Self-Directed Learning Mentoring Research Paper

Pages: 8 (2188 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Teaching

Adult Education

Adult Learning and Mentoring

The problem is that adults are not intrinsically motivated. This has caused them a lack of success at the collegiate level.

The purpose of this study is to determine whether a specific solution improves the adult success levels in postsecondary academia. The study will take approximately 24 months with some periods of low or no research activity.

Description of the Community

The community of Cleveland is located in the suburbs of Ohio in the United States and has a population of 865,000 people. Cleveland's community is experiencing a rapid growth in unemployment and a number of corporations are moving out of the community. With the community shrinking because of the modern global economy that promotes an educated and a technologically skilled adult workforce, the community needs to be structured appropriately to meet these needs. The colleges and universities must dedicate themselves to developing a community of educated adult learners that can stay in Cleveland and contribute to the successful revitalization of the community. The community needs to rapidly transition from a manufacturing and service sector to a modern global economy that promotes the education of its adults. The population has increased from approximately several thousand residents in 1923 to 865,000 residents as of January 2011. Cleveland's commitment to fortify and restructure the education system will be a contributing factor to its rebirth.

Akron University's Campus has noticed some academic deficiencies from incoming adult freshmen over the last several years. The program chair of Akron University noticed a GPA deficiency in the core subjects of English, Math, Social Studies, and Science by incoming adult learners. The president of Akron University wants to integrate more technology into the classroom and for the professors to provide better notes to the adult learners. The dean of learning at Akron University wants a revitalized seminar survey course that better prepares incoming adult learners for the challenges of post secondary education. All professors are required to participate in the academic improvement of the adult learners at Akron University.

Random samplings of adult students (400) from several (Ohio based) colleges and universities have participated in the research project. The study included 100 seniors (adult), 100 juniors (adult), 100 sophomores (adult), and 100 freshmen (adult) volunteers from the colleges and universities. Scores from collegiate projects and presentations were sampled randomly. Out of 1000 adult students roughly 100 examples have been taken randomly to see how the learners are performing with the academia at the collegiate level. Scores from entrance examinations of incoming (adult) freshmen at several colleges and universities have been sampled. Out of 1000 adult students roughly 100 examples have been taken randomly from volunteers to see how the students are performing in reading, writing, mathematics, and comprehension. English, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies grades from incoming and current (adult) freshmen and sophomores at several universities and colleges were sampled randomly. Out of 1000 students roughly 100 examples were taken randomly to see how the adult students performed in English, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies.

Problem Description

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has reported that American learners, who at one time ranked 1st among developed countries in college graduation, has dropped all the way to 12th in college graduation levels (Zakaria, 2011). The problem is that adult learners are not intrinsically motivated. This has caused them a lack of success at the collegiate level. The students do not have the appropriate motivation when entering post secondary institutions after a long separation between high school and college.

When entering college and universities many adult students reading skills are below the collegiate level. Many of these adult students have continually scored low on postsecondary entrance examinations. This has been reflected by how many adult learners taking remedial (developmental) courses below the collegiate level in English, Math, Writing (including Reading and Study Skills). This problem is cyclical and needs to be resolved at the postsecondary level.

With the lack of intrinsic motivation, adult students have struggled with collegiate level work. Adult students struggling with collegiate level work have often received lower first semester grades in English, Math, Social Studies, and Science. This eventually has led to frustration among the adult students that causes a great deal of dropouts at the collegiate level.

Problem Documentation

In the adult education field problems have been documented in a variety of ways. One way to document problems is to collect and analyze data. In the field of adult learning, descriptive statistics are considered beneficial to improving the learning process or an educator's practice of teaching and the stats gained from the data collection plans have demonstrated that. These raw data collections will aid in providing an upgrade for the education of adults. The numbers will help those performing an educational study, to find areas in which learning and teaching did improve, and with this research the belief is that adults will become more intrinsically motivated and this will become the driving force in collegiate academic success.

A global trend that is impacting everyone in the world is the growth occurring in the adult education field. Many businesses, corporations, health care facilities and nonprofit agencies are using educated adults in a variety of ways, whether it is training, administration, or management. The American government is placing the idea of educating the adult population at the forefront of their economical improvement plans. On June 28, 2007 the Director of Workforce Development Center for Law and Social Policy, Evelyn Ganzglass, went in front of a hearing committee and testified that the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 needed modified or amended. Ganzglass stated "There is a widening skills gap between available workers and available jobs, a gap that threatens to put the brakes on those sectors of the economy that are most critical to economic growth" (Ganzglass, 2007, p. 2) This assumption would seem logical in America because of the decline in the service and industry sectors of business that have caused both economic and unemployment issues.

The Adult Education and Growth Act of 2009 will become the much needed upgrade to the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. The Adult Education and growth Act of 2009

offers key ideas to embrace the education of adults as a way for America to grow economically: offer more education and training programs to build career pathways, grants for Civic, Literacy, and English programs for adults, and establish a national research and development center for adult education and workplace skills. The United States must invest resources into its greatest commodity, the adult population, by utilizing adult education as the way to help the economy grow and to help the United States society gain key skills to compete in the globalized world.

The Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) conducted research determining the level of applicable job skills adults need to enter employment (Gitman & McDaniel, 2008). SCANS proposed that the ability to perform a job effectively depended on several key factors (Gitman & McDaniel, 2008). The employees need to have a foundation of basic skills, higher order thinking skills as well as diligent application of personal qualities (Gitman & McDaniel, 2008). The basic skills include reading, writing, arithmetic, speaking, and listening (Gitman & McDaniel, 2008). Problem-solving, reasoning, and creative thinking constitute higher order thinking abilities and the personal qualities include responsibility, self-esteem, sociability, self-management, integrity, and honesty (Gitman & McDaniel, 2008).

This means that an employee in today's global society must have a variety of skills to be able and achieve his or her daily job. The better prepared an individual is, especially through education and training, the more opportunities he or she will have to acquire more than just the basic skills, and as SCANS had reported critical thinking, creative ideas, and problem-solving are important to achieve prosperity in the workforce.

Literature Review

The literature review has revealed that adult students entering college were doing so without the necessary intrinsic motivation required for success. Adult learners who have often not attended classes in years are under prepared for the rigors of postsecondary learning. Some of the reasons include the lack of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation skills that inhibits the adult learner from spending quality time complex assignments (Frey & Osterloh, 2002). Adult students are balancing the demands of the classroom and the motivation needed to succeed with family, childcare, full time employment, and more. Adult learners have continued to struggle in obtaining the intrinsic and extrinsic motivational skills to become higher order thinkers and problem solvers that exceed at the university level of academia. As universities continue to value higher order thinking and problem-solving, which are skills necessary to succeed in college and in a global economy, the more motivation will be necessary for success. When adult students enter academia at the collegiate level the universities are expecting the students to be prepared and motivated to succeed at the postsecondary level.

As adults understand how they learn, it may be easier to find the proper motivation and balance to find success… [END OF PREVIEW]

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