Determination of Preferred Learning Styles of Adult Learners as a Means of 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:
- The extent adult learners prefer visual learning style as a means of enhancing their schooling behaviorin Cross River State
- The extent adult learners prefer auditory learning style as a means of enhancing their schooling behaviorin the Cross Rivers State.
- The extent adult learners prefer kinesthetic learning style as a means of enhancing their schooling behaviorin Cross River State.
The extent adult learners prefer environmental learning style as a means of enhancing their schooling behavior in Cross River State.
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
This chapter deals with the review of related literature to adult learning styles under the following headings: Conceptual Framework, Theoretical Framework, Related Empirical Studies and Summary of Literature Review.
- Learning Styles
- Adult Learner
- Schooling Behavior
- Dunn and Dunn Learning Styles Model
- Fleming Vak Learning Styles Model
- Anthony Gregory’s Learning Styles Model
Review of Related Empirical Studies
- Relationships between Cultural Values and Learning Styles of Students
- Learning Styles Preferences Relating to Adult Students in Privately Owned Secondary Schools in Onitsha and Nnewi Urban of Anambra State
- Meta Analysis and Empirical Research of Learning Styles
- The use of Learning Styles
- Learning Styles in adult education in the University of Maryland University College
Summary of the Related Literature Review
There is no universally acceptable definition of learning, that is why, huge and diverse theories were developed in respect of learning. Myers (2001) defined learning as a relatively permanent change in an organism’s behaviour due to experience. Mukherjee (2002) gave the meaning of learning as an inference from some performance of the organism resulting in an enduring change of behaviour. Similarly, Ebenebe and Unachukwu (2002), defined learning as a relatively permanent change in an individual’s potential behaviour as a result of experience. Learning, however, is acquiring new or modifying existing knowledge, behaviors, skills, values or preferences. Learning is about changes in attitudes, knowledge and behaviors, and changes in skill and changes on how people think about things.
From the foregoing definitions, learning, therefore, involves a change in behaviors of the individual as a consequence of his or her experience/practice. This can manifest in the way the individual thinks (cognitive), acts (psychomotor) or feel (affective). Mukherjee (2002), expressed that learning can be associative and observational when what is learnt is through imitation, for example, learning how to dance, sing or beat drums. Mukherjee (2002) went on to say that most humans learn through observation or imitation.
Learning can also be episodic and multimedia. Terry (2006), maintained that episodic learning is a behavioral change as a result of an event, for example, a fear of dogs that follows being bitten by a dog. Multimedia learning, according to Mayer (2001), is a type of learning where a person uses both auditory and visual stimuli to learn information. Ebenebe and Unachukwu (2002) stated that rote learning is when a person learns without understanding the inner complexities and inferences of the subject that is being learned and instead focuses on the memorization of the material so that it can be recalled by the learner exactly the same way it was read or heard. Meaningful learning refers to the concept that the learned material is fully understood by the learner and that the learner knows how each specific or new knowledge relates to other stored facts.
Learning is an activity that takes place in different forms. Nzeneri (2008), asserted that learning can be formal, non-formal and informal. Formal learning is consciously and systematically planned. It takes place within a teacher-student relationship such as in a school system. Non formal learning is an organized learning outside the formal school system, for example, seminars, workshops. Informal learning is an accidental or incidental learning. Informal learning is unplanned and takes place anywhere and anytime. In formal learning is a type of learning that occurs through the experiences of day-to-day situation.
On the other hand, learning style is a consistent preference over time for dealing with subject matter, for perceiving, thinking about, and organizing information in a particular way (Snowman & Biehler, 2003). Snowman and Bichler explained that learning styles are preferences for dealing with intellectual tasks in a particular way. Pasher, McDaniel, Rohrer; and Bjork (2009), stated that the term learning styles refer to the idea that individuals differ with regards to what mode of instruction or study is most effective for them. Pashler et al stressed that proponents of learning styles say that teachers should assess the learning styles of their students and adopt their classroom method to best fit each student’s learning style. Anita (2004) believed that learning styles are individual preferences for particular learning environment.
This chapter deals with the procedure the researcher used to carry out the study. The study was carried out under the following sub-headings: Research Design, Area of the study, Population of the Study, Sample and Sampling Technique, Instrument for data Collection, Validation of the Instrument, Reliability of the Instrument, procedure for Data Collection, and Method of Data Analysis.
Design of the Study
This study used a descriptive survey. Descriptive survey, according to, Akuezuilo and Agu (2006), is to describe and interprets what is, seeks to find out the condition that exist, opinions that are held. In this study, descriptive survey was considered appropriate because the researcher wants to identify the opinion of adult learners with respect to their preferred learning styles as a means of enhancing their schooling behavior in adult literacy centres in Cross River State.
Area of the Study
This study was carried out in Cross River State. Cross River State of Nigeria is located in south geopolitical zone of Nigeria. The state is bounded to the south by Atlantic Ocean, to the west by Akwa Ibom and Ebonyi States, to the North by Benue State and to the East by the republic of Cameroon. The major economic activities in the state include agriculture, small-scale businesses and civil service. The major religion in Cross River State is Christianity. Cross River State is agrarian in nature with a lot o fishing activities. Cross River State has 18 Local Government Areas. namely: Ogoja, Yala, Bekwara, Obudu, Abanliku, Boki, Ikom, Etung, Obubra, Yaku, Abi, Biase, Akankpa, Odukpan, Calabar, Calabar South, Akpabuyo and Bakassi. All the adult literacy centres in the 18 L.G.A controlled and managed by the agency for Adult and non Formal Education, Cross River State was used for the study. Cross River State was chosen for this study because by observation, they have high rate of dropouts of adult learners from adult literacy centres coupled with low enrolments and poor attendance of adult learners in these literacy centres in Cross River State.
