ERIC Number: ED415361
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Feb
Mid-Career Adults in Self-Directed Graduate Programs.
Beitler, Michael A.
A study investigated the experience of midcareer adults in self-directed graduate programs. It explored two questions in the researcher's personal experience: as a learner, what caused the researcher's change in learning-orientation from goal- to learning-oriented and, as a teacher, could the researcher justify using both self- and teacher-directed learning techniques? Literature in two fields was reviewed: adult development and self-directed learning. A heuristic approach involved two sets of interviews, one with learners in two self-directed graduate programs and another with program graduates. The first round of interviews used a general interview guide approach that explored general issues. The second round sought to discover how learners articulate their perspective and get their unique educational stories. Findings revealed three motivations for adults to enroll in formal educational programs: learning for career advancement or training needs, learning for interpersonal effectiveness, and learning for the sake of learning. The majority of participants were motivated by their career goals. Midcareer adults had various educational needs. A continuum of educational needs was revealed: technical training, interpersonal development, and personal growth through transformative learning. All learners had all three needs--it was the emphasis that varied throughout adulthood. Different teaching methods were appropriate at different points on the continuum. (Contains 23 references) (YLB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the International Symposium on Self-Directed Learning (Orlando, FL, February 20-23, 1997).