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ABSTRACT

The main purpose of this study was to determine the preferred learning styles of adult
learners as a means of enhancing their schooling behavior in adult literacy centres in
Cross-River State. Four specific purposes, each with corresponding research
questions, were posed and four hypotheses postulated. The study adopted descriptive
survey research design. The population of the study is 2779. A sample of 400 was
drawn using Yaro-Yammani. The instrument for data collection was a 28 items
questionnaire titled “Adult Learners Preferred Learning Styles Questionnaire
(ALPLSQ)”. The questionnaire was on a four point rating options as follows: Very
High Extent (VHE), High Extent (HE), Very Low Extent (VLE), and Low Extent (LE).
The instrument was validated by three experts: one from Adult Education Department,
one from Measurement and Evaluation Unit, and the other from Library and
Information Science Unit. The grand reliability co-efficient of .963 was obtained.
Data collected was analyzed using mean and standard deviation for research
questions and t-test statistics for the hypothesis testing at 0.05 level of significance.
The findings of the study revealed that visual, auditory, kinesthetic and environmental
learning styles are preferred adult learning styles in adult literacy centres in Cross
River State. Teaching these adults according to their preferred learning styles will
enhance their schooling behavior in these adult literacy centres in Cross-River State.
The findings further revealed among others that there is need to emphasize on adult
learners’ preferred learning style aids in teaching learning situations in all the adult
literacy centres in Cross River-State, so as to promote learning Formation of study
groups by adult learners should be encouraged to maximize learning since kinesthetic
learning style is adult learner preferred learning styles. Based on the findings, it was
recommended among others that adult learners in Cross River State should be
allowed to choose preferred learning styles. Moreover, the instructors and educators
in the state should be advised to tailor their teaching styles to match each adult
learner’s styles so as to enhance learning.

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page i
Approval Page ii
Certification ii
Approval Page iii
Dedication iv
Acknowledgements v
Table of Contents vi
List of Tables ix
Abstract x
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION 1
Background of the Study 1
Statement of the Problem 6
Purpose of the Study 6
Significance of the Study 7
Research Questions 8
Research Hypotheses 8
Scope of the Study- 9
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW 10
Conceptual Framework 11
Learning Styles 11
Adult Learner 24
Schooling Behavior 27
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Theoretical Framework- 28
Dunn and Dunn Learning Styles Theory 28
Fleming Vak Learning Styles Theory 30
Anthony Gregory’s Learning Styles Theory 31
Review of Related Empirical Studies 32
Relationships between Cultural Values and Learning Styles of Students 32
Learning Styles Preferences Relating to Adult Students in Private
Owned Secondary Schools in Onitsha and Nnewi Urban of Anambra State 33
Meta Analysis and Empirical Research of Learning Styles 34
The use of Learning Styles 34
Learning Styles in adult education in the University of Maryland University College 35
Summary of Literature Review 36
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHOD 37
Design of the Study- 37
Area of the Study- 37
Population of the Study- 38
Sample and Sampling Technique 38
Instrument for Data Collection 39
Validation of the Instrument 39
Reliability of the Instrument 40
Procedure for Data Collection 40
Method of Data Analysis 40
CHAPTER FOUR: PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA 41
Summary of Major Findings 52
viii
CHAPTER FIVE: DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, RECOMMENDATIONS,
AND SUMMARY OF THE STUDY 53
Discussion of Findings 53
Conclusion 56
Educational Implications of the study 57
Recommendations 58
Limitations of the Study 58
Suggestion for Further Studies 59
Summary of the Study 59
REFERENCES 61
Appendices 66
Appendix A: Instrument for Data Collection 66
Appendix B: Reliability of the Instrument- 70
Appendix Ci: Population Distribution of Adult Literacy Centre and
Learners in Cross River State 82
Appendix Cii: Population and Sample Distribution 91
Appendix D: Analysis of Output 93
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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION
Background to the Study
Learning styles are simply different approaches or ways of learning. Learning
style is a learning strategy particular to an individual that is presumed to allow that
individual to learn best. Learning styles can also be defined as the way in which each
person begins to concentrate, process, internalize and remember new and difficult
academic content (Dunn & Dunn, 2003). Some adults learning styles can best be through
pictures, diagrams and demonstrations. According to Anita (2004), learning styles are
individual preferences to a particular learning environment. It could be preferences to
where, when with whom or with what, an individual likes to study.
Preferred learning styles are ways or approaches adult learners choose to learn.
Sadker and Sadker (2003) said that some adult students learn best at the library while
some others may prefer studying at home. Some adult students think better when
studying in groups, others understand things better when studying with instructional aids
while some may not need any to do better. Adult learners develop learning styles over
time (Quellette 2000). An adult learner, according to Ani (2003) is an adult who
participates in any adult education programmes such as, seminars, workshops,
conferences, weekend schools, part time schools, sandwich programmes, continuing
education programmes (CEP) and all other educational activities that bring development
and change to the life of the individual and the society.
