear that it exists within the learners rather than inexternal, authoritative sources.With the emphasis on learners as sources of knowledge, there is little sense of asingle, authoritative "truth" that all are expected to learn, rather there are multiple perspectivesand many ways of doing something, as was apparent in the following quotations:And my agenda is, particularly in this first class, is to encourage any and allparticipation. I really try and set the tone for an open exchange of ideas and there's noright or wrong answer, and I'm not looking for any particular answer when we talk aboutthings, you know, mostly just try and encourage them to do their own thinking andrespond to the other ideas in class. So that's really fun for me. And I don't, you know,I don't do much reinforcing, I don't do a lot of, "Hey, that's a great idea!" I do more of,you know, "Thais a really interesting approach to it. Does anybody have a differentapproach?" I do a lot of very neutral kind of facilitating. (R7-Gail)***Again, it comes back to the fact that we're all adults, we all have hopefully a thoughtprocess that gets us to the way we feel about things. I think its important to me to beopen and to he receptive, but the fact that we don't all havo to agrcc.... (R11 Kathleen)***Data Analysis - Enablement Conception^ 138.... I also think that I'm a very fair individual, I bring a lot of fairness to a situation, I don'thave a lot of bias when it comes to a teaching environment. I'm really willing to hear allsides to an issue and to let those be aired and to not just cut them off. I don't feel likewhat I have to say is so right and so true - that other people's ideas or comments arealways valid. (R21-Wilma)In the first quotation, Gail clearly thought that the learners' perspectives were more importantthan her opinions. In the last two quotations, Kathleen and Wilma were also open to thelearners' perspectives, although not in as strong a manner as Gail.Because all perspectives are acceptable, the criterion for the validity of knowledge isthe relevance learners find in it, and because the interviews were about training in workplacesettings, it can be assumed that the learners' job experience is the primary focus forrelevance. Additional support for 'relevance' as the criterion for the validity or usefulness ofthe information is in the internal horizon of the fifth HOW component of this conception whichis challenging new information. It may be recalled that Gail (p. 133) believed that animportant aspect of learning was challenging new information to discover if it was compatiblewith the learners' experiences. Thus in the Enablement Conception, knowledge is seen ascommon sense, gained through experience, existing in the learners whose relevance is thestandard by which it is to be judged.Context. Workplace settings represented by respondents for whom the EnablementConception was their predominant understanding of instruction include a sales trainingorganization, a hospital, a non-profit health care organization, a public utility, a computersoftware company, and a bank. It can probably be assumed that these organizations, too,are hierarchical in structure because of references made to upper management. However,some comments suggest that the culture was perceived as more collaborative than that of theTransmission Conception. As was pointed out when the referential aspect of this conceptionwas discussed, learners were consulted prior to the design and implementation of trainingData Analysis - Enablement Conception^ 139programs. In addition, managers were seen as supportive and often participated asfacilitators and instructors as was apparent in the following quotations:We're real lucky - the programs from - not so much from the computer side but fromthe management of employee development comes from on high. They're part of theprogram, they see the program ahead of time, and they bless it. And it falls down theline, which helps tremendously, so we have a lot of support. (R18-Sally)***Our commissioners have assistants that are called policy assistants and one of thoseassistants has been one of our certified facilitators, which / think also lends credibility.The district manager and his assistant which is the equivalent to a management levelperson is also one of our facilitators. (All-Kathleen)***And most people, I would say, 90% of the people in it are thrilled to be there becausethey never have had an opportunity like this. Although there are some people who feellike "this is a lot of time and I'm not sure I need it".... And their managers are activelyinvolved, they're at the administrative level in the hospital, and they're actively involvedin supporting the classes. Each class has a sponsor and, so for me, there's acommunication link between them and their managers. That's critical to them beingmore successful, its also critical to this program getting the support that it needs. (R7-Gail)In the first quotation, Sally cited managers' approval of and participation in training programs;in the second quotation, Kathleen explained that managers were facilitators in the trainingprograms, and in the third quotation, Gail said that managers acted as sponsors for trainingprograms.A concern for employee growth and development is also evident and was described inthe third HOW component of this conception - "nurturing growth." It may be recalled thatseveral respondents mentioned goals of "nurtur[ing] individual strengths and growth" eventhough the end goal was "so they'll be happy in their organization and will be able to growwith the organization and stay there for longevity" (R8-Helen).Respondents related these factors more to the training function within the organizationthan to their i nst • 1. •^- .I•• • ..^• .T. ••^' . : 'Z.'^ •the comments just cited, Sally said that management support "helps tremendously;" KathleenData Analysis - Enablement Conception^ 140indicated that the involvement of management "lends credibility" to their training programs;and Gail viewed the "communication link" between her and management as critical to thesuccess of her programs.To summarize the Enablement Conception, its referential aspect is assisting learnersto share ideas and experiences and to apply this common sense knowledge to their jobs.Instructors are not content experts who present, but are process facilitators who engagelearners (the content experts) in discussion and sharing. There are several variations in theway instruction takes place - by eliciting knowledge from the learners, sharing the instructors'opinions with the learners, and nurturing the learners' personal growth for their well-being andthe good of the organization. Learning processes associated with this conception are takinginformation primarily from other learners, relating new information to life experiences, andapplying newfound knowledge on the job. Learners are clearly the element of focus. Thisconception of enablement is delimited by the context of the workplace and can be evenfurther delimited by specific elements or situations within the workplace such as the contentbeing taught. However, some components of this conception are not delimited by theworkplace but extend into the life world of the learners.Constructive Conception Constructive Conception: WHAT ComponentAs depicted in Table 5, The referential aspect of instruction in the ConstructiveConception is involving learners in an experiential process of discovering meaning. Unlikethe other conceptions, respondents in this conception appeared to thematize learning as animportant part of their understanding of instruction so that learning is the element of focus.Identifying learning goals^All instructional situationsProviding experiences^Context dependentProviding an environment for^All instructional situationslearning• Instructor's goals• Learners' goals• Act of negotiating• Concept (content)• Act of providing experience• Instructor as facilitator• Instructor as facilitator• Information available frommultiple sources• Acts of leading discussion,structuring concepts,providing resourcesHOW,ComponentHOW,ComponentHOW,ComponentData Analysis - Constructive Conception^ 141Table 5Structural analysis of the Constructive Conception Referential aspect^ Structural aspectExternal Horizon^Internal HorizonWHAT^Involving learners in an experiential^All instructional situations^•Focus on learningComponent^process of discovering meaning •Instructors as content &process experts• Learners with experiencesneeding new knowledge• Movement of learners tounderstandingHOW,^Modeling a way of being^All instructional situations^•Instructor as modelComponent •Ways of being• Act of discussing ex-perienceHOW,ComponentChallenging learners All instructional situations • Learners' comfort &willingness to cooperate• Instructor's desire forlearners to risk• Act of balancing challenge& support(Learning)^Experiencing a concept^All learning situations^•Concrete experienceHOW, •Act of realizing meaningComponentHOW,^Relating new concepts to past^Learners' life world^•LearnersComponent^experiences^ •Acts of relating andunderstandingHOW,^Retrieving & applying new concepts^Job situation^ •SituationComponent • Learner• Acts of retrieving & usingconcepts/skillsHOW,^Applying new concepts in one's life^Learners' life world^•Newly learned concepts/Component^world^ skills• Learners as agents ofchange. • LitILIUNS• Ability to make relationshipsData Analysis - Constructive Conception^ 142The following quotation is an example of the thinking that epitomizes this conception:... And the other thing I think is being somewhat strict - my idea about teaching hasprobably become stricter in that I really, truly believe people have to do thingsthemselves. And spoon feeding in general, spoon feeding knowledge doesn't go veryfar, so I tend to, for instance, in the team building problem. I worked at the ...Schoolfor Citizen Leadership last summer and I'll be doing it again this summer. I go as aloaned - the firm loans me as a loaned executive to that organization and we work withteenagers, but during the staff training portion of that last year, I taught the staff anOutward Bound exercise that takes about two hours, its a group problem solving andcommunication exercise and I taught it to staff, because we're going to have a hundredkids I needed two staff per group of ten kids, or twelve kids or something like that. AndI was very interested to see that the staff wanted to - they're all nurturing type people,and I was very interested to see that the staff wanted to help, help, help. Give clueshere and there. And I had to really struggle myself to come up with a way to help themunderstand that that's not the way that their students are going to learn what they needto learn from this exercise. And, so for me, you know, that's been a real challenge tosay, well what do I want to get out of it and do I need to - it kind of goes both ways,because I can tend to get too strict, and then somebody says, "Gees, if you'd just toldus that, we could have caught on a lot faster, or whatever. You really wasted our time.""Oh, my mistake." But I think in teaching teachers especially, that becomes a realimportant area is letting the learner learn by experience, discover on their own, throughtheir own, you know, gut wrenching process of realization, whether its technical orphilosophical, the learner has to grasp it. (R6-Faith)Faith believed that learning was realization and understanding and that in order to understanda concept, it must be experienced. Her belief was so firm, that at times she neglected toprovide enough preliminary information for the learners. The external horizon of thisconception appears to be broader than that of the other two conceptions. All of therespondents for whom the Constructive Conception was interpreted as being their primaryunderstanding of instruction had had other experience instructing, whether it was childrenwith speech problems, at-risk youth, elementary school, or in other workplace settings.However, they all appeared to express basic beliefs about instruction that they would apply inany setting. Therefore the external horizon is designated as all instructional situationsbecause their understandings were not delimited to the workplace setting, although there aresome variations in the different components.Data Analysis - Constructive Conception^ 143Internal horizon: Focus on learning. The internal horizon, or the way in which theelements of instruction are understood, includes in the first place a focus on learning. Asmentioned above, learning is thematized in this conception and not taken for granted in thatrespondents frequently spoke of instruction in terms of learning. The learning process wasdescribed in various ways:How would I describe learning?... How do you know when its happened? (Pause)You can feel it. You just, its much more in you, its not just in your head. Well, itdepends on what you're talking about - the kind of learning of attitudes and personalhabits, I mean, what I'm trying to teach... when I see that little light bulb go off,...Because all of a sudden they realize more what is involved. Actually, that light bulb,...the "Ah-ha" experience and I don't know how to explain it, but I know when it happens.Its definitely, I feel its real gut... its not something you can always verbalize. (R5-Eileen)***I think that when a person can actually have hands on experience, when you can grabit, not only intellectually, but verbally, and somehow physically, either by demonstratingproficiency or doing it or just letting it be in your whole system, its a lot more - if youcan put your arms around it, you can carry it somewhere. But if its just in your head, itsjust as easily gone the vety next day. (R6-Faith)***Its not till you do something together that you recognize what the components of ateam really are. And then once you have kind of an "Ah-ha" experience, especially if itswith your own work group, then you can really define, not only what is teamwork, butwhat are the characteristics of the various constituents on a team. And how you haveto, then you can really have some concept of what leadership is, then. So then maybeyou're learning, you can learn more conceptually by actually, physically, lets say justbuilding a small project, or putting puzzle together. (R6-Faith)***...Learning is a greater understanding or a greater ability about a condition or a thing ora job or whatever it is, then you had before you started. And that you're able to dosomething, or think about something, or analyze or have a different kind of attitudestowards it than you had before whatever it was that caused that change to happen.(R17-Robert)In the first quotation, Eileen described learning abstractly as discovery and understanding. Inthe second quotation, Faith Snw lAarning as the result of tho wholo percon's involvement in anexperience, of which she gave a concrete example in the third quotation - an understandingData Analysis - Constructive Conception^ 144of team as the result of a group's involvement in a project. In the last quotation, Robert de-scribed learning as understanding and change. Learning as an outcome is viewed asunderstanding the meaning of a concept; learning as a process is discovering andconstructing that meaning.Internal horizon: Instructors. In this conception, instructors are perceived as havingboth content and process expertise, but not to the exclusion of others engaged in theinstructional process. Their role is that of facilitator or model, but with different meanings fromthe other conceptions. The functions of the instructor as facilitator were described in thefollowing way:Interviewer: How would you define facilitating?Respondent: Urn, that we are partners - I'm partners with the people in my class, tomake learning possible, not that I am pouring in the learning into their heads, so I'mcreating an environment and kind of directing things, and keeping them on track, andhelping to focus, and balance and draw people in who need that, and limiting peoplewho need some, you know, boundaries, and uh, so keeping things on track, focusedand in balance. (R5-Eileen)***Interviewer: So you're not totally turning everything over to them.Respondent: Right. No, I'm not, totally. No, I mean I'm responsible for what goes on,because I'm the one getting paid for it, but I do encourage them that my view is that Iwant them all to be co-facilitators. But certainly there are limits to that metaphor, itstrue, because they haven't had to spend x-amount of time preparing the materials andhaving a plan and a roadmap in mind - that's my job. (R5-Eileen)In the first quotation, a function of the instructor is to manage the instructional process. Thisassumes instructor expertise for understanding the concepts being taught, so that there is nodenial of responsibility and authority as there is in the Enablement Conception in whichinstructors are non-experts and the learners' perspectives predominate. The second part ofthe quotation suggests a certain al rthnrity and control vestod in inctructors bccausc of theirpreparation for the program and their responsibility to their employer. Although instructorsData Analysis - Constructive Conception^ 145are viewed as partners with the learners, the instructors' expertise and direction are importantcharacteristics of their role.The instructors' responsibility for expertise and competency was more explicitly statedin the following comments:Adults don't have the tolerance for a teacher who doesn't know what they're doing....attorneys and people that think the world spins around them are very similar to juveniledelinquents, youth at risk, in terms of the way they learn, and what a teacher has to beable to do. So both youth at risk and high-powered business executives - you have toknow what you're doing from A to Z, and there's no room for error. (R6-Faith)***...sometimes it gets real tiring designing new programs, where you end up feelingspent.... Because there's that kind of dilemma that you need to keep up qualitybecause, since I really, I don't have formal authority over these folks - I don't say,"You've got to take this course" - so there's no formal authority whatsoever, and anyauthority I have has to come from the competency of the programs. And you reachthat point at which you think, "Can I really design another program?" (R22-Yvonne)If instructors do not manifest competence and expertise through their training programsemployees will not attend.The other role attributed to instructors in this conception is that of model, which alsosuggests some expertise on the part of the one modeling. Nancy in particular described theinstructor's role as that of a model:Well, I see facilitating as modeling. So maybe a metaphor would be - you know whatimmediately comes to my mind is a picture of a mother duck.. all the little chicks sortof waddling behind and you talk about imprinting and all that and how, you know thatthey sort of follow along and learn by watching and by doing - I don't know that that's ametaphor. Its just a visual.... Modeling really comes to my mind when I'm thinkingabout a metaphor. That I feel like, that as the facilitator, and maybe its because of thisreal strong goal of wanting to pass on what I believe teachers ought to be doing in theclassroom with kids. And so as a facilitator, I'm modeling what I want them to be withkids, no matter what the content is. (R14-Nancy)Nancy's metaphor of a mother duck demonstrates that she perceived the instructor's role asthat of modeling a way of being an instructor, an understanding which is somewhat differentfrom the demonstration of spprtifir processes of the Transmission Conception. There will I..mData Analysis - Constructive Conception^ 146further discussions of the facilitating and modeling functions of instructors when the variouscomponents of instruction are described.The authority and control that content expertise appears to vest in the instructor is tobe exercised in partnership with the learners, as Eileen pointed out when explaining what shemeant by facilitating (cited above R5-Eileen, p. 144). Partnership implies a sharedresponsibility between instructor and learners, as Lois and Donna pointed out:...There is a shared responsibility for teaching and I think it was because it was sopainful for me to think that I wasn't reaching everybody therefore I was not... really agood instructor, so learning that lesson and reminding myself of it, because I tend tostill have some of those expectations, was important not to diminish my involvement,but to be a little bit more realistic about them. (R12-Lois)***Also I'm more realistic about what I expect out of myself, too. I don't assume all theresponsibility for what happens in that room. And I set that up at the beginning, that itsa group thing, that we're all resources. (R4-Donna)As facilitators, instructors manage the instructional process, and as models, they demonstrateways of being. In both instances, they are responsible to be competent and they shareresponsibility for instruction with the learners.The instructional style in this conception is one of adjustment and negotiation. Thefollowing quotations provide examples of adjusting both content and instructional processesto the learners' needs:Respondent: .... a couple of months ago I was doing a workshop, actually the secondhalf of a workshop that I was doing and actually - we didn't do that because we hadalready done that the first half. But there was a couple of months in between the twosessions. Anyway, now we're into it I realized that what I - what we were going to talkabout or planned to talk about - they - that's not where they were. There were all sortsof internal strife. So I just had to say, "What