PRESENTATATION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA
This chapter presented the results and discussions of the data analysis for the study. The presentations were organized according to the research questions and null hypotheses (H0) that was formulated for the study as follows:
Research Question 1: To what extent do adult learners prefer visual learning styles as a means of enhancing their schooling behavior in Cross River State?
DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSION, RECOMMENDATIONS AND SUMMARRY
In this chapter, the results that are presented in chapter four are discussed based on the four research questions and four null hypotheses that were formulated to guide the study.
This chapter is organized based on the following sub-headings: discussions of the findings, conclusion, educational implications, recommendations, limitations of the study, suggestions for further studies and summary.
Discussions of the Findings
Adult Learners Preferred Visual Learning Styles
The result of the research question one in table 1 showed that visual learning style is accepted by adult learners in Cross-River State as a means of enhancing their schooling behavior. This is in line with the opinion of Rochester Institute of Technology (2011) which stated that visual learning style contributes to the learner’s success. There is no significant difference between the mean ratings of male and female adult learners on their preferred visual learning styles as a means of enhancing their schooling behavior. The result of the t-test analysis for the first null hypothesis was contained in table 5. The results, therefore, show that there is no significant difference between the male and female adult learners in Cross-River State on their preferred visual learning styles as a means of enhancing their schooling behavior As a result the null hypothesis one was accepted since its probability value of (P-value) is greater than 0.05 level of significance.
This study was delimited to the determination of the learning styles preferred by adult learners in Cross-River State. It was revealed that adult learners in the state preferred visual auditory, kinesthetic and environmental learning style. Therefore, the government of Cross-River State should try as much as possible to ensure provision and availability of all the necessary aids to support these adult learning styles in all the adult literacy centres in the state so as to promote adult learning. The provision of these learning styles in adult literacy centres will serve as a motivation to the learners. Where these are not done, the learners may not maximize their potentials.
Educational Implication of the Study
As a result of the findings of this study, the study has the following educational implications.
- In view of the acceptance of visual learning styles by adult learners in Cross-River State as one of their preferred learning styles as shown in table 1 there is need to emphasize on the use of instructional materials and visual aids in teaching-learning situations in all the adult literacy centres in Cross-River State so as to promote learning.
- As a result of the findings which shows that adult learners in Cross-River State have imbibed environmental learning styles as their preferred learning styles, there is need to build more structures, decorate and beautify schools classrooms and school surroundings with tress and flowers, not only in adult literacy centres, but also in the primary school, secondary school and tertiary institutions in the country.
- Formation of study groups by adult learners should be encouraged and emphasized in adult literacy cnetres across the state so as to maximize learning since all the respondents picked the items as the major determinant of education success (schooling behavior).
Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations are made;
- Adult learner’s interest in adult literacy programmes should be increased and sustained by the Cross-River State government by way of providing free educational materials for adult learners in the state.
- The adult instructors or educators in the state should be advised to tailor their teaching styles to match each adult learning styles so as to enhance learning.
- The government of Cross-River State should, as a matter a urgency provide more facilities in the literacy centres, beautify school environments to make them more appealing to the adult learners.
Limitations of the Study
In carrying out this work, the researcher met a number of limitations which include:
- Only adult learners in adult literacy centres in Cross-River State were used as subjects or samples for this research. The views of adult instructors or adult educators and administrators in adult literacy centres in Cross-River State were not investigated.
- The research focused on determination of learning styles as a major determinant of academic excellence. Other factors such as economic factor and other conditions that promote learning were not investigated.
- Absenteeism in most adult literacy classes in Cross-River State is high. Some literacy classes took off late (6-7pm) and closed late (8-9pm), so it is difficult getting all the adult learners when needed.
Suggestions for Further Studies
The following suggestions are made for further studies:
- There is need to carry out this work in another geographical area in Nigeria
- A similar study in which adult educators and administrators should be used as respondents is necessary
- Other conditions such as economic factors among others that enhance schooling behavior in adult literacy centre should be researched upon.
Summary of the Study
The general purpose of the 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. In order to achieve the purpose of the study, specific purposes and corresponding research questions were posed to guide the study, four null hypotheses were also postulated for verification at .05 level of significance.
The study was delimited to four learning styles, visual, auditory, kinesthetic and environmental learning styles. Literature pertinent to the study was reviewed. A descriptive survey research design was used for the study. The population was 2779. It was spread across the eighteen LGA’s of Cross River State and Yaro-Ya mmani was used for the sample size, coupled with a random sampling technique to draw the sample of 400 respondents (adult learners) from the 2779 population for the study. A structured questionnaire with twenty eight (28) items was used for data collection and the grand internal consistent reliability co-efficient of .963 was obtained. Data collection was analyzed using mean, standard deviation and T. test.
The study found out that the adult learners preferred all the learning styles that were investigated in this study. Thereafter, the educational implication of the study was enumerated, recommendations were made, limitations of the study were outlined and suggestions for further studies were listed
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