A qualitative study of the values, perspectives, and goals of adult students in a job readiness training program

Case, Barbara Mary Bull (1993) A qualitative study of the values, perspectives, and goals of adult students in a job readiness training program. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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In order to gain a clearer vision of the effectiveness of programs for disadvantaged adults, I observed a Job Readiness Training (JRT) class which ran for twenty weeks at a community college in Newfoundland. Through participant observation, key informant interviews, and subsequent analysis and interpretation, I addressed the gap between current theoretical assumptions within adult education and effective practice in a classroom of marginalized adult learners. The research revealed a dimension not integrated into the elements of prevailing theory. -- It became clear that the culture of the students and that of the educational system were incongruent, resulting in outcomes which did not mirror the course objectives. Additionally, the conventional wisdom of adult education did not fully consider the inclusion of adults lacking in self-motivation and self-direction. These discrepancies were clearly seen in student attitudes towards work and job stations, the students' values interpretations, and the sex, drugs, rock 'n roll culture which formed the social and dialectic context for the classroom. Aspects of adult education practice did provide a climate in which some students began to address facets of work, education, and self-knowledge which they had previously disregarded, although future expectations and planning did not appear to change. -- Course length, instructor turnover, and unmotivating work experiences caused some of the practical problems that were observed. Students' lack of internal locus of control and of future orientation, and their experiences with the realities of long term dependence on income security measures, contributed to the variance between student needs and course objectives and outcomes. -- A grounded theory framework for ongoing, constant data comparison was used to create a deeper understanding of the social patterns observed in the classroom. Underlying themes emerged which constituted the mid-range theory and provided a better perception of the needs of disadvantaged adult students. These themes – the focused sense of immediacy, the incongruence of values and objectives among students, course and instructors, the language element which reflected the culture of the students, and the lack of future orientation - together identified the gaps in the current provision of programming and accepted practice.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/10275
Item ID: 10275
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 152-161.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1993
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Adult education--Psychological aspects--Newfoundland and Labrador; Adult education--Social aspects--Newfoundland and Labrador; Adult education--Newfoundland and Labrador.

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