Students Perception of Adult Education as an Academic Discipline (a Case Study of University of Maiduguri)
Objectives of Study
In trying to investigate the factors that influence the choice of Adult Education, the study sought to:
- investigate the level of family influence on studying Adult Education;
- determine the impact of gender on studying Adult Education;
- establish whether the school environment influences career pathways;
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
FAMILY INFLUENCE ON CAREER CHOICES
Research on family influence has increased rapidly during the last couple of years, yet an understanding of family influences on career choices still remains sparse. Much of the research on family influence focus on individual parents’ careers, for instance, mothers or fathers influencing children to take up a certain career. This research considers family members’ influence on career choices which includes parents, siblings and extended family members.
The first interactions of a child with people takes place within its home among members of its family who include parents, siblings and relatives (Bollu-steve & Sanni, 2013:92). A child is affected by a number of family-related factors such as the marital relationship of the parents, the socio-economic status of the family, the atmosphere of the home (whether parents are warm or hostile), the environmental condition, occupational status of the parents and the number of siblings in the family (Bollu-steve & Sanni, 2013:92). The family dynamics therefore play a pivotal role in the career readiness of the students.
In America, Hairstone (2000:2) purported that the career process of young people can be compared to rocks in a rock polisher. All kinds of people grind away at them but parents are the big rocks in the tumbler. Other American studies also reveal that, even if schools had the resources with which to meet young people’s career needs, neither teachers nor counsellors can replace the influence parents have on their children (Taylor, Harris & Taylor, 2004:1; Hairstone, 2000:2). Besides parents, other American family members are viewed as influential in their children’s career choices (Tillman, 2015:23; Griffin, Hutchins & Meese, 2011:177; Ojeda & Flores, 2008:91; Domene, Shapka & Keating, 2006:154). Similarly, Kracke (2002:20) revealed that German families influence students on studying Adult Education. All these studies were carried out in completely different environments from the current study.
Parents influence career choices in a number of ways, for example, parental support and encouragement. A study carried in Kenya reflects that when adolescents require information on topics such as career planning, they consult their parents (Edwards & Quinter, 2011:82). Although the study was similar to the current study in terms of focus and objectives, the study used a qualitative approach which limits the objectivity and generalisability of results. Another study in Kenya also examined the influence of parental support in their children’s careers (Korrir & Wafula, 2012:87) however, the study was carried out to examine the factors that influence the choice of careers in the hospitality industry in Kenya. The current study did not focus on a particular career but careers in general and is carried out in Nigeria.
A study was conducted to investigate the influence of family background on the academic performance of students in Nigeria. It was found that supportive parents are important for their children’s career decision making and for the success of their careers (Barker, 2010:6; Clutter, 2010:13). Bollu-steve and Sanni (2013:92) established that Nigerian parents influenced students’ performance and eventual career choices. Despite the differences in the aims of these studies, they acknowledged the importance of parental support of their children’s education and career choices. The current study particularly focused on family influences on career choices.
African studies, for example, in Kenya (Mokoro, Wambiya & Aloka, 2014:1465) and in Nigeria (Abiyo & Eze, 2015:26; Abiola, 2014:231), have highlighted that many of the settings in which children and youth participate are dependent on the choices of their parents. Thus, parents’ decisions, choices of where to live, what to provide materially and relationally in the home and how to structure out-of-school time for children, impacts children’s development in ways that are meaningful for later success in the world of work (Abiola, 2014:231). Beggs, Bsutham and Taylor (2008:391) refer to “helicopter parents” who have a tendency to intervene in their children’s college life from choosing a university to helping them choose individual courses. In this case, parents are seen as inseparable from their children’s career choices. This parental/child attachment has been raised in the Social Learning Theory that informs this study when it emphasises the impact of the environment on learners.
A research design can be viewed as a plan, structure and strategy of a research to find the tools to solve the problem and to minimise the variance (Kothari and Crag, 2014:29; Creswell, 2013:23). Its function therefore is to ensure that the evidence obtained ensures that the initial question is answered as unambiguously as possible.
According to Kothari and Crag (2014:30), research design facilitates the attainment of the various research operations thereby making research as efficient as possible and yielding maximum information with minimal expenditure of effort, time and money. For the above to be achieved, a suitable paradigm should embrace a scientific approach which is always advocated by the quantitative approach. A quantitative approach which was informed by the positivist paradigm was used in the current study to assess factors that influence students to choose careers.
DATA PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION
FAMILY INFLUENCE ON CAREER CHOICES
The following section presents the influence of the family on the children’s career choices. The family aspects include both the nuclear family members which comprise the father, mother and other siblings. The extended family members were also considered. These include aunts, uncles, grandparents and other related family members. Table 4.2 on the next page shows how family members influence career choices of students.
SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
SUMMARY OF THE FINDINGS
It emerged from this study that family influences career choices among students in Nigeria. The study revealed that both mothers and fathers influence their children in their choice of careers. The study also revealed that parents can create career interests in their children. It also emerged from this study that parental influence comes in different forms such as parental actions, parental values and beliefs, parental connectedness and expectations. The current study further showed that the level of parental education has a positive influence on children’s choices of careers. Mothers and fathers’ careers also had an impact on their children’s choices of careers. It also emerged from this study that family businesses had no influence on students’ choices of careers.