are your concerns?" which opened out awhole list of them.Interviewer: So you can adjust then, or you do adjust in that...Respondent: Oh, you have to. Those times when I have barrelled through what I hadplanned becalme itiq there on the sheet, which  is not in conccrt with whetu peuplt die,have been just awful. [You] just sort of slog through this, that's a terrible feeling. I thinkthat - I don't think that teaching or training is acting, but I think its very much like actingData Analysis - Constructive Conception^ 147in that good actors, people who are in the... respond to the audience, audience'sdifferent signals.... They all, there's that communication or electricity or that or whateverit is - and they feed off of each other and a good performer is always adjusting, theyadjust the pacing - all that kind of stuff. I don't think trainers are performers, but I dothink that you have to respond to the participants in the same way. You have to kind ofgo where they are without, you know, saying, "OK what would you like to do today?"So that's extremely important. (R17-Robert)***Even though I thought the course already was very experiential and a little didactic,they still said what they really liked were the experiences, so I made it even more thatway, let go even more of the information that I had. And they were really responsiveand felt real good seeing that I did that adjustment. (R5-Eileen)In the first example, Robert described the consequences of not adjusting to learners' needs,whereas in the second example, Eileen described the reaction of the learners when theirneeds were accommodated. When it is not possible to adjust entirely to learners' needs andinterests because other factors such as program goals must be considered, learning goalsare negotiated with the learners as described in the following quotations:Interviewer: When you say co-developer, what kinds of things did you have them workwith you on in developing the class with them?Respondent: Well, I would have my own goals, and I would lay those out, and say thisis what I think, and we'd discuss that, and sometimes discuss it ahead of time, too,rather than waiting for the first classroom session or whatever, you know. But thenalways setting up activities that allowed them to make choices about the things thatthey were focusing on.Interviewer: Did you ever change any of your goals because of input from them?Respondent Well, yeah, oh sure, definitely. Not so much skill goals, althoughsometimes, if it were completely irrelevant, there would have to be a negotiation, wellthat just isn't anything that I would ever do and then I might say, well, it might besomething you want to do in the future or, you know, like say taking blood pressures orsomething. And somebody might say, "well the nurse doesn't let me take bloodpressures at my clinic," or whatever, and "well, this might be something you might wantto have a skill for another time .... (R10-Jeanne)***Interviewer: You said you like to know what the learner's needs are, but are there anylimits to Data Analysis - Constructive Conception^ 148Respondent: Yeah. I think so probably, because, and / guess I only ask the questionto the extent that I'm willing to compromise on whatever... I had planned. I have anagenda. Or I have a mandate from my executive committee, or the managementpartner of the firm that says, "You've got a half a day to teach these people this stuff."And if that's not what they came to learn that day, and I can't get to the agenda, thenI'm in trouble, so sure, that's right. (R6-Faith)In the first instance, Jeanne was willing to alter instructional goals if the learners' goals wererelevant to the course. In the second quotation, Faith explained how she had to consider theorganization's needs and goals as factors in any decision to adjust content. Both content andprocesses can be adjusted to learners' needs within certain parameters such as the nature ofthe course and the needs of the organization, therefore the style of instructors is to negotiatecourse goals while considering intervening factors.Internal horizon: Learners. At first glance, it might appear that learners in thisconception are not perceived very differently from those in the Enablement Conception,because in both they are seen as participants. However, unlike the Enablement Conception,they are not always content experts in contrast to non-expert instructors. Rather they arepartners in the teaching-learning process, who along with the instructor are sometimesnovices, sometimes experts depending on the topic. The following quotations illustrate howlearners were viewed in this conception:The biggest hurdle I had to overcome was that in a formal academic environment, theteacher is the expert and the students are there to pick up what they could from theinstructor. In adult learning, I've come to know that we all are experts in some thingsand we're all learners in others. And that I do not have to be responsible for being thefountain of wisdom for all things. (R4-Donna)***Respondent: ...I'm responsible for what goes on, because I'm the one getting paid forit, but I do encourage them that my view is that I want them all to be co-facilitators. Butcertainly there are limits to that metaphor, it's true, because they haven't had to spendx-amount of time preparing the materials and having a plan and a roadmap in mind -that's my job. Interviewer: How do they react to that?Data Analysis - Constructive Conception^ 149Respondent: .... Well I think, I mean at first, I think. When I first say it, it doesn't - theydon't really know what I mean. Or they don't really believe it. But I think by lunchtime,they start to get it and see that truly, whatever they have on their minds, whateversuggestions or criticisms or reactions they have are truly welcomed and will be heardand very possibly, very likely incorporated, if at all appropriate or possible. But it takesa while for that to become believed.... I think its very empowering. (R5-Eileen)***What I say to the groups is, "Now we're going to be going through a training processright here, and so as you experience it, you can sort of wear the hat of a participantand an observer, or have a content hat and a process hat, and if you do that - itssometimes difficult to switch between the two, but if you can do that, you'll get a lotmore out of it." (R17-Robert)In the first quotation, Donna told how she came to discover that both the instructor and thelearners could at some times be experts and at other times be learners, thus implying apartnership rather than an hierarchical relationship. In the second quotation, Eileen describedlearners as co-facilitators (reflective of a previously cited quotation [R5-Eileen, p. 144] in whichshe referred to learners as partners). Then she explained how she responded to the learners'criticisms and suggestions. In the last quotation, Robert referred to the learners asparticipant-observers which would place them sometimes in the role of learners and othertimes as experts.Thus in this conception, learners are never seen solely as receivers; and the roles ofinstructor and learners can be exchanged with responsibilities for instructing and learningshared depending on the topic. As participants, learners' involvement is more complex thanthe sharing of information described in the Enablement Conception. Learners' needs arefactors in the negotiation of learning goals along with the needs of the organization. Theinstructors relate to the learners as partners and invite them into the process at the point ofnegotiating learning goals and objectives, then work with them to discover or construct newknowledge, new ways of relating and integrating concepts, or new ways of performing sometask. Data Analysis - Constructive Conception^ 150Instruction ComponentsThere are five ways in which instructors attempt to move learners from needing tolearn new content to understanding it.HOW,  Component: Identifying learning goals.  The referential aspect of the first HOWof this conception is identifying learning goals, which is apparent in statements like thefollowing:Its working with the client to help them identify what it is they're really after, what aretheir goals and objectives. So that then I can work on what are my goals andobjectives, what is the focus of this course. (R5-Eileen)***So guidelines, for me, is I definitely sit down and identify what my goals and expectedoutcomes are, and to analyze what my learning population is, who am I talking to, am Iworking with?... (R6-Faith)***So for the first hour and a half, there would - we did some introductions and we got toknow each other better. Which I think is an important part of a session. So that's -after that which was really data gathering, needs analysis data gathering, so after that Ifelt more comfortable and we had established a common set of goals and understan-ding. (R17-Robert)It is clear from the first and last quotations that Eileen and Robert established learning goalsin partnership with the learners. This emphasis on learning goals provides further evidence ofthe focus on learning in this conception.The external horizon of this component of the Constructive Conception consists ofmost instructional situations because respondents appeared to view the setting of goals as aprinciple of practice whenever they taught, thus not limiting this component to the workplacesetting where they were instructing at the time of the interview. The internal horizon consistsof the instructor's goals, the learners' goals, and the negotiation of common learning goals.Data Analysis - Constructive Conception^ 151HOW, component: Providing experiences.  The referential aspect of the second HOWof instruction is providing experiences. This was evident in the following comments:And I learned as a language therapist, that first the child has to have the concept andthey learn that through experience, so it was when I worked with little children andreally seeing, how do you teach a child to say "more" - you know, the first word / wouldchoose to teach any kid who can't talk - "more!" - very powerful word. And first theyhave to experience that's a possibility, the experience has to come first, from whichthey'll build the cognitive awareness, and then, I can give them some skills on top ofthat. So I guess it was my strong experience with all of that and working withdevelopmentally disabled and brain-damaged, and all kinds of very tough-to-teachcandidates. And if I found ways that worked with them, I could find ways thatworked.... (R5-Eileen)***/ really, truly believe people have to do things themselves. And spoon feeding ingeneral, spoon feeding knowledge doesn't go very far.... And, so for me, you know,that's been a real challenge to say, well what do I want to get out of it and do I need to- it kind of goes both ways, because I can tend to get too strict, and then somebodysays, "Gees, if you'd just told us that, we could have caught on a lot faster, or whatever.You really wasted our time." "Oh, my mistake." But I think in teaching teachersespecially, that becomes a real important area is letting the learner learn by experience,discover on their own, through their own, you know, gut wrenching process ofrealization, whether it's technical or philosophical, the learner has to grasp it. (R6-Faith)Both Faith and Eileen believed that processes that give learners a direct experience of thecontent to be taught are effective, but they also saw limitations to experiential processes, ascan be seen in the following comments:... There's a lot of structure that's the same, no matter what the topic that we open withpeople, you know, with getting clear focus, both I try to show them my focus and try toget them to get a focus and a goal, and try to do as much of it as possible throughexperiences. I don't always feel real able to do that. Like with time management. I'mstill always struggling to figure out ways to make that more - I mean it's at least doingworksheets and working through a problem, but it's not quite the same thing. I haven'tquite figured out how to do that. (R5-Eileen)***Interviewer: Are you able to do that in the setting here most of the time?Respondent Oh, to a certain extent in discussions, but in some of my dream projectsthat we hope to do someday when we have more resources, we'd like to take our•ractice rou • .19 • 111.11.•-••-• • e _ e • •communication oriented things, that's where that'll be able to happen. I thinkorientations are very much information giving, and there's only a few sessions that areData Analysis - Constructive Conception^ 152designed to be something they can kind of grope through and come up with someideas on, because of the nature of the content is just that way....Interviewer; Yeah. I was wondering if you could always have them engage in adiscovery type approach to everything.Respondent: No, I don't think so. That would be kind of humorous, I think, yeah todevelop a new system for routing the messages. (R6-Faith)The two respondents concluded that experiential processes were not appropriate for allcontent and instructional goals. Robert also thought it was important to relate instructionalprocesses to the goals of the program, as can be seen in his reply to the question of what hisgifts as an instructor were:And having a clear sense of purpose about what I'm doing, so that's part of thefocusing part - knowing why we're doing what we're doing. I think there's a lot oftraining, a lot of trainers who use activity for activity's sake, you know. And that's one ofthe traps we fall into with experiential work...You have to examine, analyze the process -the process in order to know what it is that you're going to learn. And that's thepropose for doing it. And so - but there's a lot of training that's a whole bunch ofexercises, but what's the purpose of this. (R17-Robert)Another factor that can limit the instructors' ability to always use experiential processes is thelearning style of the learners, as Peter explained:One of the difficulties we have - but everybody's got it in different ways - is that wesupport corporate staff groups who tend, and a lot of these people are in accountingand law and things like that. They tend to have pretty linear, concrete learning styleand they tend to think that's the right style and therefore its difficult to get them intoanything that's very experiential. (R16-Peter)Experiential processes may be considered appropriate when instruction is intended to bringabout the discovery and creation of meaning, however information and previously constructedknowledge must also be made available to the learners as building blocks. Respondents sawa need to supply information at times, as Faith explained above and Robert stressed thatactivity for activity's sake was pointless. So the instructional processes associated with thisconception might better be classified as those that are appropriate for the learning goals witha preference for expAripntial processes.Data Analysis - Constructive Conception^ 153In this case the external horizon is context dependent because as Eileen, Faith andPeter found, it is not always possible to use experiential processes. Therefore thiscomponent is limited by certain factors within the instructional situation such as content andlearners. The internal horizon consists of the content which is the concept to be understood,the act of providing a concrete experience of the concept, and the instructor as facilitator.HDR,  component: Providing an environment for learning. Another way in whichinstruction takes place in this conception is by providing an environment for learning, which isthe referential aspect of the third HOW of instruction and is apparent in the followingdescriptions of the instructors' function:I'm partners with the people in my class, to make learning possible, not that I ampouring in the learning into their heads, so I'm creating an environment and kind ofdirecting things, and keeping them on track, and helping to focus, and balance anddraw people in who need that, and limiting people who need some, you know,boundaries, and uh, so keeping things on track, focused and in balance. (R5-Eileen)***I see my responsibility as providing the smorgasbord. Creating the environment whereits most conducive to training, minimal distractions, good structure and flow ofconcepts so that they make sense, they build on each other, clear answers toquestions that people have, providing resources for them, setting up activities wherethey can actually discover for themselves, providing multiple sensory approach, not justtelling, not just the hearing, but the seeing, the kinesthetic, the hands on, providing thestructured, structured variations.... And providing review of concepts without labeling itreview, putting activities in that force them to draw on their own learning. Its the set-upin the structure that I feel responsible for and managing the time so that we cover thematerial effectively. (R4-Donna)It is evident from these quotations that the instructors' responsibility is more complex than thepresentation of information of the Transmission Conception or the facilitation of instruction ofthe Enablement Conception. The creation of the kind of environment and the directiondescribed here are seen as ways of providing optimal opportunities for learners to participateand learn. This component appears not to be limited to the workplat-u but would applywherever these respondents taught, therefore the external horizon consists of all instructionalData Analysis - Constructive Conception^ 154settings. The internal horizon is comprised of the instructor as facilitator, content in the formof information available from many sources, and the acts of leading discussion, structuringconcepts, providing resources, managing time, and providing goal-oriented learning activities.HOW, component: Modeling a way of being. A fourth HOW of instruction is modelingways of being and is suggested by such statements as:Well, I see facilitating as modeling.... And so as a facilitator, I'm modeling what I wantthem to be with kids, no matter what the content is. (R14-Nancy)***What I say to the groups is, "Now we're going to be going through a training processright here, and so as you experience it, you can sort of wear the hat of a participantand an observer, or have a content hat and a process hat..." And then I stop everyonce in a while and ask them, you know, "What have you seen happening? What hasmade it - what's made it easy for you to learn? What kind of things do you observe?"...So, I guess another way to say it is that I try and model the kinds of things that we arelearning. (R17-Robert)***I think I'm able to model at least in the classroom, not in my whole life, 24 hours a day,but in the classroom, in that situation, Pm able to model the attitudes and the skills thatI'm trying to convey. And that feels real good, and I think its very, um - helps themlearn. (R5-Eileen)In the first two quotations, Nancy and Robert, who trained trainers, spoke of modeling ways ofbeing instructors. In the second quotation, Robert also mentioned another important aspectof this HOW of instruction when he described a discussion with learners of how theyexperienced what he modeled. In the last quotation, Eileen spoke of modeling attitudes andskills of being a person with a healthy self-image, which was the content of her personalgrowth course. This appears to be somewhat different from the understanding in theTransmission Conception in which modeling is thought of as the demonstration of particularprocesses or skills.Data Analysis - Constructive Conception^ 155Again, the respondents did not differentiate between the workplace and otherinstructional situations, therefore this component is not limited to the workplace and theexternal horizon is most instructional situations. The internal horizon consists of instructorsshowing by their actions a way of being, and the instructor and learners' acts of discussinghow the learners experienced the instructor's actions.HOW, component: Challenging learners. The referential aspect of the fifth and lastway that instructors try to move learners to understanding is by challenging them to risk tryingnew actions. This was suggested by two respondents:... First you have to create an atmosphere of trust and comfort, so that the people couldthen be willing to do the experiences.... And in the workplace... I don't feel like its fairto push people to do anything too touchy-feely, but I try to, so you know, within somedegree, I try to do that. But with - I don't want to make them too uncomfortable. I don'tknow, sometimes I think I need to get braver, and they'll learn more if I push harder, butso far I haven't pushed that hard. (R5-Eileen)***One of the tough ones, [beliefs] I think, is some of the binds sometimes about wantingthe learning experience to be a positive one for people, and wanting them to feel goodabout it because I believe a little bit in classical conditioning so that they'll associatethat experience with something positive depending upon if its something they can use.And on the other hand, challenging them enough and pushing them enough so thatthey stretch and do something different, so that it isn't just a nice experience thatdoesn't leave them with anything. And that - maybe I'm back to the challenges. That'sa tough one. I think you have to do both. And thats hard sometimes. So I guessthats a principle but I don't - you can't always - I think you're kind of walking a fine line,if it gets too uncomfortable they cut out on you.... When they say " Well, you didn't useadult learning principles" and what it means is "you've made me uncomfortable." That's,as I say, thats a hard one for us because I think I know, I sort have a visualization of Iwant to make people feel uncomfortable within a safe environment. Safe to fail, safe totry things, but not necessarily be comfortable. (R16-Peter)This HOW of instruction presented a dilemma for both Eileen and Peter because, on the onehand, they believed that individuals are more cooperative when they were psychologicallycomfortable, and, on the other hand, they also believed that challenge promotes learning.Data Analysis - Constructive Conception^ 156It might be questioned whether this component was applied to other instructionalsettings; however no differentiation was made, and in other parts of the interviews, theserespondents applied their basic thinking about instruction to other instructional settings.Therefore, it can be assumed that the external horizon is made up of all instructional settings.The internal horizon consists of learners' comfort with learning activities and their willingnessto cooperate with the instructor; the instructors' desire for learners to learn by trying newactions; and the instructors' act of balancing challenge and support.The ways of attempting to move learners from a state of needing to learn certaincontent to their understanding of it are not mutually exclusive; any or all of them may occurin the same instructional situation. Providing an environment for learning is a comprehensiveway of looking at instruction that could include all the rest. Identifying learning goals is a firststep that emphasizes the partnership between instructor and learners. Modeling a processmight be considered one way of providing an experience, especially when discussion of theexperience is included, and involving learners in any experience may be a challenge for them.These different HOW's of instruction all point to an understanding that experiential processesare the primary ways for learners to discover meaning.Learning ComponentsHOW6 component: Discovering meaning.  