ERIC Number: ED152994
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Apr-6
Reference Count: 0
Educator Influence on Group Growth in Community Problem Solving.
Campbell, M. Donald
A study investigated ways that adult educators might introduce educational activity into a community problem-solving situation and attempted to determine the influence of this activity on growth of the community-problem-solving group. Adult educators by definition included cooperative extension agents, social workers, community mental health workers, Community Action Program personnel, and pastors; group growth was operationally defined as developing the capacity to solve increasingly complex problems, both community problems groups attempt to solve and problems associated with group operations. (A two-dimensional group growth model and a five-dimensional adult educator model identifying educator functions are included in the study report.) Ten problem-solving situations were studied in small Wisconsin communities. Comparison of field data (gathered by observations and interviews) from five of the ten case studies generated the following hypotheses: group growth is positively influenced by (1) the encouraging function of the educator, (2) the linking-with-knowledge function, (3) the linking-with-human-resources function, (4) trust between adult educator and group, (5) strong feelings about a community problem, (6) group growth in leadership, (7) low activity educator style in a group with well developed leadership capacity, and (8) high activity educator style in a group without well developed leadership capacity; group growth is negatively affected by the enlisting-support function of the educator. These hypotheses do suggest implications for adult educators working with community groups, but they must be tested before definitive conclusions can be drawn. Also, further research may suggest modifications to the group growth and adult educator frameworks developed in this study. (DTT)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Wisconsin Univ., Madison. Coll. of Agricultural and Life Sciences.; Cooperative State Research Service (USDA), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Page 3 will not reproduce well because of faint, broken type; Paper presented at the Adult Education Research Conference (San Antonio, Texas, April 6, 1978)