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Analytical survey of the Pemberton Valley in British Columbia with special reference to adult education Dickinson, James Gary

Abstract

The study problem was to analyze adult education participation in a rural community in conjunction with a detailed survey of the community and its residents. Three hypotheses were tested to ascertain whether or not there were any significant differences between adult education participants and non-participants with respect to socio-economic characteristics, social interaction patterns, and locality of residence. The analytical survey method was used and the principal means of data collection was the personal interview. One hundred fifty-eight non-Indian household heads and a sample consisting of thirty-two native Indian respondents were interviewed. The community studied was the Pemberton Valley in British Columbia which is an isolated mountain valley one hundred miles northeast of Vancouver. Approximately one-fifth of the non-Indian respondents were classified as farm while the remainder were not engaged in agriculture. In general, the non-Indian population had similar characteristics to the residents of other rural areas in the province. They had a median of nine to eleven years of school completed, an average annual income of slightly less than $6, 000, and worked mainly in unskilled and semi-skilled occupations. The Indians by comparison had less education, lower incomes, and were marginal in the labour force. Systematic adult education in Pemberton was limited almost exclusively to night school courses. Twenty-three courses offered between 1964 and 1966 had a total enrollment of 352 adults. Some 22. 2 per cent of the non-Indian respondents had taken at least one course within the three year period. There were statistically significant differences between the adult education participants and the non-participants with respect to nine socio-economic characteristics studied including age, number of children at home, birthplace, number of years resident in the area, number of related families living in Pemberton, farm or non-farm resident, father's education, perceived adequacy of skills, and desire for further education or training. Of the social interaction characteristics studied, social participation and road opinion differentiated between the participants and the non-participants. Locality of residence was related to adult education participation and the number of respondents who participated decreased as distance from the nightschool center increased.

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