There are four HOW components referringto learning. The referential aspect of the first HOW is discovering meaning and was evident inmany of the preceding quotations as well as in the following:First they have to experience that's a possibility, the experience has to come first, fromwhich they'll build the cognitive awareness, and then, I can give them some skills ontop of that. (R5-Eileen)***How would I describe learning?... How do you know when its happened? (Pause)You can feel it. You just, its much more in you, its not just in your head. Well, itData Analysis - Constructive Conception^ 157depends on what you're talking about - the kind of learning of attitudes and personalhabits, I mean, what I'm trying to teach... when I see that little light bulb go off,...Because all of a sudden they realize more what is involved. (R5-Eileen)** *It's not till you do something together that you recognize what the components of ateam really are. And then once you have kind of an 'Ah-ha" experience, especially if itswith your own work group, then you can really define, not only what is teamwork, butwhat are the characteristics of the various constituents on a team. (R6-Faith)** *But I think in teaching teachers especially, that becomes a real important area is lettingthe learner learn by experience, discover on their own, through their own, you know,gut wrenching process of realization, whether its technical or philosophical, the learnerhas to grasp it. (R6-Faith).Both Eileen and Faith viewed the nature of learning as the realization or understanding of themeaning of a concept, for example, the meaning of teamwork. Experiencing a concept is aninitial step in the understanding of its meaning.There is no evidence that respondents limited this way of viewing learning to thesetting they were describing; in fact, many respondents brought their way of viewinginstruction to the workplace from other settings. Therefore the external horizon can beassumed to be any learning situation. The internal horizon consists of the learners, aconcrete experience, and the acts of experiencing a concept and of understanding itsmeaning.HOW, component: Relating new concepts.  One HOW of learning suggested in thedata is relating new concepts to past experiences, and is found in the following statements:I think adults do have experiences that you need to relate to. And even whenthey admit that they don't know a topic, they have had other kinds ofexperiences that are relevant and I think those have to be honored andacknowledged. I think one, because you lower resistance that way. Andsecondly because that can be incorporated into what they know. And I sort ofdo it sometimes like have these old time mail slots - they've got a bunch of mailboxes. they've got A hunrh of the slots fillcd, but you're hying IU till in someothers, they have to relate it to their own structure. (R16-Peter)Data Analysis - Constructive Conception^ 158***Different people learn different things, and I really hesitate to get it too structured,because there're people who have these ah-ha's, you know.... It was like this greatlight bulb - finally something connected. (R17-Robert)In the first quotation, Peter compared an individual's cognitive structure to a framework of mailslots. Individual slots consist of existing knowledge about the topic; new information has torelate to existing knowledge to find a place in another slot. In the second quotation, Robertused the metaphor of a light bulb to represent the move from the step of relating a newconcept ("connected") to the step of understanding. New concepts must be related to thelearner's conceptual structure, and understanding takes place when the connection betweennew and existing information is made.Because new concepts are related to life experiences, the external horizon of thiscomponent is the life world of the learners and is not limited to the context of the workplace.The internal horizon consists of learners with past experiences and knowledge, the acts ofrelating new concepts to past experiences, and of understanding the new concept.HOW0 component: Retrieving and applying new concepts. The referential aspect ofthe third HOW component is that learning is retrieving and applying learned concepts andcan be seen in the following:What I mean by learning is (Pause) coming, I think, coming to grips with, andrecognizing something different than you did before. And what you do with what yourecognize, I think is also part of learning, because putting it into action, the measure ofacceptance of what that learning is about, whether we're trying to get somebody to buyinto a concept or we just need to help someone explore, either way, whatever you putinto action, is the next most important step. And I think activity learning is, andexperiential learning, is really the most beneficial.... And maybe for one person, its justrecalling out of memory some things that they can bring up as skills that they mightoffer, and for another person, its hearing something for the first time and going,"Wow!"... (R6-Faith)***Data Analysis - Constructive Conception^ 159Presentation of material always assumes that there's a presentation that moves directlyinto application, so... I always comment on how I see relationship, so if I ask a lot ofquestions, simple examples and questions, that I will give them, then I will ask them,"from experience when you do training, there's some typical questions that you mayask' ...they have to go to the board and write down two questions you would ask - or ifyou're going to do this, how would you use this technique in your training? Its alwaysthe transfer, the connection of what the theory is with the idea. So that's a - I can't getout of that habit - I don't see how you can get a - do good training without doing that....(R17-Robert)Learning as a process of relating new ideas to previously understood concepts and applyingnewfound knowledge in the work situation is similar to components of the other conceptions.However, rather than simply absorbing information to be retrieved and applied, engagementin experiential activities results in an understanding of the concepts which is what would beapplied in practice.Even though all the other learning components of this conception are not limited tolearning in the workplace, it seems reasonable to assume that this component is limited tothe job situation to which the training is directed. That appears to be the sense of the abovequotations and differentiates this component from the next one. Therefore, the externalhorizon of this component is the job situation. The internal horizon consists of the learnerwith newly understood concepts or skills, the situation, and two acts - one of rememberingwhat was learned, and two, of applying new concepts or skills.HOW, com •onent: A 'n ne conceits in one's life world. The last HOW• IIIcomponent of learning is unique to this conception and is another way in which applicationoccurs. Its referential aspect is applying new concepts in one's life world. It is evident insuch statements as:My basic goal - my overall goal is to change the world definitely, bring peace on earth.Yeah, I'm real clear on that. Yeah, that is my goal, ultimately. (Laugh). Yeah, I meanliterally, I am a peace-maker, yes. ... And how am I progressing? Well, yeah, a lot of itis, its opening up blinders. helping pAnple be more acccpting of themselvuo dud vieach other, to feel more alive and excited and empowered, and therefore to be all theyData Analysis - Constructive Conception^ 160can be, and I believe that, that it is human nature - my view of human nature is veryoptimistic.... (R5-Eileen)***The other thing that's probably the most important from a standpoint of what I do is I'mreal committed to the topic.... I'm a real, committed to making a difference in the socialfabric of our world and society and so I'm fortunate in that the topic that I train in issomething that I strongly believe that is making a difference.... (R14-Nancy)***And / guess, but basically, its a belief that learning and what learning and education'sabout is to help people do more than what they're able to do now, or empower them,or make them - what I feel is that it ought to help move people from a dependency toindependency, and that's what any kind of learning process ought to be, so that Ibecome less dependent on other people and am more able to do it myself. (R1 7-Robert)In the first quotation, Eileen stated that her goal was to empower learners whom she taughtso they would be able to communicate with others and eventually bring peace to the world.Nancy, too, hoped that her work of training teachers in substance abuse and AIDS preventioncurricula would contribute to the betterment of society. And in the last quotation, Robertexpressed his goal, which he believed to be the goal of all education, to help people becomemore self-sufficient as learners. These learning goals are broader than those of HOW B inwhich new learning is to be applied to the task at hand. They are also more far-reaching thanthe humanistic goals expressed in the Enablement Conception, because they are directed tothe world beyond the immediate organization for which the instructor was training. Therespondents appeared to have goals for society which impacted their thinking aboutinstruction and learning, revealing glimpses of a personal teaching philosophy that is notevident in the other conceptions.The external horizon is the life world of the learners, because this component is clearlynot limited to the context of the workplace. The internal horizon is comprised of the newlylearned skills or concepts, learners as agents nf nhRnge, life and work Situations bvyurid theimmediate task, and the ability to relate newly learned knowledge to various situations.Data Analysis - Constructive Conception^ 161These different ways of achieving and applying understanding provide a morecomplete picture of how learning is understood in this conception. First of all, a concept isexperienced; the experience is related to past experiences and knowledge; then a realizationof the meaning of the concept occurs. The learning outcome is that new concepts and skillsare retrieved from the learner's conceptual structure, then used in the job situation andbeyond it in the learner's life world.Other Indicators of the Constructive Conception Other indicators of this conception are the respondents thinking about knowledge andthe context.Knowledge. In the Constructive Conception, knowledge is thought to be discovered,constructed and construed, to be available from multiple sources, and to be contextual. Thatknowledge could be constructed suggests a process rather than the object implied by thepre-defined body of information of the other conceptions. Most of the respondents spoke ofthe learning process as one of discovery reflecting an assumption that the knowledge to bediscovered already existed. However, the following two examples reveal an understanding ofknowledge as being constructed and construed by the learners:We do an activity on the very - its the very last activity that we do in a five-day trainingwith trainers, and thats we give each small group a statement that they have just been -either a statement or a question that somebody from the audience has just given them,either in a presentation they've done or training. And its a difficult question. Its eithera - you know, somebody who's unhappy or its somebody who isn't very motivated, andthen, they have to put their heads together and decide how would they respond. Andthese are all questions we've gotten over the years from people, that we feel are themost difficult and that we've had to respond to on our feet. And then they have toanswer - and we, then play the role of that person in the audience. And so they, thenselect a spokesperson and they come back with the information. And what they do is,they utilize all of the information that they - the question forces them to utilize all theinformation that they've learned (P14 Na cy) ***Data Analysis - Constructive Conception^ 162I am a perennial student in my own way. I absorb a lot of information and digest andits just almost like playing games, some people do crossword puzzles and somepeople do other things. ...I put pieces together in a puzzle and spit them back outagain and say "what will it look like if we do that to it?" Its like a little experiment, so itsplayfulness, and I don't know that I'm particularly doing anything unique or new with theinformation, so I don't consider it total creativity on my part, though someone else mightdisagree with me. But ...its reconfiguring information, and trying to do it in a form thatdifferent people will be able to recognize. And not everybody recognizes it. (R12-Lois)***I do a workshop in a couple of weeks with [Company X] Computer Services and this isan example of what I was telling you about earlier about always having to - realizingthat you don't have to be the teacher, and I came off this exercise of one-sentenceproblem situations,...and about eight or ten people who had very strong answers andwe talked about those things. We went for three or four hours. It was amazing, andthey loved it. They said it was the best part of the workshop. They loved it. Theyloved hearing what other people had to say and learning from their differentapproaches to things. It was amazing - it was like, what a simple way - you know - toget the point across, ...We had already talked about the other conceptual stuff,...so thiswas an example of applying that material. And they were then drawing upon all thestuff we were talking about as well as their own experiences to problem solve. (R1 7-Robert)In the first quotation, Nancy described an activity done at the end of her training program inwhich the learners jointly "built" knowledge. This activity required more than an exactrepetition of information learned during the program, implying that although information is partof knowledge, it must be interpreted and applied in appropriate ways. In the secondquotation, Lois described how she handled information when she was learning. Although shespoke of learning as absorbing information, reconfiguring it suggested a constructiveunderstanding. And in the third quotation, Robert gave an example that illustrated theconstruction of knowledge with learners drawing on themselves as resources.Not only is knowledge to be constructed and construed, it is available from manysources as is evident from the following comments:...What I see in a lot of teaching, is what it really is, is taking a lot of information andsynthesizing that and deciding how it can be presented in as easy a way as possible.So its like a, almost like a - if you've ever seen a wool machine? In fact I was in Walesin October and we went to this little won/ fantory. There's this big machinc and itwould take, lets say all the wool, the raw wool, or it might be dyed at this point in time,and they put it into this big machine and it fluffs up and it takes out all which would beData Analysis - Constructive Conception^ 163garbage, lets say, information, or the threads that were in the sheep and theneventually, it fluffs it up and then it puts it out on like racks that were on the other side,and they begin to tear it apart and make it into single threads and eventually it goesalong and into the production line and it came out as a single thread, eventually, all theway down the line. So I guess I'd have to say that could be a metaphor for trainingfrom the standpoint that what feel like my job involves a lot of synthesizing informationwhen I'm doing the research and I'm pulling lets say from a couple books and a bunchof articles I've read, and what I've heard people say, or maybe a consultant has comein and has done shadow consulting, and then I take that and then I try to determine,ok, what use is all this information to a manager. How do we get this down into some -a set of skills that I can impart to them that will help them do their job better. So that'smy metaphor. (R22-Yvonne)***And I learned as a language therapist, that first the child has to have the concept andthey learn that through experience, so it was when I worked with little children andreally seeing, how do you teach a child to say "more" - you know, the first word I wouldchoose to teach any kid who can't talk - "more!" - very powerful word. And first theyhave to experience that's a possibility, the experience has to come first, from whichthey'll build the cognitive awareness, and then, I can give them some skills on top ofthat. So I guess it was my strong experience with all of that and working withdevelopmentally disabled and brain-damaged, and all kinds of very tough-to-teachcandidates. And if I found ways that worked with them, I could find ways thatworked.... (R5-Eileen)***Also I'm more realistic about what I expect out of myself, too. I don't assume all theresponsibility for what happens in that room. And I set that up at the beginning, that itsa group thing, that we're all resources. (R4-Donna)In the first quotation, Yvonne explained how she constructed knowledge by consultingsources such as literature and other consultants, then spun her own thread of knowledge thatwas not an exact repetition of any one source but her unique interpretation. She thenmerged the knowledge she constructed with what she knew of the managers' situations so asto develop a training program. In the second quotation, Eileen identified her prior experienceas a speech pathologist as a source of her belief in experiential instructional processes.Donna suggested in the last quotation that learners as well as instructors are resources for learnin • Sourc • 6I•■ -••- . - .• Is •• •^-• • • ..learning goals.Data Analysis - Constructive Conception^ 164In this conception the context is a factor in determining the validity of knowledge.Experience and knowledge, whether the instructors' or the learners' are neither wholly rightnor wrong. Perspectives and understandings are seen as contextual resulting in consequen-ces within one organization that might not be true in another situation. This was apparent inthe following quotations:.... Part of the problem is that some of us have learned some things that probably aren'tvery helpful, that its not a matter of you're a bad person, but you may have acquiredsome behaviors or some ideas that don't really fit in with this." Or in some cases Imight point out that "the ideas that some of you are sharing I think are valid, but they fitone kind of model and the model that I see the company trying to move towards... isdifferent. And you have to leave some of those behind, and so I'm not saying that isbad idea, but its not going to get you where you want to go. And if you want to movein this direction which I've heard you say as a group or as a company, then some ofthose behaviors you have to drop off behind." And its difficult because you contributethat experience, and you can get into an argument with somebody and start bangingheads and don't get anyplace.... I try to be fairly explicit about saying, "I hear whatyou're saying, I understand that." Sometimes I might say, "I don't happen to agree withthat and I'm not going to tell you you're wrong because I can't. I think that's going tocause you problems or I think that's not going to get you where you want to go. And ifyou choose to continue that, that's fine, I mean, I can't change that, but I wouldseriously question it. You're the one who has to do it and take the risks and so forth.So with some people I try to be real clear about it. (R16-Peter)***Well, I don't know if its that so much as redefining someone's expectations and mindsetabout how they're supposed to perform in the particular environment. There's a definitedifferent mindset, from people who are management classification employees, versusunion representative employees. Neither of them is good or bad, but they're different.