ERIC Number: ED025688
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1968
Reference Count: 0
Why Adults Learn; A Study of the Major Reasons for Beginning and Continuing a Learning Project.
Tough, Allen M.
As determined in this study of 35 adults in the Toronto area, the single most common and most important reason for adult learning is the desire to use or apply knowledge and skill. Commitment to an action goal (producing, accomplishing, or doing something) came first; then came the decision to learn certain knowledge and skills as one step toward achieving the action goal. Such a goal might be to understand some future situation better, to pass an examination, or to impart the knowledge or skill to others; but these were not so common as other action goals such as producing a report or recommendations. The second largest number of adult learning projects began as a result of puzzlement, curiosity, or a question. Perceptions of what behavior is appropriate, normal, or desirable in a given situation were also influential. Of the set of 13 reasons investigated, the typical adult learner had six reasons for beginning a learning project and seven for continuing it; enjoyment from receiving the content, pleasure from learning activities, and satisfaction from possession of knowledge were among the major reasons for continuing. Implications for researchers and practitioners were noted. (The document includes tables, notes, benefit and cost factors, and 26 references.) (author/ly)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Ontario Inst. for Studies in Education, Toronto.
Note: Paper presented at the National Seminar on Adult Education Research (Toronto, February 9-11, 1969).