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ERIC Number: ED155372
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Sep
Pages: 34
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
A Critical Review of State and National Studies of the Needs and Interests of Adult Learners.
Cross, K. Patricia
This paper reviews thirty national and state studies recently conducted on the needs and interests of adult learners in the United States. The paper also highlights a number of questions and issues raised by the nature of the studies themselves. Issues identified as needing further research and thought follow. (1) There are no reliable, precise figures on the present number of adults involved in organized adult learning activities, nor any reliable means of predicting future numbers. (2) Privileged classes are overrepresented in organized adult learning. (3) Participation begins to decline in the thirties and drops off sharply after fifty-five. (4) Though some information is available, it is increasingly doubtful that there is an ethnic minority profile of educational needs and interests. (5) The rate of participation in organized learning activities is about the same for women as for men, but educational needs in terms of life style differences require attention (e.g., interests of employed women versus those of full-time housewives). (6) The degree of educational attainment is directly related to future educational involvement. (7) Regional differences in participation exist, with the West exceeding the national average. Generally, it is reported that barriers deterring adults from participation in adult education are situational (time, money, etc.), dispositional (attitudes, self-confidence, etc.), and institutional (location, expenses, etc.). Much more study of the motivational factors affecting adult participation in learning activities is recommended. (VB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the National Institute of Education's Invitation Conference (Washington, D.C., September 26-28, 1977)