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ERIC Number: EJ936696
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1934-2322
Understanding the Experiences of Adult Learners: Content Analysis of Focus Group Data
Zacharakis, Jeff; Steichen, Marie; Diaz de Sabates, Gabriela; Glass, Dianne
Adult Basic Education and Literacy Journal, v5 n2 p84-95 Sum 2011
In this qualitative research study, we sought to better understand the experiences of adult learners in adult education centers. We conducted eight focus groups with 104 adult education students from 25 adult learning centers. Five groups were made up of English-speaking ABE students; learners in the three ESL groups spoke Spanish. We used an iterative content analysis method, Strategic Analysis of Representations Approach (SARA), to explore data gathered from the focus groups. Six themes emerged: empowerment/agency/energy, exigence, personal barriers, program challenges, program strengths, and self-perception. This research adds to and supports the growing body of knowledge on the role of adult learning in the lives of adult learners. It also can inform development of programmatic and strategic changes in individual adult learning centers to increase student retention, persistence, and success. (Contains 3 tables.)
Commission on Adult Basic Education and ProLiteracy America. 1320 Jamesville Avenue, Syracuse, NY 13210. Tel: 888-442-6223; Tel: 315-422-9121; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Basic Education; Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: General Educational Development Tests
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A