(R 12-Lois)In the first quotation Peter responded to the question of whether learners' experiences werealways helpful. He viewed experiences and knowledge as contextual, meaning thatsomething that is acceptable in one context might not be in another. The second quotationfollowed a conversation about a manager who had asked Lois to provide training for teambuilding. The interviewer suggested that perhaps conflict management was needed instead.Lois expressed her belief that not only do concepts take on different meanings in differentorganizations, but even in the same organization for different staff roles.Data Analysis - Constructive Conception^ 165Although an indepth analysis of the respondents' understanding of knowledge is notpossible from the data, some evidence exists to show that they thought it is constructed andconstrued rather than received, is available from many sources, and that meaning is partiallydependent on the context.Context. Respondents with the Constructive Conception as their predominantunderstanding of instruction related to the context in two different ways: some of them wereinternal consultants who worked within one organization, and the rest were externalconsultants who contracted to train in a variety of organizations. The internal consultantsworked for a bank, a law firm, a large manufacturing firm, a hospital and research center, anda public utility; the external consultants described courses taught for a large city, a municipaltransportation system, a health education consulting firm, and a volunteer agency.The structure of these organizations was seldom clearly described, however there wassome evidence of mostly collaborative and democratic cultures. This was particularlyapparent in Yvonne's description of the hospital and research center for which she worked:So we decided that what we wanted to have this be [training program on change] isnot only a place where folks could learn how to plan change more proactively, but alsoa vehicle where some discussion would begin. And some recognition of the fact thatas you are growing, if you want to maintain a culture that's non-bureaucratic and isentrepreneurial which is what you have to try to maintain. And this is Yvonne talking,not concepts I've heard. I guess the way I phrase it is you want to maintain that non-bureaucratic, entrepreneurial type of organization, but as you grow that gets tougherand tougher. So you have to plan for that. So that was part of my hope, is that folkswould begin to talk about the changes and say, "Oh yeah, we don't have to be victimsto this, we can plan for how to keep structures in place with as little bureaucracy aspossible, but you do have to plan for that. Its almost an oxymoron, that you have toplan for the non-bureaucracy. So that was part of my hope, that folks would actuallybegin to talk about that. (R22-Yvonne)The organization was described as entrepreneurial, and in subsequent parts of the interview,Yvonne gave examples of open communication and voluntary attendance policies, as well asData Analysis - Constructive Conception^ 166the inclusion of persons of all positions from administrative assistant to division heads in thesame training program.There were other indications of collaborative and democratic cultures. For example,both Peter and Donna said that training was decentralized, so that responsibility for trainingwas delegated throughout the organizations. In the bank in which she worked, Donnashowed that the executive leaders were willing to listen to and act on suggestions of staffmembers:We have, in the programs we have also in place - a process by which the information,the data that is collected can be fed back to senior management,... with the intent, thenthat will give management a window in, what the grassroots management of thecompany see as needs, or what can we do to make our company better. And happily,a lot of the ideas, have been implemented. (R4-Donna)Collaboration was evident in these organizations in such policies as open communication,voluntary attendance at training sessions, and the solicitation of input from employees.What distinguishes thinking about the context in this conception from the otherconceptions was that respondents thematized the context as affecting their ability to train. Itmay be recalled that in the other conceptions, respondents' views about the relation ofcontext to training was often inferred because even when the respondents described thecontext either positively or negatively, they denied a direct relationship with their instructionalpractice.Unclear communication and a lack of information and support were cited as negativefactors affecting training as can be seen in these examples:Another thing that happens with the organization is this organization would like to thinkis that there are sometimes we get ourselves stuck in leadership roles not in terms ofleading education, but we're trying to push through education something that shouldhave been taken care of by leaders saying this is the way its going to be. Its like weneed to hplp people and say a vice prosidont or somcbody will say we need to helppeople understand this is their role in whatever it is. It could be a very short thing, likethe vice president saying to his people, "This is going to be your role," and instead theyData Analysis - Constructive Conception^ 167want to do it through education, so I think education is sometimes a vehicle usedinappropriately. I'll try to help people carry out that role successfully, is a differentstory. So there are some things mixed up in there. (R16-Peter)***.... We were frustrated all the time, I think, we - everybody in the whole thing - wasfrustrated all the time because we never really received good information about theactual task that the bus drivers were going to do. The underground tunnel was in astartup situation, so we were training for something that we really weren't real sure whatwas going to turn out. And that fact came - that was all the way to the wire - I mean wedidn't really know very much about it. (R10-Jeanne)***Interviewer: How did the organization affect your ability to instruct?Respondent: (Pause) It was extremely - what is the word - did not assist me - what isthe word for not assistance. I think that the fellows who were running that trainingprogram had pretty much done everything by the seat of their pants. They didn't thinkthat I needed as much time as I took, they didn't think I needed the stuff that I needed,and so it was pretty much, anything I wanted to do was suspect in a way. (R10-Jeanne)In the first quotation Peter gave an example of what he viewed as the inappropriate use of thetraining department. As a result of lack of clarity regarding the source of organizationalchanges, employees' negative reactions to change were focused on the instructor whose rolewas only to help them implement their roles, instead of focusing on the leaders who initiatedthe change. The next two quotations illustrate Jeanne's extreme frustration with the lack ofsufficient information and support in the context where she trained. In the first place, she wastraining trainers for a procedure which had never been done before - training transit operatorsto drive buses in an underground tunnel. She also cited other evidence of non-support suchas not being able to obtain approval to use computer simulations for training, so that sheviewed the organization as a hindrance to her ability to instruct.Other respondents identified contextual factors such as environmental limitations andlearning styles whirl, they bPlieved to affect their ability to instruct cxperientially:Data Analysis - Constructive Conception^ 168Respondent: First of all, what does an office organization, an office culture need to becomfortable in orientation? And what does an office culture tolerate? Because Iworked for Outward Bound, which is a national outdoor based training model, and Ihad worked with a lot of professional people in an outdoor medium. So of coursewhen you go into the outdoor medium but you're used to working indoors, its sort oflike, the literal walls are removed, so there is not as much limitation, but when you'reused to being in an indoor environment and you need to do the training indoors, thereare already built-in walls, and I had to find out a lot more about what the mental wallsare around that, because I had worked with the same kind of clientele, but in a placewhere the walls were gone. I thought, that's something I have to really look at. Whatkind of limits do people have....Interviewer: Now these limits, then, that you found, how did the limits that you foundaffect what you were able to do in the training? Did you find limits?Respondent: I did. And the kinds of limits that I found basically, I think, were thephysical limitations that people feel when they have to sit at a desk, and they have toput their suit on and be the person that they are at work. (R6-Faith)***As far as teaching styles, we don't get any official edicts that tell us we have to docertain things. One of the difficulties we have - but everybody's got it in different ways -is that we support corporate staff groups who tend, and a lot of these people are inaccounting and law and things like that. They tend to have pretty linear, concretelearning style and they tend to think that's the right style and therefore its difficult to getthem into anything that's very experiential. (R16-Peter)The first quotation illustrates Faith's speculation that organizations might present both physicaland mental limitations to instructors so that it was important to discover what the limitationswere. In the second quotation, Peter described a type of learning style that he saw as abarrier to experiential instruction.External consultants explained that they often had to adjust to the culture oforganizations in which they trained, as was apparent in the following comments:... If I work with the training people, they're great - they're really good to work with.When you don't work with training people, its harder, because they don't quite have thesame understanding or awareness - and sometimes I think they have unrealisticexpectations and I try real hard to work with that. But usually, I think usually we're ableto work it out, and I often get them to change what they had in mind because, youknow, because they haven't thought it through. And I do find the longer I'm in this, themore I realize I need to take a very active role. I cannot - maybe when / started, they'dnail and I'd say "well this is what I want," and I'd think they'd really know aim] I try amdo it, but now I know, "wait a second, let me help you think this through," becauseData Analysis - Constructive Conception^ 169that's what I do, that's my job, and you may not really have a real good plan in mindhere. So I see myself as a partner with them in developing all I do. (R5-Eileen)***Interviewer: Now do you always have the same approach to instruction no matter whatthe content is or the objectives or does it change?Respondent: Well, I adjust it. I'm more directive sometimes, what I'm trying to do at[Company Xj is much more directive as opposed to facilitating discussion. It was agiven type of format, so I have to accept it, present it differently from what I would donormally. Yeah, I would - I adjust - I don't go from, you know, four hours of lecture withone group to nothing at all - its pretty consistent. I remind myself to adjust myself inthe course of the lecture. With some groups I back off at - but I don't have a wholebunch of different styles, so I usually do discussion and problem solving....Presentation of material always assumes that there's a presentation that moves directlyinto application, so... I don't see how you can get a - do good training without doingthat.... (Al 7-Robert)In the first quotation, Eileen explained that people who oversaw training in organizations didnot always understand the amount of time that was necessary to implement an effectiveprogram, therefore she worked with them to design training programs. This outlook wasconsistent with her belief in a partnership relationship between instructor and learners. In thesecond quotation, Robert described how he had to adapt his style to the demands of one or-ganization, and yet not deviate greatly from his basic approach to instructing which was toinvolve the learners by engaging them in problem solving and the application of new learningto their work. In this conception, there is clearly a perception that contextual factors, such ascommunication, attitudes and styles of management and staff, and the physical environmentaffect the instructor's ability to teach effectively.In summary, instruction in the Constructive Conception is about sharing responsibilityfor the discovery and construction of meaning in partnership with learners. Understandingand meaning are most effectively discovered through processes that provide as close anexperience of the concept to be understood as possible. Factors within the context in whichinstructinn takes place impact tho instructor's ability to tcach so that it is important tonegotiate for the best possible conditions. The varied components of instruction areData Analysis^ 1 70identifying learning goals with the learners, providing an optimal environment for learningincluding appropriate experiences, modeling a way of being, and challenging the learners totry new ways of acting. Learning processes consist of experiencing a concept, relating newconcepts to past experiences, and retrieving and applying new concepts in the workplace aswell as in one's life world. Most of these beliefs about instruction are not delimited by theworkplace but can apply in any instructional setting.Comparison of the ConceptionsThis study began with a conceptual framework depicting six elements that areassumed to comprise an instructional situation. These elements are the instructor, content,processes, learners, learning and context. Although different elements emerged from thedata with varying degrees of emphasis, all of them were touched on, however briefly, in thepreceding analysis. By way of summary and comparison, Table 6 illustrates the meaningattributed to each element in the different conceptions of instruction.In Table 6, the referential meaning of each conception follows the title of theconception. The six elements of instruction are briefly characterized according to theconception, with the starred one being the element of focus. A more complete explanation ofthe elements in relation to the conceptions is contained in the preceding data analysis. Inthis section, certain aspects of the three conceptions will be compared and contrasted,focusing on four themes - knowledge, learning, meaning and connectedness. Two of the sixelements of instruction emerged from the data as more important for the construction of theconceptions. Knowledge (which comprises the content) emerged as a unifying element ineach conception, and characteristic ways of viewing learning seemed to parallel the differentunderstandings of instruction. In addition, a two-way division appeared among theData Analysis^ 171conceptions, with the Transmission and Enablement Conceptions on one side and theConstructive Conception on the other. This division was about meaning and connectedness.Table 6Comparison of Elements of Instruction Instructor^Content^Processes^Learners^Learning^Context(Knowledge)Transmission Content^*Pre-defined^Presentation^Receivers^Receiving &^Taken forConception - expert body of applying^grantedimparting^ informationinformationEnablement^Process^Common^Discussion^*Experts;^Applying^Taken forConception -^facilitator;^sense participants grantedfacilitating^"non-expert"sharingConstructive^Partner with^Constructed^Experiential^Partners with^*Construct-^ImpactsConception -^learners^& construed instructor^ing meaning^instructionsharingresponsibil-ity for con-structingmeaningKnowledge Knowledge arose from the data as an important aspect of the respondents'understandings of instruction in that assumptions about it appear to be the thread holding theelements of instruction together to produce the conception. First, the similarities anddifferences of how knowledge is viewed in the conceptions will be discussed, then assimilarities and differences among the other elements of instruction are discussed, it will beshown how each is related to the understanding of knowledge.In the Transmission and Enablement conceptions knowledge is viewed somewhatsimilarly. In both, it is a stable object - a hnrly of information - to be pacccd from one sourceto another. In the Transmission Conception, it is predefined by persons recognized asData Analysis^ 172experts, particularly the instructor, who acquires it from such external sources as literature,vendor packages, or the organization. In the Enablement Conception, knowledge is still anobject to be given to others, though perhaps a little more flexible because the source ofknowledge is the learners themselves who have acquired it through experience and arethemselves experts. This understanding of knowledge is quite different from the ConstructiveConception in which it is seen more as a dynamic process than as a stable object. This isnot to say that knowledge in the form of information is not necessary for the instructionalprocess in the Constructive Conception, just that it is to be discovered, built upon andinterpreted, rather than passed around seemingly intact. It can be derived from a variety ofsources - learners, instructor, and/or outside sources. The other important difference inunderstanding knowledge is the way it is judged to be authentic. In the TransmissionConception, knowledge is valid because it comes from experts; in the EnablementConception, knowledge that is relevant to the learners' needs is valid; and in the ConstructiveConception, the validity of knowledge depends on its context so that an interpretation of aconcept that is acceptable in one situation might not be in another.Perceptions of the instructor's role, function, and responsibility follow logically on theunderstanding of knowledge in each conception. In the Transmission Conception, instructorsare content experts who present authentic information to the learners, and who areresponsible to maintain their content expertise as well as to do all they can to assure thatlearning of the predefined content occurs. In the Enablement Conception, instructors arefacilitators who lead the process of sharing information among the learners. Because theirprimary function is not to present information, they are not responsible to be content experts,but do need group process skills. On the surface, it might appear that in the ConstructiveConception, instructors are viewed like those in the Enablement Conception, and indeed,some aspects of both the Transmission and Enablement Conception are present. LikeData Analysis^ 173instructors in the Enablement Conception, they are seen as facilitators; and like instructors inthe Transmission Conception, they at times are viewed as models. However, providing amulti-faceted environment for learning and facilitating the discovery and construction ofmeaning are more complex activities than assisting in the sharing and application ofinformation in discussions that is the instructor's function in the Enablement Conception. Inthe Constructive Conception, modeling means showing learners a way of being, for example,an effective instructor or a caring person rather than demonstrating specific skills, assuggested in the Transmission Conception. Also, the instructors' expertise is notdeemphasized as it is in the Enablement Conception, but is utilized as a source of knowledgealong with expertise brought by the learners. Neither is the instructor's responsibility forleading the learners in the attainment of learning goals abrogated.Because interactive processes were frequently cited as being preferred by most of therespondents, it might appear that instructional processes are similar in all the conceptions.However, participation and interaction have different meanings in each conception. Forexample, in the Transmission Conception, in which knowledge is seen as a predefined bodyof information, in addition to presentation, the interactive activities appear to be exercises withpredetermined responses designed by the instructor to give learners practice in certain skills.In the Enablement Conception, in which knowledge resides in the learners, interactiveprocesses primarily consist of the discussion and application of the ideas and practices of theparticipants. And in the Constructive Conception, in which knowledge is the construction ofmeaning, only activities that are appropriate for instructional goals are to be used with apreference for those providing a direct experience of the concepts to be learned so that theirmeaning can be understood.The way learners are viewed in the different conceptions is also consistent with theunderstanding of knowledge exhibited. In the Transmission Conception in which knowledgeData Analysis^ 174is a static object to be passed on, learners are viewed as receivers, customers, and non-experts. The needs to be considered are the learning needs of the learners, in other words,their ability to receive the content as defined by the instructors who know what knowledge thelearners need. In the Enablement Conception, in which knowledge resides in the learnerswho are helped to share it, they are seen as participants and experts whose needs forknowledge influence and even determine the content of instructional programs. In theConstructive Conception, in