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Expressed interest and participation in adult education. Jackson, Renee Phyllis

Abstract

The study problem was to analyse the characteristics of individuals who reported interest in continuing education from data collected by means of interviews conducted in a survey of rural residents in the North Okanagan. Two hypotheses were tested to ascertain whether or not there were any significant differences between interested respondents and uninterested respondents with respect to socio-psychological characteristics; and whether or not there were any significant differences between interested participants in adult education and interested non-participants. Data from two hundred and thirty-nine household heads were analysed. There were statistically significant differences between interested and uninterested respondents with respect to twelve psycho-social characteristics. Of the characteristics of interested respondents studied there were significant differences between participants and non-participants with respect to four: including, level of schooling, wife's schooling, social participation and level of living. The findings of this study indicated that interest in continuing education was higher for younger respondents, for those with more years of schooling and those whose wives had completed more years of school. Respondents who expressed interest in further education or training had a higher level of living index and a higher income; they were more active in social organizations and in adult education courses; they were more likely to have been born in Canada outside of the survey area than in the North Okanagan district or in other countries. Interest was higher for farm respondents who had more personal contacts with agricultural extension personnel. Interest in continuing education was lower for respondents who were more alienated, and those who had a negative attitude toward change. It was lower also for those who had been unemployed longer in the last three years and those who had spent fewer years in their present occupation. Expressed interest appears to be one of the measurable characteristics which may be expected to affect the future participation of individuals in adult education. The findings of this study indicated that among those respondents who were interested in continuing education or training, those who had participated in adult education courses were more likely to have had more schooling and their wives to have completed more years of school; were more active in social organizations; and had a higher level of living. Age, schooling and wife's schooling are important factors in all studies of adult education participation. The indications of this study are that the kinds of attitudes or abilities which lead a respondent to earn socially approved membership in the community are also related to participation in adult education.

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