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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Characteristics of participants in a new inner-city night school Zack, Irma

Abstract

This study was designed to investigate whether a public school adult education centre opened in a low socio-economic, urban neighbourhood attracted those for whom it was intended; that is, people who lived in the area under investigation, and had the low socio-economic characteristics typical of the residents in this target area. The implications of the results are relevant to future adulteducation efforts directed towards reaching people presently unreachable. Data describing the socio-economic and motivational characteristics of 127 participants were collected using a Survey Questionnaire and the Education Participation Scale. These participants were divided according to area of residence with approximately one half residing within the target area and the balance outside. The data were compared, where relevant, with census-tract data, and statistically tested using Pearson's chi square, Analysis of Variance and Pearson Product-Moment Correlation Coefficients. The study showed that the socio-economic characteristics of the participants living in the target area were different from those of the general population of the area, and were similar to the characteristics of participants coming to the new centre from all other parts of the city. Of the characteristics studied, level of education and prestige of occupation, shown in previous research reports to have the greatest influence on whether a person will participate or not, were higher for the participants living in the target area than for the general population of the area. The motivational characteristics of all the participants were similar. From this it was concluded that the new centre, though situated in the midst of a low socioeconomic neighbourhood, was not attracting people living in the area who had the socio-economic characteristics indigenous to the general population of the area. The area participants exhibited elitist characteristics usually associated with adult learners. Suggestions were made for attracting the majority target population. Motivational characteristics of all the participants were studied by sex, age, place of birth, education level and course enrollment. Statistically significant differences were noted for sex, age, education level and course enrollment.

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