which knowledge is discovered and constructed from manysources, learners are partners with the instructor and each other, because all have someknowledge to share and together will interpret that knowledge to construct new meaning.Learners needs for knowledge are to be considered in the development of instructionalprograms, but so are the organization's needs for employees to learn certain concepts orskills, so that content is negotiated among all these needs.LearningLearning emerged as an important element in the understandings of instructionalthough in the Transmission and Enablement Conceptions, it was not usually thematized bythe respondents unless introduced by the interviewer. In other words, it was not put forth aspart of their understandings of instruction, but appeared to be taken for granted. At the sametime, some of the HOW components in each conception are more clearly about learning thanabout teaching. In the Constructive Conception it is thematized as a defining element of theconception, that is, when respondents spoke of instruction, it was as involving learners in thediscovery of meaning - the definition of learning in this conception. In the ConstructiveConception, the respondents described learning at greater length and in more depth than inthe other conceptions.Data Analysis^ 175In the learning components, there are two similarities throughout all the conceptions.In the first place, relating new information or concepts to prior knowledge and experience arecomponents of all the conceptions. There are some differences, however, in the internalhorizons. In the Transmission Conception, only the act of relating the information ismentioned. In the Enablement Conception, it is suggested that the new information will notalways be compatible with existing knowledge, so it may have to be challenged. This step ofchallenging the new information is not mentioned in the Constructive Conception, butunderstanding as a result of experiencing a concept and relating it to prior knowledge ispresent. However, these are minor differences that might not have been obvious ifrespondents' thinking about learning had been probed in greater depth.A more important way in which the conceptions are similar is in the applicationcomponent of learning. All the conceptions have a HOW component in which newinformation or understanding is applied. The internal horizon of the application component isinterpreted in the same way: learners with the ability to use newly learned information. In allthe conceptions, application is delimited by the context of the job situation. This could beconstrued as the essential component of instruction in the workplace settings of this study,that learners should be able to use what is learned where they work.MeaningThe division of meaning between the Transmission and Enablement Conceptions onone side, and the Constructive Conception on the other is similar to the two major divisions inBeaty et al.'s (1990) conceptions of learning. In the Transmission and EnablementConceptions, knowledge is perceived as information that the learners are supposed toacquire and apply in their jobs, even though the ways they are to acquire the informationdiffer. In the first instance, the instructor delivers it to the learners, and in the secondData Analysis^ 176instance, the learners give it to each other. There is little overt evidence that the learners areto understand and give meaning to the information, even though understanding may beimplied by the acts of relating new information to prior knowledge and applying it on the job(present in both conceptions), and by the belief in the Enablement Conception thatknowledge is common sense derived from practical experience. The act of relating conceptsto one another is a cognitive process involved in understanding; to know how and when toapply concepts and skills assumes an understanding of them; and to derive knowledge fromexperience is an act of understanding. However, these acts as ways in which learners makesense of and understand concepts appear to be taken for granted in the Transmission andEnablement Conceptions, whereas in the Constructive Conception, understanding is the resultof finding meaning in educational experiences. In that conception, everything - the HOWS ofinstruction and the way learning is understood - is directed toward the discovery of meaning.Connectedness Another characteristic of the division between the Transmission and EnablementConceptions on one hand and the Constructive Conception on the other is connectedness.(This is similar to a distinction that Belenky et al. [1986] made in their discussion ofprocedural knowledge.) In the first two conceptions, there seems to be a separation ofinstructor from learners. The instructor is either an expert and the learners are not, or theinstructor is not the expert and the learners are. In the Transmission Conception, the onlyconnection between instructor and learners is when the latter presents information and thelearners receive it. In the Enablement Conception, the connection is made when theinstructor assists the learners to share ideas among themselves. Even if instructors havesome content knowledge, they withhold it from the learners or give it in the form of an opinionData Analysis^ 177that is on the same level as the learners' opinions so it does not appear that the instructorshave set themselves above the learners as authorities presenting their expertise.By contrast, in the Constructive Conception, there is a connection between instructorand learners from the very beginning when they negotiate learning goals. Then in the courseof instruction, the .instructor attempts to "enter into each student's perspectives" (Belenky etal., 1986, p. 227) so that they become partners in the effort to discover meaning. However,this partnership does not abrogate instructors' responsibility for expertise nor does it denyeither instructors' content knowledge or their process knowledge. At the same time, theyassume that learners have knowledge and experiences that can be valuable resources forlearning, so that the responsibility for both instruction and learning are shared by instructorand learners.The structural analysis of Beaty et al. (1990) is a useful tool for the comparison ofconceptions. By examining likenesses and differences in the external and internal horizons ofthe various HOW components of the conceptions, it can be seen that (a) meaning as the goalof instruction separated the Transmission and Enablement Conceptions on one hand from theConstructive Conception on the other, (b) the application of learning is an essential elementof instruction in the workplace, and (c) the Transmission and Enablement Conceptions differfrom the Constructive Conception in connectedness between instructor and learners.SummaryIn this chapter, three conceptions of instruction that were derived from the interviewdata of this research study were described. These conceptions were identified as theTransmission Conception, the Enablement Conception, and the Constructive Conception. Inthe first place, an overview of each conception was presented with sample quotations. Theneach conception was analyzed for its referential and structural aspects including substan-Data Analysis^ 178tiating excerpts from the interviews. Finally, based on a work by Beaty, Dall'Alba & Marton(1990), the conceptions of instruction found in this study were contrasted and compared. Inall the conceptions, thinking about learning is related to the understanding of instructionalthough instruction is not assumed to be the cause of learning. A component of learning issimilar in all three conceptions, namely the application of newly learned knowledge in the jobsituation. This suggests that application of knowledge on the job is an essential componentof instruction in the workplace. The differences among conceptions is most striking in thedivision between the Transmission and Enablement Conceptions on the one hand, and theConstructive Conception on the other. The division is related to meaning to which allelements of the Constructive Conception are directed, and to connectedness between theinstructor and learners. In the next chapter, the findings will be related to the literaturereviewed for this study and the conceptual framework that began this study will be presentedin a revised form based on the data of the study.CHAPTER VDISCUSSION OF THE FINDINGSIn this chapter, the findings of the research study will be compared with the literaturereviewed in Chapter Two, then the conceptual framework, as it has been revised according tothe data, will be presented.Comparison of Findings to the LiteratureRather than analyzing all the literature in comparison with the findings, several relevantthemes, such as facilitation, the assumption that adults learn differently from children, andguidelines for teaching adults will be examined. Then research studies related to conceptionsof teaching adults will be compared with the findings. Finally, it will be explained howpertinent work on knowledge and learning, consulted after the data were collected, was usedin the analysis.A theme that was explored in Chapter One and also emerged in the data was that offacilitation. However, it did not always have the same meaning in the data as in the literature.It was identified by Brookfield (1989) as a more desirable role than that of teacher forinstructors of adults based on an assumption that such instructors are peers of the learners;therefore, their roles should be interchangeable. In the Enablement Conception, instructorsare identified as facilitators as a rejection of the teaching role rather than a sharing of it, andthey appear to be considered inferior in content knowledge to the learners. However, in theConstructive Conception, when instructors are identified as facilitators, it is in the sense sug-gested in the literature: as equals of the learners with responsibility for instruction andlearning shared among instructor and learners.179Discussion of the Findings^ 180Guidelines for Teaching AdultsIn Chapter Two, the literature on teaching adults was divided into two main categories,guidelines for teaching adults, and research studies. The guidelines for teaching adults were,for the most part, derived from learning principles and theory, so are consequentlypsychological. Most of the recommendations are reflected in the conceptions of instructionfound in this study. For example, (a) that content should be meaningful and organized isfound in the Constructive Conception, (b) that skills should be practiced for learning to occuris evident in the Transmission Conception, (c) that learners' experiences should be the mainresources for learning is apparent in the Enablement Conception, (d) that learners'perceptions should be challenged for learning to occur is found in the ConstructiveConception, and (e) in all conceptions, that learners are to be actively involved in the learningprocess.Underlying these recommendations as well as much of the research on teachingadults are assumptions that adults learned differently from children resulting in a generalrecommendation that adults should be taught differently from children. These assumptions,popularly codified under the term andragogy, were examined at some length in Chapter Two.In the study being reported, the respondents' understanding of the general recommendationthat adults should be taught differently from children was investigated, resulting ininterpretations that varied for each conception. It was apparent that most respondents,regardless of their understanding of instruction, were aware of the recommendation.The two characteristics that are believed to differentiate adults from children in theTransmission and Enablement Conceptions are early negative educational experiences andgeneral life experiences. The negative educational experiences are seen as stifling creativitymaking it difficult for adults to apply new concepts, and as setting up motivational barriers tolearning because adults compare training to school. Adults' life experiences are seen asDiscussion of the Findings^ 181resources they want to share, as the source of existing knowledge with which new informationis to be integrated, and as a source of expertise making it unnecessary to learn anything new.In these two conceptions, guidelines derived from these assumptions are that (a) applicationof concepts should be elicited from other learners so the source of such applications is notonly the instructor, (b) adults should be told the benefit and purpose of training, and (c)adults should be invited to share their experiences. However, it is clear that all thesepractices could be applied when teaching individuals of any age as long as the practices areadapted to the learners' meaning structures.Even though these types of assumptions were presented as differentiating adults fromchildren, the respondents did not seem able to draw consistent conclusions regarding theteaching of children. For example, the respondent who said that adults should be told thepurpose of training was asked whether children should also be told the purpose of what theywere being taught. Because he had already stated his belief that adults should be taughtdifferently from children, it could have been assumed that he would have thought thatteachers need not tell children the purpose of their lessons. However, he responded thatchildren should be told the purpose. This ambiguous thinking may be the result ofrespondents espousing an admonition found in adult education literature even when it is notcongruent with their instructional experience. Such an espoused guideline provides anexample of knowledge being viewed as having been derived from external, authoritativesources. This argument is congruent with the epistemology evident in the TransmissionConception, but can be questioned in the Enablement Conception. However, the knowledgebeing discussed is not the knowledge that was a component of the content being taught(which in the Enablement Conception was seen as internal to the learners), but respondents'professional knowledge. It is possible that they viewed knowledge that was a component ofthe content differently than they viewed their professional knowledge. Respondents whoDiscussion of the Findings^ 182espoused the assumption that adults learn differently from children and should be taughtdifferently probably did so because it was present in sources they regarded as authoritative.By contrast, in the Constructive Conception adults are not assumed to learn differentlyfrom children. It is assumed that human beings of any age have life experiences which arepart of their self-identity and from which knowledge is derived. It is also assumed in thisconception that all experiences are not necessarily helpful for learning. The correspondingprinciples of practice are that learners' experiences should be recognized and respected byinstructors, and that learners should be helped to relate new knowledge to their experiences.These guidelines are important in any instructional situation regardless of the age of thelearners.Although the respondents in the Constructive Conception were aware of literature ondifferences between adults and children, they were selective in what elements of that literaturethey espoused. Their judgement revealed an underlying assumption that knowledge is not tobe accepted unquestioningly from external sources, but to be examined for consistency withone's prior knowledge and experiences, then modified to become assimilated within one'sconceptual structure.Certain conditions among learners appear to be attributed to their adultness ratherthan to other factors such as their early education or to their life experience. If adultnesswere set aside as the source of differences among learners and other contributing factorsexamined, corresponding principles of practice could be derived and applied in anyinstructional situation when appropriate. At the same time the factors that do seem to berelevant for teaching and learning can be addressed rather than focusing on learners'adultness, which is a factor that cannot be changed.The other assumptions about adults that form the basis of andragogy as put forth byKnowles (1980), were not explicitly found in the data for this study, although some of Knowles'Discussion of the Findings^ 183instructional guidelines are present, particularly in the Constructive Conception. Instructorand learners are viewed as partners in the instructional process, both responsible for instruc-tion and learning; and experiential processes are viewed as the most effective type forconstructing meaning. However, because adults are not assumed to learn differently in theConstructive Conception, such guidelines can also be applied in instructional situationsinvolving children.Research on Teaching AdultsMuch of the research on teaching adults was based on the assumption that has justbeen discussed, that is that adults learn differently from children and should be taughtdifferently. Many of the studies investigated either the teaching behavior of instructors orinstructors' perceptions. In the latter studies, collaborative, learner-centered understandingsof instruction were preferred. The research study being reported in this dissertation did notinvestigate behavior and did not assume that any understanding of instruction was preferred,so the findings of many of the reviewed studies are not relevant to the findings of this study.However, the studies that explored instructors' ways of understanding their teachingexperiences are similar to this study, so the findings of the most applicable ones will becompared with the ones presented in this dissertation.Conceptions of the Professional World of Teachers of AdultsLarsson's (1983a, 1983b, 1986) study of conceptions of teaching of teachers of adultshas some similarities to this study of conceptions of instruction in the workplace; however, theanalysis of the data differed. From his data, he derived two conceptions of teaching: (a)content should be presented and structured for the students, and (b) students should beinvolved in interpreting and structuring the material to be learned. The first conception isDiscussion of the Findings^ 184similar to the Transmission Conception, and the second one, in some ways to theEnablement Conception, and in other ways to the Constructive Conception. However,Larsson's conceptions focused only on the content element of instruction, whereas inconceptions of instruction in the workplace, content is one of six interrelated elements ofinstruction. The contexts for the two studies were also different in that Larsson's study wasdone in the Swedish adult education system which is presumed to be a formal system,whereas this study was done in multiple informal settings. Larsson's analysis also preservedthe dichotomy of two approaches to teaching adults, a teacher-centered approach and alearner-centered approach found in other research on teaching adults, whereas this researchfound three conceptions of instruction.The relationship of Larsson's second conception to the Enablement and ConstructiveConceptions can only be conjectured. His interpretation that his second conception is amanifestation of weak teacher control appears to resemble the Enablement Conception inwhich content is determined largely by the needs and wants of the learners. If, however,involving the students in Larsson's study means a joint negotiation of goals and content, hissecond conception is more like the Constructive Conception. The conflict that Larssondescribed in teachers holding the second conception who felt they could not teach as theythought best because of the desires of the students for more teacher control was notapparent in this data. However, it may be suggested in the Enablement Conception in whichlearners are considered to have expertise and the instructor is thought of as being withoutcontent knowledge. More investigation would be necessary to determine if there is acorrelation.Larsson's subsequent analysis of his data which resulted in five conceptions of theway teachers use students' experiences in class, and four conceptions of the skilldevelopment of teachers over time is only marginally related to the data being reported here.Discussion of the Findings^ 185Isolated examples of his different conceptions of experience could be found in these data, butit was not the intention of this study to investigate such understandings. However, futureanalysis might be fruitful because the learners' experience emerged as an important factor inthe Enablement and Constructive Conceptions. In like manner, it may be useful at somefuture time to examine these data for ways of understanding skill development because therespondents were asked how their thinking about teaching had changed over the years.However, this was not the focus of the study and no clear pattern relating to these issues wasfound in the three conceptions of instruction.Conceptions of Teaching in Various CulturesOther research that examined conceptions of teaching was that done by Pratt (1992)who was interested in understandings across various cultures. His research continued overfive years and his respondents were both instructors and learners. The five conceptions thathe derived from his data were: teaching is (a) delivering content, (b) modeling values andknowledge, (c) cultivating intellectual development, (d) nurturing personal agency, and (e)seeking a better society. Only one conception in the study being reported is like one ofPratt's, and that is the Transmission Conception which is similar to his first conception thatteaching is delivering content. In both, the focus is on