ERIC Number: ED242248
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983
Reference Count: 0
Understanding the Culture of Adults Returning to Higher Education: Barriers to Learning and Preferred Learning Styles.
Schmidt, Steven D.
Returning adult students enrolled in graduate programs at the University of Wisconsin's School of Education and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences were studied. The sample of 25 male and 48 female students were 25 years of age and older, U.S. citizens, and had been out of school for 3 years. Students completed a biographical assessment, a "barriers to learning" instrument, Rosenberg's Total Self-Esteem Scale, and Canfield's Learning Styles Inventory. Ninety-five percent of the students returned to the university to broaden existing careers or expand into new ones. Sixty percent of respondents considered job/family/school time at least somewhat of a problem. Significant differences were found between males and females in learning style preferences. Females indicated a significantly higher preference for using language as a media for learning, while males expected to obtain higher grades than did females. Fifty-three percent of the students indicated a strong or very strong preference for establishing their own learning goals within the classroom. The results indicate that while the returning adult students wanted to set their own learning goals, independent of the instructor, they valued the role of the teacher as content expert and climate setter. (SW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A