The present study revealed that schools influence career choices among students.
Career guidance lessons students receive from career guidance teachers have a bearing on students’ choices of careers. It emerged from the current study that class teachers and former students also play a pivotal role in students’ choices of careers. The study also revealed that the geographical location of the school plays a significant role in students’ choices of careers
It emerged from the current study that gender does not influence career choices among students. Both male and female students compete for the same careers. There is no difference between the subjects done by girls and by boys that lead them to the choice of different careers. It also emerged from the current study that both male and female role models influence students in their choices of careers.
The essence of the study was to establish factors that influence the choice of Adult Education among students in Nigeria. As reflected by the findings of the study, it can be concluded that the family has a significant role in influencing students on studying Adult Education. Parental education and careers, parental encouragement and advice are critical in students’ choices of careers.
- It can also be concluded that schools play a pivotal role in students’ choices of careers. Career guidance, career guidance teachers, class teachers, the subjects students do at school and the location of the school were found to influence students’ choices of careers.
- It can also be concluded that gender has no influence in students’ choices of careers. The findings of the study revealed that both male and female students were interested in the same careers and are equally competent in the subjects they do at school. Both male and female role models are influential in students’ choices of careers.
The study further concluded that peers have a significant role in students’ choices of careers. Peer advice and encouragement, as reflected by the study, are important in students’ choices of careers.
The subsequent section presents the contribution of the study.
Based on the findings of the study on factors influencing the career choices of students, the following recommendations, from both the literature review and the findings from the empirical study, are made:
5.3.1 Policy and legislation
There is a need to review the career guidance curriculum to consider factors that influence students’ choices of careers. There should be a paradigm shift from the career guidance teacher as the sole provider of career guidance in schools. It is therefore recommended that clear policy on who should teach career guidance and the actual provision of career guidance in schools be put in place. The policy would cover aspect such as:
- mandatory training of career guidance teachers,
- introducing a compulsory module in teachers training colleges that will assist teachers to effectively guide students towards their careers,
- parental involvement in guiding students towards their careers,
- consultation with students, parents and industry when designing career guidance syllabus,
- availing resources, both financial and material, to enable the schools to implement career guidance activities in schools.
Career guidance activities, including field trips which are critical in marrying theory to practice, need to be planned prior to the opening of schools. If field trips are poorly organised, they will not benefit the students. It is therefore recommended that field trips be part of career guidance activities and be planned well in advance for them to be effective.
School career guidance teachers’ training
It is recommended that career guidance teachers be trained to equip them with necessary skills that enhance teaching in the classroom. Teachers’ colleges and universities should comprehensively train their students in career guidance to enable them to be competent when engaging their students in career guidance activities. It is further recommended that staff development of career guidance teachers be prioritised to enhance competitiveness of teachers when executing their duties as career guidance practitioners.
Training of parents’ career guidance skills
Since parental involvement is inevitable, the current study recommends that parents be trained in career guidance. Special community programmes, initiated by the schools, may be organised to help parents guide their children. Universities and other institutions of tertiary learning may introduce short courses on career guidance. The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education may prepare literature on career guidance on pamphlets that would be distributed to parents.
Training of peers
It is important that peers receive training in career guidance. Peer training may be done in schools. As students receive career guidance in schools, activities such as peer training may be introduced where students are trained to help fellow students in career guidance. Such initiatives may include career guidance and field trip organisation. Libraries should be equipped with literature that helps learners to gain insight in career guidance.
- Abbasi, M.N. & Sarwat, N. (2014). Factors inducing career choice: Comparative study of five leading professions in Pakistan. Pakistan Journal of Commerce and Social Sciences, 8(3): 830-845.
- Abiola, J. (2014). Impact of educational aspirations on vocational choices of the female students on Ondo West local Government area of Ondo State, Nigeria. European Scientific Journal, 1:224-233.
- Acharya, B. (2010). Questionnaire design. A working paper for a training cum workshop in research methodology organised by Centre for Post-graduate Studies Nepal Engineering College in Collaboration with University Grants Commission Nepal, 2-11.
- Alika, H.I. (2010a). Career Choice in Engineering: The influence of peer and parents implication for counselling. College Student Journal, 46(3):535-542.
- Alika, H.I. (2010b). Parental and peer group influence as correlates of career choice in humanities among students in Edo State, Nigeria. Journal of Research in Education and Society, 1(1):179.
- Aliyu, A.A., Bello, M.U., Kasim, R. & Martin, D. (2014). Positivist and non-positivist paradigm in social science research: Conflicting paradigms or perfect partners? Journal of Management and Sustainability, 4(3):79-95.
- Amani, J. (2013). Social influence and occupational knowledge as predictors of career choice intentions among undergraduate students in Tanzania. International Journal of Learning & Development, 3(3):185-193.
- Amani, J. (2016). Do Tanzanian undergraduate students choose or hunt for their degree programmes? International Journal of Higher Education, 5(2):74-81.