the content and instructor; theinstructors' role is that of expert and their function is delivering content; knowledge isobjectified and external; and respondents unquestioningly identified their goals and valueswith that of the organization. However, comparisons cannot be made as easily with theremaining conceptions.The Enablement Conception is least like any of Pratt's although some aspects of it aresimilar to his third conception, cultivating the intellect. The focus is on the learner, instructorsare viewed as guides rather than experts, and their role is to facilitate. The respondentsDiscussion of the Findings^ 186identified individual differences among the learners in terms of learning styles and priorknowledge. However, none of these understandings are related to a person's intellectualdevelopment as they were in Pratt's study. In this study, facilitation was of discussion, notpersonal development, and individual differences appear to be relatively stable conditions.The Constructive Conception contains elements that are similar to elements of severalof Pratt's conceptions. For example, one way of instruction in the Constructive Conception ismodeling ways of being a trainer and is characteristic of respondents who were trainers oftrainers. They probably perceived themselves as expert practitioners exemplifying the trainingskills to be learned. However, because of the emphasis on a partnership existing betweeninstructor and learners and on the acknowledgment of expertise in the learners, instruction isnot thought of as handing down a "body of established wisdom and knowledge...from thosewho know to those who don't know" (Pratt, p. 211-212). And unlike Pratt's conception,instruction in this conception ordinarily occurred in a place set apart from the employeesspecific job, such as a classroom, even though that place was in the informal setting of theworkplace.In the Constructive Conception, there are also glimpses of Pratt's DevelopmentalConception (cultivating the intellect). The emphasis on learning as constructing meaningfrom the content is somewhat similar to Pratt's focus on the learners' intellect. In hisconception as well, there is a belief that knowledge is constructed. In the ConstructiveConception as in Pratt's conception, the learners' prior knowledge is a factor in the building ofunderstanding, and at least some of the respondents believed that challenge to learners'present ways of thinking is important for learning. There are also elements of facilitatingpersonal agency and of seeking a better society in the Constructive Conception (Pratt's fourthand fifth conceptions). As in Pratt's fourth conception, there is an equal and cooperativerelationship between instructor and learners in which learning goals are negotiated. AlthoughDiscussion of the Findings^ 187the immediate goal of instruction is that learners construct their own understanding of thecontent, there are also present goals of assisting learners to become independent learnersand to become agents of change for a better society. As in Pratt's fifth conception, therespondents that expressed the latter goal, assumed that their view of a better society is"appropriate for all people" (Pratt, p. 216).It could be speculated that the reason for the similarities of elements of theConstructive Conception to elements of many of Pratt's conceptions, rather than a closeridentification of the Constructive Conception with a single conception of Pratt's, is that thesetting for the present research was limited to the workplace in a particular culture so that theelements of instruction came together in a different way than they did in Pratt's researchwhich was conducted in many settings in five different countries. If the heterogeneity of thepresent sample had been greater, differences may have stood out more clearly and theremay have been sufficient data to support additional conceptions.Conceptions of Teaching of Academic Teachers The study of Samuelowicz & Bain (1992) of conceptions of teaching yielded resultsthat can be compared to the findings of this study. The one conception the two studies havein common is that teaching is imparting information. Characteristics of the conception aresimilar in both studies: (a) it is teacher and content centered, (b) the instructor hasknowledge of the content and is responsible to structure and present it, and (c) there is asingle way to think about it. At the same time, some characteristics of Samuelowicz andBain's fourth conception that teaching is transmitting knowledge and attitudes towardknowledge are also found in this study's Transmission Conception, particularly that content isto be transmitted so that it can be acquired and used by the learners. The ConstructiveConception shares some characteristics with their second conception, that teaching isDiscussion of the Findings^ 188directed toward changing students' understanding of the world. The aim of both isunderstanding, and in one of their variations on the conception, instructors see themselves asequal with the learners so that learning goals are negotiated.Another interesting similarity in the two studies is the dimensions that Samuelowicz &Bain derived from the conceptions. If they are reduced to a generic form, they parallel theelements of instruction that formed the conceptual framework for this study. Their dimensionswith the elements of instruction from this study in parentheses are: (a) the expected outcomeof learning (learning), (b) knowledge gained or constructed by the student (content), (c)students' existing conceptions (learners), (d) directionality of teaching (process), (e) control ofcontent (instructor). In other words, the dimensions that they found were sub-elements of theelements in the conceptual framework of this study.Conceptions of Teaching in Higher EducationThere is a marked resemblance between the conceptions of this study and those ofRamsden's (1992) work on teachers in higher education. The settings of the two studies weredifferent and he did not set out to investigate conceptions of teaching among teachers inhigher education, but derived three conceptions from interviews of teachers by severalresearchers. In both works, one similar conception of teaching is the transmission of contentwith almost identical elements: (a) content is authoritative and unproblematic, (b) instructiontakes place by transmission or demonstration; (c) the instructor is the subject matter expertand source of information; (d) learners are passive receivers of knowledge from the instructor;and (e) learning is the absorbing of quantities of information.There are similarities as well as differences between Ramsden's second conception,that teaching is organizing student activity, and the Enablement Conception. The emphasisshifts from authoritative content to the students or learners who must participate in multipleDiscussion of the Findings^ 189activities to learn. Teachers become supervisors or facilitators of learners' involvement in theactivities. An element of Ramsden's conception is that learning is guaranteed if the correcttechniques are utilized which is not apparent in the Enablement Conception. Anotherdifference is that Ramsden saw his conception as including and adding to the transmissionconception, so that although the focus changed from the content to the students, activitieswere added to the transmission of information. However, the Enablement Conception is arejection of the Transmission Conception in the study being reported.The Constructive Conception is similar to Ramsden's third conception that teaching ismaking learning possible. In both, (a) the emphasis is on learning which is change inunderstanding, (b) teachers work cooperatively with the learners who are actively engagedwith the content, (c) instructional activities are determined by the content and its goals, (d)knowledge is interpreted and constructed by the learners, and (e) teaching activities arecontext-related requiring flexibility in the teachers. There is a slight difference in theunderstanding of learning in the two works: in Ramsden's, it is a change in understanding,and in the Constructive Conception, it is seen as constructing or construing meaning.However, the emphasis in both is on meaning which was absent from the other twoconceptions in both works.It is interesting that studies of conceptions of teaching usually yield an understandingof teaching as imparting information that is characterized in largely consistent ways. Beyondthat, although other conceptions from different studies have some similar aspects, forexample being directed toward meaning and understanding, the unique combination ofelements in the conceptions from different studies, generate different understandings.Perhaps the transmission type of conception represents a generic and traditional under-standing that teaching is the deliverance of a body of knowledge to learners who desire orneed to know it. The other conceptions, then, are variations on this basic understanding withDiscussion of the Findings^ 190attempts to probe more deeply one or more of its elements. The way in which the elementsof instruction are seen to relate to one another form these other conceptions and differdepending on the study. A common way of analyzing conceptions needs to be found todetermine if they are qualitatively different conceptions. The one suggested by Samuelowicz& Bain (1992) of reducing each element of teaching to bipolar categories, and furtherreducing those categories to bipolar categories of teacher-centeredness or learner-centeredness seems to eliminate the complexity and richness of thinking about teaching thatphenomenographic research aims to discover. However, the process suggested by Beaty,Dall'Alba & Marton (1990) in which conceptions are analyzed in terms of referential andstructural aspects, which was used in this study, seems to preserve the richness ofunderstanding while at the same time making it possible to compare conceptions from dif-ferent studies.Other Relevant LiteratureNear the end of Chapter Two, additional literature related to some of the findings ofthis study was reviewed to aid in the data analysis. The topics of that literature wereknowledge and learning and a comparison with the findings will be presented next.Ways of Knowing in Conceptions of Instruction Ways of knowing uncovered in the research of this study shared similarities with bothPerry's (1970; 1981) and Belenky, Clinchy, Goldberger, and Tarule's (1986) epistemologicalschemes. It will become clear in the section that follows how their work contributed to anunderstanding of the conceptions of instruction.Discussion of the Findings 191Transmission Conception. The ways of knowing in the Transmission Conception aresimilar to the assumptions of Perry's dualistic position and Belenky's perspective of receivedknowledge. In all three categories, knowledge is seen as discrete facts to be gathered andreproduced. It originates outside of the knower and when possessed by a recognizedauthority, is assumed to be the "right answer." Instructors are viewed as authorities who areexpected to give the right answers to the learners. In the Transmission Conception, there isno overt claim to absolutism wherein instructors have the only right answers and everyoneelse is wrong; however, there is an assumption that the content presented by the instructorsis what the learners need to do their jobs.The interesting aspect of these similarities is that both Perry's and Belenky's researchwas from the perspective of the learners, and the research being reported in this dissertationis from the perspective of instructors. Both Perry and Belenky concluded that once studentsare exposed to the pluralistic atmosphere of higher education, this understanding ofknowledge disappears; and Perry presented his scheme as developmental, meaning that asindividuals mature, they progress to more complex understandings. The question arises as towhy adults, all of whom had some college education, some with master's degrees anddoctorates, would express what appeared to be an absolutist understanding of knowledge. Itcould be speculated that their thinking was related to the type of content they described, andindeed this probably was the case for three respondents who said that their way of thinkingabout instruction (and presumably about knowledge) depended on what they taught. Most ofthe respondents cited for this conception appeared to assume that there could be littlevariation in understanding the skills they were teaching, what some of them called "hardskills." However, respondents cited in other conceptions, who taught similar skills, such asmanagement skills, spoke of instruction and knowledge differently. So it is likely thatrespondents in this conception construed the content that they taught to be knowledge thatDiscussion of the Findings^ 192could be understood only in certain ways, even though other individuals perceived thecontent differently.Another speculation is that when some individuals are placed in the role of instructor,they revert to the more generic understanding of instruction explained above that might havebeen an understanding characteristic of their school days. Many respondents cited negative,early educational experiences as reasons for learners' negative attitudes towards attendingtraining as adults. Perhaps instructors teach the way they remember being taught. It wouldbe interesting to interview these respondents in more depth specifically about how they thinkabout knowledge.Enablement Conception. Some characteristics of the Enablement Conception are likethose of the multiplicity position of Perry and the subjective knowledge perspective ofBelenky. Knowledge appears to be like Belenky's subjective knowledge; however, it is notseen as existing in the instructors who were the respondents or subjects of this study, butrather in the learners who were objects of the respondents' thinking. Knowledge in thisconception most resembled knowledge in Perry's and Belenky's schemes because of themultiplicity of truths that could simultaneously exist in which one person's opinion was asgood as anyone else's if it was relevant to her or his experience. Both Perry and Belenky sawthis position as still being dualistic. Perry saw personalistic diversity as one pole which is setup to oppose the right-wrong pole of basic dualism. In other words, the position thateveryone has a right to his or her own opinion is viewed as the right way to think as distinctfrom the position that authorities (instructors) have the only right answers to all questionsleaving everyone else in error. This is reflected in the Enablement Conception in whichtrainers are thought of as facilitators in opposition to teachers who instruct, or presumablygive "right answers." Facilitators assist learners in the sharing of their experiences andDiscussion of the Findings^ 193opinions which, like those of the students in Belenky's study, are right for them, makingauthority for the "rightness" of knowledge subjective and internal to the knower.Like the subjective knowers of Belenky's study, personal experience is seen as avaluable source of knowledge, and truth is both intuitive and pragmatic. Perry characterizedthe position of multiplicity as egalitarian in that the students saw themselves as peers of theirinstructors and rejected any authority they may have previously attributed to instructorsbecause of the instructor's role. In the Enablement Conception, although learners aresometimes identified as peers, they are also characterized as experts as opposed to theinstructor who is not a content expert. Because this represents the view of instructors, itreally is similar to Perry's position - instructors do not possess any authority over the learnersby virtue of their role. This also resembles the distrust of expertise characteristic of Belenky'ssubjective knowledge.It could be speculated that because all of the respondents cited for the EnablementConception were women, their thinking would be more like what Belenky found than Perry,and in some ways that is true. As in Belenky's work, respondents seemed to suggest thattheir opinions are limited rather than that they want to convince others of their rightness as inPerry's work. This self-limitation is implied by their denial of any content expertise.From a developmental perspective like Perry's, it again seems puzzling that adults witha college education would still think of knowledge as so subjective that opinions needed nofoundation for acceptance other than the opinion holder's personal experience. However,Belenky does not see her perspectives as necessarily developmental, and it is questionablewhether the conceptions of instruction in this study are. But like Perry's and Belenky'spositions of multiplicity and subjective knowledge which are rejections of dualism andreceived knowledge, at least one element of this conception is a rejection of the TransmissionConception, and that is the understanding of the instructors role as facilitator which isDiscussion of the Findings^ 194presented as opposed to the understanding of the role as teacher. At the same time, thereare also similarities in ways of thinking in the two conceptions. Both the Transmission andEnablement Conceptions are characterized by inconsistent thinking, for example in the beliefassociated with both conceptions that adults should be taught differently from childrenfollowed by dubious rationale. But the most obvious inconsistent thinking is in theEnablement Conception in which trainers are identified as facilitators with no content expertisewho are only to assist the learners to share ideas and experiences. However, processessuch as skill practice and presenting content are activities of instructors, and learning is stillthought of as receiving information. So that even as some understandings of theTransmission Conception were ostensibly rejected in the Enablement Conception, other waysof thinking related to the Transmission Conception are still present.Constructive Conception. There are similarities between the Constructive Conceptionand the relativism of Perry as well as both procedural and constructed knowledge of Belenky.As in procedural knowledge, truth can not be immediately attained but is created by theknower through analytic processes. Like relativism and constructed knowledge, knowledge isinterpreted contextually. The comparison breaks down somewhat in the procedures forjudging knowledge, which were presented by Perry for relativism and by Belenky forprocedural knowledge. In the Constructive Conception, the discovery process of learning isemphasized and there is little evidence of procedures or systems used to ascertain thevalidity of the constructed knowledge. Therefore, this conception may be more like Belenky'sprocedural knowledge because of the emphasis on how learning takes place with anapparent deemphasis on the truth of what is learned. However, because the study beingreported is about instruction, not knowledge, there are not enough data to know howrespondents thought knowledge should be validated. However, the sense of responsibility forDiscussion of the Findings^ 195critical thinking that Perry saw in his respondents may be similar to the responsibility forlearning ascribed to the learners in the Constructive conception. The focus on correctprocedures for judging could also be construed as similar to the insistence in this conceptionon choosing instructional processes based on goals rather than for their own sake.As in procedural knowledge, in the Constructive Conception, knowledge is also seenas pragmatic in that a measure of learning is in the application of new meanings in whateverarea it is directed. The distinction that Belenky made in procedural knowledge betweenseparate knowing and connected knowing also has some parallels in this conception. Theadversarial approach that separate knowers take to analyzing knowledge (looking forcontradictions rather than commonalities) recalls the suggestion in the constructive concep-tion that challenging learners might be a more effective way to bring about learning. Bycontrast, connected knowers look for points of connection particularly when they are trying tounderstand the opinions of others. The parallel to this would be the respondents in theConstructive Conception who believed that learning takes place more effectively in anatmosphere of trust and comfort. It is interesting to note that Belenky saw separate knowingas similar to Perry's relativism and connected knowing as unique to the women sheinterviewed. In the research being reported here, one respondent who suggested thatchallenge might better lead to learning was a man, whereas all of the respondents whoconnected learning with comfort were women. Because of similarities in ways ofunderstanding knowledge in the three conceptions of instruction to the epistemologicalschemes of Perry and Belenky, it can probably be assumed that ways of knowing are relatedto ways of thinking about instruction.Discussion of the Findings^ 196LearningAlthough the research being reported in this dissertation is about instruction,conceptions of instruction include characteristic ways of viewing learning reflective of the workof Beaty, Dall'Alba & Marton (1990) that was reviewed in Chapter Two. For example, in boththe Transmission and Enablement Conceptions, learning is thought of in a way similar to theway learning is viewed in Conceptions A-B-C as described by Beaty et al.. In other words, itis seen as the quantitative increase and acquisition of information and facts to be laterreproduced or applied. Likewise, in the Constructive Conception learning is thought of as thediscovery of meaning which is the