ERIC Number: ED271549
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Hidden Barriers: A Sociological Investigation of Adult Participation in Continuing Education.
Peinovich, Paula E.
Many researchers have investigated the factors that keep adults from participating in continuing education or "lifelong learning." Most of the studies have identified factors--previous educational experience, race, ethnic group, and others--that make adults less likely to be participants in schooling. However, the barriers may actually be more hidden and complicated than much of the research would suggest. Rather than a single factor, such as previous schooling experience, determining an individual's likelihood of participating in continuing education, the barriers may in fact be a construction of all the possible sociological factors operating together. Thus, the more factors identified as negative indicators of participation in adult education that affect an individual, the less likely he or she is to participate. Thus, adults could be seen on a continuum from low to high in terms of likelihood of participation in lifelong learning, a continuum that mostly parallels class structure. Thus, the lower the person falls on the continuum in terms of social class, as defined by race, income, education, family background, and so on, the less likely that person is to participate in further education. Since colleges have become marketers of educational products for which supply exceeds demand, they can expand their influence by expanding their appeals to a broader range of people, rather than trying to capture more of the people from the higher areas of the continuum. Appealing to more people would assure greater democratization of education and of society. (KC)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (67th, San Francisco, CA, April 16-20, 1986).