ERIC Number: ED358253
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990
Reference Count: N/A
The Reluctant Learner. A Research Report on Nonparticipation and Dropout in Literacy Programs in British Columbia.
Thomas, Audrey M.
An exploratory study investigated the issues of nonparticipation and program attrition in adult basic education (ABE)literacy programs in the province of British Columbia (Canada). Literature was reviewed and opinions were sought from ABE professionals and other field workers. Seven literacy classes were visited, 66 persons from several different locales in the province were personally interviewed, and 2 telephone surveys provided a combined interview sample of another 56 persons. The literature review showed that most research is based in the United States and is fairly recent. The distinctive characteristics of the ABE target population often meant that the usual research approaches did not work, and researchers emphasized the heterogeneity of the target population. Among avoiders or resisters, the evidence suggested that low perceived need and negative attitudes toward school prevailed. Barriers to participation appeared to be predominantly related to economic causes. Among dropouts, work- and family-related reasons appeared to dominate as causes for withdrawal. These issues were highlighted: life circumstances of the individuals involved, low self-esteem, low perceived needs, the long term, the need for more and different programs, a subgroup of people with learning disabilities, trades training, bureaucratic hassles, support issues, and the school system. (Appendixes include 54 references and instruments.) (YLB)
Descriptors: Academic Persistence, Adult Basic Education, Adult Literacy, Adult Programs, Dropout Research, Dropouts, Educational Research, Enrollment Influences, Foreign Countries, Literacy Education, Literature Reviews, Participation, Student Attrition, Withdrawal (Education)
Open Learning Agency, Marketing Dept., 4355 Mathissi Place, Burnaby, British Columbia V5G 4S8, Canada (order no.: VA0105: $14).
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Literacy Secretariat, Ottawa (Ontario).; British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology, Victoria.
Identifiers - Location: Canada