hallmark of Beaty et al.'s Conceptions D-E-F. The work ofBeaty et al. was used as the basis for the structural analysis of the data and the comparisonof conceptions in the previous chapter.Revised Conceptual FrameworkIt may be recalled that a conceptual framework was derived from the literaturereviewed for this research and used to guide the data collection and the early data analysis.Six elements were found throughout the literature which when viewed in relationship with oneanother were construed to comprise the concept of instruction in the workplace. Theseelements consist of an instructor and learners relating to each other through the content andprocesses of an instructional situation. The goal of this relationship is learning, which may ormay not take place; the relationship itself takes place within the context of the workplace. Asdepicted at the end of Chapter Two, each element was shown to have a number of sub-elements depending on what aspects of the element were represented in the research. Theinterview data were found to contain substantially the same six elements; however, the sub-elements changed according to what was relevant to the respondents. The revisedframework is depicted in Figure 6 and will be used to summarize the findings.CONTENT:•Knowledge•InstructionalgoalsPROCESSES•TypeCONTEXT:Workplace •Culture•Goals and resources•Training policiesr^ -IINSTRUCTOR LEARNERS LEARNING•Role •Role •Nature•Functions •I nd ivid ual ---> • Process•Responsibilities differences •ConditionsL  ^ JDiscussion of the Findings^197Figure 6. Elements of instruction 2Element One: ContextThe context is the setting within which instruction and learning takes place and caninclude the organization's structure, culture, goals, administrative resources, andorganizational policies, all of which can help or hinder instructors' ability to teach. In the data,the context was ostensibly the same for all the respondents because the training describedtook place in workplace settings; however, it became evident that individual settings, evenwithin the same industry, were quite different. The structures of the organizations were notexplicitly investigated; however, at times they were described by the respondents. It wasDiscussion of the Findings^ 198inferred from these descriptions that the majority of the organizations were hierarchical instructure.As important as the structure, if not more so, is the culture of organizations which hasbeen described as 'the pattern of values, beliefs, and expectations shared by organizationmembers" (Huse & Cummings, 1985, p. 35). These taken-for-granted assumptions aboutrelationships and work were more frequently discussed by the respondents than wasorganizational structure.The descriptions of the context represent the respondents' perceptions which may ormay not have been the way others in the organization viewed it, so it cannot be conclusivelystated that their views depict the real structure of the organization. However, because theculture of an organization is more subjective and is made up of the members' perceptions,the descriptions in the data probably do reflect some characteristics of the settings of thisstudy. Most respondents viewed their organization's culture as impacting the training functionbut not their ability to instruct in ways they thought to be effective (except in the ConstructiveConception in which the context was seen as a factor in their practice). However, theorganization emerged as a framing factor for thinking about instruction which usuallyharmonized with or reflected the organizational context.Organizational goals, when cited, were usually espoused by the respondents. Thepresence or absence of resources like time, space and money were identified as factorsimpacting training programs, but not necessarily individual teaching practice. Trainingpolicies regarding attendance were seen more as a factor in learners' attitudes towardinstruction than in the instructor's ability to teach.Discussion of the Findings^ 199Element Two: InstructorThe instructors relationship with the learners is most often apparent in the descriptionsof the instructors' roles, functions, and responsibilities. Much adult education literaturedescribed the preferred role for instructing adults as that of a facilitator primarily responsiblefor managing a process rather than for providing information. Training literature oftenportrayed the role as that of a coach or mentor who continued to guide employees after theyreturned to the job from the instructional setting. These as well as other roles are reflected inthe research data, and respondents were familiar with roles recommended in the literature.Instructors' functions followed the respondents' perceptions of roles: as experts theyare to present information, as facilitators they are to enable the sharing of information, and aspartners with the learners they are to share responsibility for instruction and learning.Likewise, their responsibilities follow their functions: presenters of information wereresponsible to maintain their expertise, and facilitators needed proficiency in group processskills.Element Three: ContentImportant differences among conceptions of instruction emerged in respondents'thinking about knowledge, a sub-element of content. Knowledge as a unifying concept ineach conception was explained in Chapter Four. Even though the nature of knowledge andhow the respondents judged its authenticity were not explicitly explored in the interviews, theycould be inferred from the respondents' thinking about instruction. Truth, in the sense used inthese interviews, where content usually consists of practical skills or knowledge, is for themost part interpreted pragmatically as to what will be useful in the work situation.In other examinations of conceptions of teaching (Fenstermacher & Soltis, 1992; Pratt,1992), instructors' intentions and goals were assumed to be important. However, in the caseDiscussion of the Findings^ 200of these workplace instructors, their instructional goal was almost universally the applicationof new learning on the job. In addition, in the Enablement and Constructive conceptions,personal and societal goals are also evident, contributing to the interpretation of differencesamong the conceptions.A relationship of conception to content was assumed to exist from research onlearning (Marton, 1984) in which it was found that conceptions of learning could not begeneralized across subject matter domains, but were particular to the subject being learned.In other words, rather than finding conceptions of an abstract construct called learning, theresearchers discovered, for example, conceptions of learning reading and conceptions oflearning mathematics. In this data, some respondents distinguished between what theytermed "hard" and "soft skills." Hard skills, such as computer skills are those which allow littledeviation in understanding and performance; and soft skills, such as management skills, arethose which can be interpreted in a variety of ways. This differentiation was used by respon-dents as a rationale for employing different instructional roles; for example, acting in the roleof transmitter of information to teach certain life-saving skills, and in the role of facilitator toteach team-building skills. It could be worthwhile to investigate the relationship of conceptionof instruction to content taught in future research.Element Four: Processes Because this research investigated individuals' interpretation of their experiences, therespondents were not observed as they taught, so the only indication of instructionalprocesses used is in their descriptions. Processes are identified in terms of type and aremost frequently characterized as didactic, participative, or experiential. Participativeprocesses are associated with all conceptions, although they have different meanings andpurposes in each conception. Didactic processes are most often associated with theDiscussion of the Findings^ 201Transmission Conception and experiential processes with the Constructive Conception. Alsoin the Constructive Conception, the goals of instruction are usually considered a major factorfor choosing processes.Element Five: The LearnerIn the data being analyzed here, the respondents did not discuss physiologicalcharacteristics of the learners such as age and health; however, there appeared to be generalagreement that adults continue to have the ability to learn. Of the sociological characteristics,little mention was made of learners' societal role, their culture or ethnicity. However,respondents did view learners' life experiences as important, with some of them believing thatthese experiences could have a negative as well as a positive effect on learning. At times, thelearners' roles in the organization appeared to determine how the respondents in theirinstructional role reported relating to them. Regarding psychological characteristics, all therespondents agreed that ultimately, learners are responsible for their own learning. Most ofthem believed that learners differ in learning style, prior knowledge, motivation for learning,and learning needs, differences which affect the ability to learn.The main difference in thinking about learners is in the way their role in theinstructional process is depicted and consequently, the way in which instructors relate tothem. All respondents regarded learners as participants to some degree, although learnersare also receivers of information (Transmission Conception), content experts in contrast to theinstructors who are then the process experts (Enablement Conception), and partners in allaspects of the teaching-learning process (Constructive Conception).Discussion of the Findings^ 202Element Six: LearningHow learning is understood depends in the first place on whether it is beingconsidered as an outcome or as a process (Merriam & Caffarella, 1991). As an outcome,learning can be construed as the new information, skills, behavior, or attitudes learned as aresult of a learning experience. The process of learning refers to the human functionsinvolved in the realization of the outcomes. What emerged from the interview data was therespondents' understanding (a) of the nature of learning or what it is, (b) of processes oflearning or how it is accomplished, and (c) espoused theories of learning revealed inconditions considered necessary for learning to take place.The respondents' thinking about the nature of and conditions for learning areimportant factors in distinguishing conceptions of instruction, even though they had to beprompted for their understanding in the Transmission and Enablement Conceptions. Theoutcome of learning is usually the application of what is learned on the job, which is alsoconsidered as evidence that learning has occurred.This redefinition of the Conceptual Framework that was first presented at the end ofChapter Two highlights the sub-elements of instruction that respondents in conversation withthe interviewer found relevant enough to discuss. All of these sub-elements were discussedin more detail in Chapter Four. Because these interviews were conducted within a limitedtime-frame (45 - 60 minutes) and were partially directed by the interviewer, they can onlyportray a point-in-time exposure of the respondents' thinking about instruction. Perhaps atanother point in time or with additional indepth interviews, other factors would emerge asimportant sub-elements of instruction. It is interesting that the six major elements ofinstruction were readily discussed by the respondents even though at times the element wasintroduced by the interviewer. This suggests that these elements may constitute an essentialframework of instruction within which most relevant factors can be organized.Discussion of the Findings^ 203SummaryIn this chapter the findings of the research study being reported were compared withliterature about teaching adults, about ways of knowing, and about learning. Facilitation wasa popular theme in adult education literature and emerged as a theme in the research data.As in the literature, it was the preferred term for instruction in two conceptions of instruction,the Enablement and the Constructive Conceptions. Most of the guidelines for instructingadults that were recommended in the literature were also found in the interview data for thisstudy. The assumption that adults learn differently from children, also apparent in theliterature, is unquestioningly accepted in the Transmission and Enablement Conceptions, andcritically considered in the Constructive Conception.Conceptions of teaching adults from various studies were compared with theconceptions found in this research, and one conception was found to be similar - thatinstruction is about transmitting information from instructors to learners. At the same time,there are differences in the way these conceptions were interpreted in the different studies.Several studies were consulted after the data were collected to assist in theinterpretation. Two epistemological works by Perry (1970) and by Belenky et al. (1986) wereused to interpret data about respondents' thinking about knowledge which is a sub-element ofcontent. Similarities to the various ways of knowing in these two studies were found in allthree conceptions. Because the findings and the research approach are similar to this study,a work on learning by Beaty, Dall'Alba & Marton (1990) was used as the basis for thestructural analysis of the conceptions of instruction. In the next chapter, the entire study willbe summarized, conclusions will be drawn along with questions that were raised, and finally,implications for practice and for future research will be suggested.CHAPTER VISUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONSSummary of the StudyThis research project began with the question:What are the qualitatively different conceptions of instruction held by instructors ofadults in the workplace?It arose from an interest in discovering how the teaching of adults was understood in theliterature. For the most part, the many handbooks and guidelines for teaching adults arebased on an unsubstantiated assumption that adults learn differently from children and shouldbe taught differently. It was decided that it would be interesting and useful to find out howpeople who are themselves teaching adults conceive of and understand teaching. In otherwords, to question the assumption with which many research studies on this topic begin -that there is a widely accepted definition of teaching to which instructors can be expected toadhere. The workplace is one setting in which adults are taught, and educational efforts inthat setting have increased greatly in recent years. Therefore it was decided to use theworkplace as the context for the study and to use the term, instruction, which is more familiarthan teaching in that venue.Phenomenography is the research approach chosen to study this question because itwas developed to discover and map people's conceptions of their experiences. It isimportant to recall that in this type of research, the focus is on variations in understandings ofa phenomenon. So that even though individuals' conceptions are assumed to influence theiractions, the relationship between conception and behavior is not investigated. Anotheraspect of phenomenography is that conceptions are derived from the pool of meanings fromall the respondents, are the constructions of the researcher, and are not assumed to becharacteristics of any individual respondents. However, the conceptions of a phenomenon204Summary, Conclusions, and Implications^ 205held by individuals are contextually dependent, so that an individual may act out of differentconceptions in different contexts or even in the same context. The conceptions that arefound in such a study are arranged in an outcome space that is usually organized in someway to depict the variation among them.A conceptual framework was derived from the literature reviewed for this study toguide the development of interview questions and the first stages of data analysis. Thisframework defined instruction as consisting of six interrelated elements, the context, theinstructor, the learners, the content, the instructional processes, and learning. In other words,most research on teaching adults appears to focus on one or more of these elements in avariety of different ways. Different research topics, such as instructor competencies,characteristics of the learner, or conditions for learning make up the sub-elements of theframework. When the interview data were analyzed, it was discovered that although theelements of instruction were ordinarily part of respondents' understandings of instruction, thesub-elements which they found relevant were different. Some of the sub-elements importantto the respondents were (a) the cultures of the organizations for which respondents worked;(b) the respondents' ways of thinking about knowledge, a sub-element of content; (c) theinstructor's role, whether that was teacher or facilitator; (d) the learners' role and responsibilityin the instructional situation; and (e) ways of thinking about learning both as an outcome andas a process.The sample for the study included twenty-two members of the Puget Sound Chapterof the American Society for Training and Development who were trainers in workplacesettings. Sixteen of the trainers were internal consultants, that is they worked for a singleorganization, and six were external consultants who contracted with various organizations toprovide training programs. The sample consisted of eighteen females and four males,ranging in age from 22 to 64, with varying levels of education from high school diplomas toSummary, Conclusions, and Implications^ 206doctoral degrees. Most of them also had some training in adult education and had from oneto thirty years experience instructing adults. This varied group of volunteer respondentsworked in approximately eight different industries.The respondents' understandings of instruction were sought through semi-structuredinterviews that began by focusing on a recent instructional experience which they were askedto describe. Assumptions, beliefs and understandings underlying the descriptions were thenprobed in the forty-five to sixty minute interview.Conceptions of instruction were derived from the interview data through an iterativeprocess of examining units of meaning in the context of the individual interview and thecontext of all the interviews. Three conceptions were found in this initial stage of analysis.The global meaning of each is: instruction is (a) imparting information to learners whoreceive and apply it on the job (Transmission Conception), (b) assisting learners to share andapply ideas and experiences (Enablement Conception), and (c) involving learners in an ex-periential process of discovering and constructing meaning (Constructive Conception). In thenext stage of analysis, each of these conceptions was then examined structurally to maximizethe differences among them. In the remaining sections of this chapter, the researcher'sconclusions, the significance of the study, and implications for research and practice will bepresented.ConclusionsThe conclusions of this study center first of all, around the conceptions, and secondly,around certain elements and sub-elements of instruction, namely knowledge, learning, andthe context.Summary, Conclusions, and Implications^ 207Conclusions Related to Conceptions of Instruction The first conclusion from this study is that there are a variety of ways of thinking aboutteaching adults that cannot be reduced to two dichotomous forms of either collaborative vs.controlled, or teacher-centered vs. learner-centered instruction. It was demonstrated thatinvolving the learners was interpreted differently in each conception and that instructionalcontrol could be over content or processes or both. By determining which of the manyelements of instruction is the object of focus, it becomes apparent that a conception that maybe construed as being teacher-centered because of the control and authority vested in theinstructor, could just as well be seen as content-centered because that is where theinstructor's energies are focused. Although the Constructive Conception could be interpretedas being learner-centered, the learners were viewed as partners with the instructor, which isquite different from the way they were seen in the Enablement Conception in which they wereexperts as opposed to the non-expert instructor. Reducing conceptions of teaching toopposite poles overlooks and diminishes other elements that are important for seeing howindividuals relate one element to another to create their own understanding of instruction.One interesting finding mentioned previously is that the Transmission Conception ofinstruction very closely resembles Pratt's (1992) Engineering Conception (teaching isdelivering content), Samuelowicz & Bain's (1992) conception that teaching is about impartinginformation, and Ramsden's (1992) conception that teaching in higher education is about thetransmission of content. This finding has led to the conclusion that the TransmissionConception appears to be a generic understanding of the instruction of adults common tovarious settings. This conception of instruction is often assumed to denote training in theworkplace as opposed to teaching in academic settings. However, in this research whichtook place in the workplace, other conceptions were also found, and in Ramsden's andSamuelowicz & Bain's works on academic teachers, imparting information was one of theirSummary, Conclusions, and Implications^ 208conceptions, thus illustrating the caution that should be taken when assuming how