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The self concept of adult learners helps them to develop learning styles. Adult
learners, unlike, children like to dictate what they learn and the way they should learn it
using learning styles. Ugwuegbu (2003), asserted that what adults learn and the way they
learn it are mostly dictated by their teachers like to take responsibility for what they learn
and way they learnt it. When the adult learners learn with specific learning style that
stimulates interest, focus is captured and dedication is made to the learning concept.
Dunn and Dunn, (2003) expressed that adult instructors should assess the learning styles
of adult learners and adapt their mode of instruction to best fit each adult learners
learning style so as to maximize learning.
There are different types of learning styles in literature today. Dunn and Dunn
(2003) grouped learning styles of adult students as, environmental, emotional,
sociological, psychological and physical learning styles. However, Rochester Institute of
Technology (2011) classified learning styles of adult learners as, visual, auditory,
kinesthetic and environmental learning styles. The above two classifications of learning
styles do not contradict each other; rather, they complement each other.
Visual learning styles is a learning style in which ideas, concepts, data and other
information are associated with images. Auditory learning style is a learning style in
which a person learns through listening (e.g tapes, lectures and discussion). Auditory
learners depend on hearing and speaking as a main way of learning. On the other hand,
kinesthetic learning style is a learning style in which learning takes place by the student
carrying out a physical activity, rather than listening to a lecture or watching
demonstrations. Rochester Institute of Technology (2011) stated that kinesthetic learners
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tend to learn best through moving, doing and touching objects (Field trip, experiments
and written assignments). Environmental learning style is a learning style in which
learning takes place when information is presented in a surrounding that matches the
learners preference, for example, room temperature, seating arrangements and beautiful
surroundings (Leite; Svinicki & Shi, 2009). Learning style best suitable for the adult
learner influences the schooling behavior.
However, the adult learners’ schooling behavior is dependent on a preferred
learning style. Graham, Garton and Gowdy (2001), maintained that determination of
preferred learning styles of adult student is an important variable in students academic
achievement, student-teacher interaction and student understanding of his or her course.
Dunn and Dunn (2003) asserted that when adult students learn according to their
preferred learning styles, they obtain high scores in their examinations resulting to
improved schooling behavior. Sadker and Sadker (2003) believe that learning according
to one’s preferred learning styles leads to learning efficiency and effectiveness. Learning
styles are important because they help to sustain the interest and attention of adult
learners in adult literacy classes.
Besides Learning styles help adult learners to concentrate and continue with their
studies. Learning styles contribute to the learners’ success and help the learner to
perform well in their programmes. However lack of using one’s preferred learning styles
may lead to apathy, disinterest, academic failure, abandonment and withdrawal of adult
learners from their programme (Felder, 2000). Felder further explained that when
mismatches occur between the mode of instruction and the learner’s preferred learning
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styles, the learner may lose interest and attention in his course resulting to poor schooling
behavior and finally withdrawal from the adult education programme.
Most of the learning styles organized by the adult education learning centres in
Cross River state are multiple and instructors directed. (Agency for Adult and Non-
Formal Education Cross-River State, 2014). Literacy centres are scattered across the 18
local government areas of Cross River State. Three categories of adult literacy
programmes are engaged in these literacy centres. The adult literacy programmes are-
Basic Literacy, Post Basic Literacy and Continuing Education Programmes (Agency for
Adult and non-formal Education Cross River State, 2014).
Basic Literacy involves reading, writing and simple computation of figures. Post
Basic Literacy is the continuation of learning activities in the literacy centres, at the end
of which the adult learner takes his or her Post Literacy Adult and Non-Formal Education
Completion Certificate Examination (PLANCCE) which is equivalent to First School
Leaving Certificate (FSLC) Examination in the formal school system. (Agency for Adult
and non-formal Education Cross River State, 2014). Continuing Education Programme in
these literacy centres are equivalent of secondary school education in the formal school
system, at the end of which the adult learners join the formal school system to take West
Africa School Certificate Examination (WASC) or National Examination Council
(NECO). In some literacy centres, one may see vocational and skill acquisition
programme (Agency for adult and non-formal education, Cross River State, 2014).
Furthermore, the adult learners in these three categories of literacy programmes:
basic, post basic and continuing education programmes require different learning styles.
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This is because these adult learners have developed learning styles over time and need to
learn according to their preferred learning styles so as to maximize learning. (Quellete, R
(2000). As a result, identifying their preferred learning styles will be paramount to their
schooling behavior. Some of the adult learners in these literacy pregrammes in Cross
River State are males, some adult learners are females. Bricheno, (2004) female learners
prefer visual learning styles more than male learners while male learners prefer auditory
learning style more than female learners and so learning styles varies from individual and
gender.
