ERIC Number: ED350402
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Helping Adult Students Cope. Mature Students on Science, Mathematics & Engineering Courses.
Munn, Pamela; And Others
A case study approach was used to investigate what helped adults cope in science, mathematics, or engineering courses in higher education (HE) and further education (FE). The study involved semistructured interviews with 107 adult students and 20 staff in 4 HE and 4 FE institutions in Scotland. Science, engineering, and mathematics students believed it was an advantage to have previous background knowledge and felt that staff often wrongly assumed that students possessed this background knowledge. Five ways in which providers could help adults learn subject content were identified: tutor support, assessment, supplementary or remedial support, study skills, and student self-help. Underpinning the whole process of helping adults to learn was the concept of a good relationship between staff and students. The study found that two factors particularly affected students' ability to cope. High motivation of adults compensated sometimes for lack of background knowledge. Personal problems fell into three categories: finance, child care and family commitments, and other time commitments. Examination of students who withdrew did not reveal a clear profile of such students; reasons for withdrawal involved academic, personal, or employment circumstances. Suggestions were made for providers to consider to help students cope. (Appendixes include 13 references and descriptions of the courses involved in the study.) (YLB)
Descriptors: Adult Education, Adult Learning, Adult Students, Ancillary School Services, Coping, Educational Research, Engineering, Engineering Education, Foreign Countries, Mathematics, Mathematics Education, Postsecondary Education, Prior Learning, School Responsibility, School Role, Science Education, Sciences, Success
Scottish Council for Research in Education, 15 St. John Street, Edinburgh EH8 8JR, Scotland, United Kingdom.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Scottish Education Dept., Edinburgh.
Authoring Institution: Scottish Council for Research in Education.