peopleinterpret their experiences.A third conclusion that has been referred to frequently throughout the last twochapters is that individuals appear to hold one predominant conception of instruction. Theassumption at the beginning of this study was that any number of conceptions could be heldand used in different situations and for different purposes. That assumption is still supported,but there seemed to be a primary way of thinking to which respondents consistently returned.When they said something that could be interpreted as relating to a different conception ofinstruction, it more often appeared to be an inconsistency in their thinking about a singleelement of instruction rather than an entirely different understanding involving variouselements of instruction. The exceptions were those few respondents who were aware thatthey thought differently about instruction depending on the situation; for example, whenteaching "hard" vs. "soft" skills; or when facilitating a retreat vs. teaching a university class.Pratt (1992) also concluded that even though respondents in his studies may have held twoor three conceptions, one conception usually predominated. Beaty, Dall'Alba, and Marton(1990) came to a similar conclusion which they recognized as differing from previous pheno-menographic studies. Their reinterpretation of data on learning from earlier studies led themto conclude that "although the students express conceptions of learning that may differ fromone occasion to another, they do it in an individually characteristic way" (p. 38).In the last chapter, it was stated that the data of this study is not sufficient to concludethat the conceptions are hierarchical or developmental. However, the question persists ofwhether any conception is better than the others. The researcher's bias undoubtedly camethrough in the analysis of the conceptions because more questions were raised about theTransmission and Enablement Conceptions than about the Constructive Conception. And yetan assumption of phenomenography is that conceptions are not necessarily right or wrong,Summary, Conclusions, and Implications^ 209just different and appropriate at different times, in different contexts, or for different goals.However, if Marton et al.'s (1984) conclusion is accepted that learning is changing one'sunderstanding or conception of a phenomenon, then the Constructive Conception would bepreferred because it specifically directs instruction toward understanding. There may beinstructional situations in which the goal would be performance of a skill so rote and technicalthat an understanding of its purpose or appropriateness is not required; however, none of thesituations described by the respondents appeared to be of that nature. Several respondents,whose predominant conception appeared to be the Transmission or EnablementConceptions, spoke of situations in which understanding is necessary for the application ofthe skills that were being learned, and yet understanding was not included in therespondents' thematization about instruction and learning. It appears that in those twoconceptions, meaning and understanding are taken for granted, not reflected upon orthematized.Conclusions Related to Elements of InstructionThis study began with the assumption that all the elements of instruction were equallyimportant to the understanding of the concept, and that the relevancy structures of therespondents would determine which elements emerged with more significance than theothers. The understanding of knowledge, although included as a sub-element of the content,became important as a unifying element in the understanding of instruction. As an example,it may be recalled that in the Transmission Conception knowledge was viewed as apredefined body of information, obtained by expert instructors from external sources to bepresented to learners who receive and accept it as authoritative, then apply it on the job. It isevident that the way respondents thought about knowledge was apparent in their thinkingabout what instruction is, about their role, about the learners, and about learning.Summary, Conclusions, and Implications^ 210Another element of instruction around which conclusions were drawn is learning. Atthe beginning of this research, even though instruction was usually closely linked to learningin the literature, an effort was made to limit the study to instruction because so much workhad already been done in the area of learning. A conclusion that can be drawn from thefindings is that there is a relationship between the understanding of instruction and oflearning, and it could be speculated that the understanding of knowledge is the connectinglink. In other words, when one thinks of knowledge as external and received, one thinks ofteaching as giving knowledge and of learning as acquiring knowledge. This relationshipbetween teaching and learning should not be so surprising, because although teaching doesnot always result in learning, learning is always the intention of teaching.Another conclusion related to learning is that there is possibly an essential componentof thinking about instruction in the workplace. In the structural analysis of the conceptionsdescribed in Chapter Four, a component found in all three conceptions was applyingknowledge on the job. Therefore it appears that an important goal of instruction in theworkplace is that learners will be able to apply the knowledge and skills they have learnedon-the-job. It is similar to Beaty, Dall'Alba, and Marton's (1990) conclusion that there is anessential characteristic of thinking about learning (permanence) from its presence in all theirconceptions of learning. It may be questioned whether the application component isessential to instruction because it was the referential aspect of a way of learning, however, itshould be recalled that it has also been concluded that ways of thinking about learning arerelated to conceptions of instruction.The last element of instruction to be discussed is the context. There are assumptionsin adult education literature that most work organizations are hierarchical structures in whichemployees have little freedom or opportunity to make decisions related to their worklife. Thismay be true in some situations, but not in all. What became clear in the data of this researchSummary, Conclusions, and Implications^ 211was that although the structure of an organization might be hierarchical, the more importantfactor determining the involvement of employees in work related decisions was theorganization's culture, a finding which was explored in more detail in Chapter Four. Eventhough respondents did not always thematize a relationship between organizational factors,such as culture, and their practice, it has been concluded that the context is a framing factorfor conceptions of instruction. Further analysis of the data revealed that contextual factors didindeed contribute to their thinking about instruction; for example, the lack of support fortraining by upper management was perceived as a challenge to one of the respondents eventhough he said it did not affect his practice. Even though respondents might have beencritical of organizational policies or resources, they supported or reflected organizationalgoals, giving further evidence to this conclusion that the context can be thought of as aframing factor for the conceptions.Implications of the StudyFuture Research The implications for research from this study can be envisioned in two different ways;in the first place in the tools it has produced, and secondly, in the questions it has raised.Three tools resulting from or used in this research could be useful in future research. Theoutcome space depicting the variations in conceptions of instruction can be used to studyinstruction in other contexts. It could be used either by itself or in combination with outcomespaces from other studies of instruction to determine the source of differences in conceptionsamong instructors of adults. This study was not meant to determine why instructors holdparticular conceptions of instruction, although it is an interesting question arising from thestudy. Some speculations have already been suggested - perhaps it is because of a certainunderstanding of knowledge or because of the content being taught (which was given bySummary, Conclusions, and Implications^ 212some respondents as the reason for having different understandings). Other possibleexplanations are the extent and type of previous teaching experience or teacher training theyhave had.The outcome space could also be used in conjunction with the conceptual frameworkthat was derived from the literature to design studies similar to this one investigatingconceptions of instruction in other settings. The conceptual framework depicting theelements of instruction is still a useful tool to design interview questions and to structure thedescription of the conceptions. At the same time, the outcome space of conceptionssuggests that certain elements of instruction should be probed in more depth in futurestudies, particularly understandings of knowledge and perceptions of the context. Shouldsomeone wish to do a different type of study, a questionnaire could be devised from theconceptual framework and the outcome space to investigate which instructors holdconceptions of instruction as defined here.The third useful tool borrowed from Beaty, Dall'Alba and Marton (1990) and used inthis study is the structural analysis of the conceptions. It may be recalled that theconceptions of instruction were analyzed first of all by identifying various components of eachconception, then by describing the referential and structural aspects of each component. Theprocess resulted in a more detailed description of each conception highlighting theirdifferences. Such an analysis could be used to compare the conceptions from this study withconceptions from other studies to discover similarities and differences among theconceptions. The larger outcome space of conceptions of teaching adults resulting fromsuch a comparison could be used to study the interrelationship of conceptions with variousfactors.A number of questions have been suggested by the findings and conclusions of thisstudy that could be used as a basis for future research studies. Some of these questionsSummary, Conclusions, and Implications^ 213have already been raised, such as what is the source of the variation in thinking aboutinstruction and what other conceptions of instruction might there be? Three elements ofinstruction in particular have stimulated the most questions for this researcher. In the firstplace, knowledge emerged in a way that was not anticipated. Questions related to thiselement are: (a) How is knowledge understood by teachers in other settings? (b) How isknowledge understood by a teacher in different areas of his or her life? (c) Do teachers' waysof knowing change as they gain teaching experience? Questions related to a more thoroughconsideration of the relationship of epistemology to conceptions of teaching are: (a) Is theway individuals think about knowledge more basic to their conceptual structure and thereforemore unchanging than their conception of instruction? (b) If a conception of instructionincludes certain assumptions about knowledge, is it possible for individuals to hold more thanone conception and therefore more than one way of knowing at a time?The instructional element of content, about which little research was found, could alsobe explored in future research. When content was examined, some respondents distin-guished between "hard" and "soft" skills as the basis for their thinking about instruction,(discussed in Chapter Four). This brings up questions similar to those raised by Marton et al.(1984) about learning: What is the relationship of conception of instruction to the content thatis taught? Does an instructor use one conception when teaching computer skills and adifferent conception when teaching leadership skills? Other questions arise about therelationship between ways of knowing, conceptions of instruction and type of content. Forexample, when thinking about teaching computer skills, does one think about knowledge asgiven, whereas when thinking about teaching leadership skills, does that same person thinkof knowledge as contextual and constructed? There is a question raised by the EnablementConception: Can an individual be said to be engaged in instruction if that person does nothave content knowledge? If the instructor does not have content knowledge and the intentionSummary, Conclusions, and Implications^ 214of instruction is to bring about learning, to what is that learning directed and how will theinstructor know when learning has occurred?The other element that generated a number of questions is the context. This studywas conducted within a particular setting identified as the workplace. It became obvious thatthe workplace is an extremely broad concept that could be defined in any number of waysrelated to a variety of factors, such as the industry to which it belonged, its organizationalstructure, its culture. Although the relationship of conception to context was not explored, itwas observed that the cultures of different organizations within the same industry wereperceived differently. The question arises as to whether certain conceptions of instruction areincompatible with certain organizational cultures. Will an instructor who understandsinstruction as eliciting knowledge from learners experience dissonance if she trains in anorganization where her supervisors understand instruction as the transmitting of pre-definedinformation to the learners?These are only some of the questions that come to mind from an immersion in thedata produced by this research study. They are not intended to be definitive researchquestions, merely to suggest possible avenues of inquiry to the reader who may be interestedin exploring this vast and complex topic of the instruction of adults in the workplace.Professional Practice The other area in which this study should be useful is for the training and professionaldevelopment of trainers and teachers. The conceptual framework of elements of instructionand the outcome space of conceptions could help instructors of trainers and teachers todevise simple ways of discovering how those who are learning to teach understand thevarious elements of instruction. Not only could such a process or tool be used to find theirSummary, Conclusions, and Implications^ 215beginning conceptions, but it could also be used at the end of instruction to discover if theconception had changed.These two tools of the conceptual framework and the outcome space could also beused by instructors to develop a course on training trainers or teachers. A comparison of thesub-elements of instruction that the respondents found relevant with those that weresuggested by the literature point out areas that may need special attention in such a course.For example, respondents were very conversant with the psychological characteristics oflearners such as learning styles and motivation for learning, but sociological characteristicslike the learners' life situations, societal roles, or cultures were not mentioned. At the sametime, some respondents had appeared to have a deterministic perspective on learning stylesbelieving that if their teaching style somehow matched the learning styles of the learners,learning would occur. Another area probably needing comprehensive coverage in a train thetrainer course is the negative as well as the positive impact on learning of learners' previouslife experiences and prior knowledge of a topic. Such a comparison of the two conceptualframeworks (before and after the data was gathered) should generate many more topics to beincluded in a train the trainer or teacher course.In a similar way, the results of this study could be used for the professionaldevelopment of trainers and teachers. In the literature review, it was pointed out thatreflective thinking about teaching is a component of competence, so that for instructors tobecome more proficient at their craft it would be beneficial for them to reflect on their ownway of thinking about instruction as well as to discover that there are alternative ways ofconstruing it. Again, the conceptual framework and the outcome space of conceptions couldbe used to construct a process or tool for supervisors to use in development work withinstructors, or for the instructors to use to map their personal understandings of instruction.Then alternative conceptions could be studied, analyzed and compared with their own to seeSummary, Conclusions, and Implications^ 216if and where changes might be made. Goals for change could be developed, then at somefuture time, the process or tool could again be used to determine if change had occurred.Significance of the FindingsThe findings of this study are significant in three different areas: (a) the construction ofknowledge about instruction, (b) adult education literature, and (c) reflective tools forinstructors. The purpose of this research was to discover ways in which instruction isunderstood in the workplace and to continue building knowledge about the teaching ofadults, as well as to uncover dimensions of instruction that had not been considered before.This research has contributed to the construction of knowledge about the instruction of adultsby the discovery of three qualitatively different conceptions of instruction. Even though similarunderstandings of instruction can be found in the literature, the correspondingunderstandings of the elements of instruction and the various structural components of eachconception provide a more detailed and indepth understanding of each conception. Animportant competency for instructors is knowing how knowledge of the content they areteaching is constructed both by specialists in the field and by those who will be learning it.This is somewhat problematic with the topic of teaching or instruction because it represents acomplex relationship of factors about which there are few well-substantiated theories. Theteaching of adults is further complicated by the fact that many instructors have had little or notraining in instruction so it cannot be assumed that they have reflected on their understandingof teaching. Besides that there are many handbooks recommending ways of teaching basedon unsubstantiated assumptions about adults as learners. These factors suggest that it isimportant for trainers of instructors to know not only how knowledge about instruction isconstructed in the field of education and other relevant fields, but to know that there areSummary, Conclusions, and Implications^ 217alternative ways of conceptualizing instruction among practitioners, and then gradually tocome to know what those conceptions might be.Instructors of adults look to adult education literature for guidance for their practice.Several dimensions of instruction were uncovered in this study that were not strongly evidentin the literature researched for this study. These were discussed in previous sections and areonly highlighted here. Understandings of knowledge were found to be important toconceptions of teaching. Although learning is a frequent topic in adult education literature,instructors' understandings of learning are seldom cited as being important for the way theythink about teaching. A transmission type conception is usually assumed to be way trainingin the workplace is understood, and yet this study demonstrates that there are alternativeperspectives. Recommendations for teaching are seldom contextual, and yet the contextemerged as a framing factor for instruction. A frequent recommendation in the literature isthat the instruction of adults should be learner-centered, however, this study suggests thatthis recommendation can be interpreted rather naively as indicated by the EnablementConception. Regarding principles of adult learning, this study adds further emphasis to aninfrequently found principle that instructors of adults should know different ways in whichadult learners conceptualize both the content being taught and learning. However, it is alsothe opinion of this researcher that this principle applies to instructors of individuals of anyage. Although it cannot be concluded that the identical three conceptions found in this studywould necessarily be found in other settings, it demonstrates that there are variations inthinking about instruction and that instructors cannot assume that they know what meaningthose who want to learn to instruct ascribe to terms like "teaching" and "learning."The third significance of this study is that it has produced a set of conceptions that isa generative tool for thinking about instruction not only in workplace settings but in othersettings, and not only of adults but of learners of all ages. It is a heuristic device, useful toSummary, Conclusions, and Implications^ 218instructors for interpreting the situation during instruction and for reflecting on their practiceafter instruction. This tool is also useful to trainers of instructors for discovering how thosethey are instructing conceptualize instruction, and for training instructors to reflect on theirown practice.It is hoped that the conceptions of instruction found in this study contribute in somesmall way to the construction of knowledge about teaching adults, particularly in theworkplace. In today's world, the workplace is an arena of tremendous change impacting thelives of many people, and in the midst of that change many educational efforts are beinglaunched to help people not only cope with change but also become agents of changethemselves. 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