On observation the Cross River State government has made serious efforts at
eradicating adult illiteracy in the state through establishment of adult literacy centres all
over the state. Yet there seems to be problems of poor schooling behavior. There are
signs of disillusionment and discouragement on the part of adult learners as a result of
learning styles. Some of the literacy centres have been closed down. Some of the literacy
centres were merged together due to low patronage and discouragement of personalized
learning styles of the adult learners. There are low enrolments of adult learners in the few
existing literacy centres. Equally, there is poor attendance at the literacy centres by the
adult learners and instructors, resulting to poor schooling behavior. (Agency for adult and
non-formal education, Cross River State, 2014). The adult learners involved in these
literacy centres have developed learning styles over time. Felder (2000), once a
researcher observes these signs of abandonment and low enrolment of adult learners in
adult literacy centres, the researcher should check whether these adult learners are
learning according to their preferred learning styles. Therefore, it is based on this gap that
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the researcher intends to determine the preferred learning styles of adult learners in Cross
River State as a means of enhancing the schooling behavior of adult learners.
Statement of the Problem
Literacy centres in Cross River State were established to eradicate adult illiteracy
but many adult learners are abandoning their literacy centres. There are poor attendance
and low enrolment of adult learners. This has led to some centres being merged together
and some closed down. Equally, there are signs of apathy, discouragement, disinterest
and withdrawal of adult learners from the adult literacy centres leading to poor schooling
behavior in Cross River State. This is due to instructors’ oriented system of teaching and
learning. These anomalies call for checking and identifying the preferred learning styles
of the adult learners that can motivate, encourage and stimulate the adult learners to learn
in order to enhance the schooling behavior. Hence, the researcher’s interest was to
investigate the preferred learning style of adult learners as a means to enhancing their
schooling behavior in adult literacy centres in Cross River State.
Purpose of the Study
The general purpose of this study was to determine the preferred learning styles of
adult learners as a means of enhancing their schooling behavior in adult literacy centres in
Cross River State. Specifically, the study sought to determine:
1. The extent adult learners prefer visual learning style as a means of enhancing their
schooling behavior in Cross River State
2. The extent adult learners prefer auditory learning style as a means of enhancing
their schooling behavior in the Cross Rivers State.
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3. The extent adult learners prefer kinesthetic learning style as a means of enhancing
their schooling behavior in Cross River State.
4. The extent adult learners prefer environmental learning style as a means of
enhancing their schooling behavior in Cross River State.
Significance of the Study
The study is significant because of the practical and theoretical contributions it
will offer to adult learners, adult educators, and students’ researchers. The findings will
be beneficial to adult learners in that it will help them to maximize learning by learning
according to their preferred learning styles in order to perform better in the literacy centre
and thereby increase schooling behavior. As a result the objectives of adult education
programme will be achieved, thereby leading to sustainable development economically
socially and politically.
The findings of this study will also be beneficial to adult educators, because by
assessing the learning styles of their adult learners, the adult educator will be able to
tailor his teaching style to suit the preferred learning styles of their adult learners so as to
promote learning and schooling behavior. Again, adult educators will motivate the adult
learners when their preferred learning style is used for instruction. It will also ease stress
in instructions, save time and energy.
This work will also help student researcher to gain more knowledge in research
work as it will serve as a baseline data for future research work. The theoretical
significance of this study is that it shows the efficacy of Dunn and Dunn learning style
model, Fleming Vak learning style model, Anthony Gregory’s learning style model in
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supporting the benefit of learning styles of adult learning in facilitating teaching and
learning experiences of adults. It supports the fact that preferred learning styles of
learners, allows the instructor to deliver the learning package effectively to the learner.
And the learners learn with ease what is being thought.
Research Questions
The following research questions will guide the study:
1. To what extent do adult learners prefer visual learning styles as a means of
enhancing their schooling behavior in Cross River State?
2. To what extent do adult learners prefer auditory learning styles as a means of
enhancing their schooling behavior in Cross River state?
3. To what extent do adult learners prefer kinesthetic learning styles as a means of
enhancing their schooling behavior in Cross River State?
4. To what extent do adult learners prefer environmental learning styles as a means of
enhancing their schooling behavior in cross River State?
Research Hypotheses
The following four null hypotheses will guide the study and each will be tested at 0.05
level of significance.
HO1: There will be no significant difference between the mean ratings of male and
female adult learners on the extent to which they prefer visual learning styles
as a means of enhancing their schooling behavior
HO2: There is no significant difference between the mean ratings of male and female
adult learners in the extent of their preference of auditory learning styles as a
means of enhancing their schooling behavior.
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HO3: There will be no significant difference between the mean ratings of male and
female adult learners in the extent to which they prefer kinesthetic learning
style as a means of enhancing their schooling behavior
HO4: There will be no significant difference between the mean ratings of the male
and female adult learners on the extent to which they prefer environmental
learning style as a means of enhancing their schooling behavior.
Scope of the Study
The study is delimited to the 18 local government area of Cross River State which
are Abi, Akankpa, Akpabuyo, Bakassi, Bekwara, Biase, Boki, Calabar, Calabar South,
Etung, Ikom, Obanliku, Obubra, Obudu, Odukpani, Ogoja, Yaku, and Yala. This study
also focused on determination of preferred learning styles such as (i) Visual learning
styles (ii) Auditory learning styles (Kinesthetic learning styles and (iv) Environmental
learning styles.
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