UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A comparative study of participants in lecture classes and participants in study discussion groups Buttedahl, Knute Bjarne


The purpose of this study is to analyze two distinct methods of adult education to determine if there are any significant differences between them with respect to certain selected socio-economic characteristics of the participants. The hypothesis assumes that there are no significant differences at the .01 level of confidence between adults enrolled in lecture classes and those enrolled in study-discussion groups. In the study design an effort was made to reduce the dependent variables in so far as possible so that the primary variable would be the method employed in the adult education programs. Certain programs conducted by the Extension Department of the University of British Columbia during the fall of 1961 were used in the study. These included Living Room Learning groups which used the discussion group method and certain Evening Classes which represented the class method. Three research groups were constructed consisting of those participants in evening classes, those in discussion groups, and a control group. Data was collected from participants by a questionnaire. This was analyzed and tested by the Chi Square test for statistically significant differences. The results indicate that there are statistically significant differences in certain specific characteristics of people served by different adult education methods. Differences were found in age, educational background, marital status, occupation, and previous experience in adult education programs. No significant differences were found with respect to sex, social status, social participation score, memberships in community organizations, and length of residence. In addition this study revealed that participants in university adult education are above average in socio-economic status, are actively involved in community organizations, and have lived for a relatively long period in their present community.

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