1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Education in general and functional adult literacy programmes in particular are means of advancing people in terms of giving them knowledge, skills attitudes necessary for expanding their potentials. As more and more adults join learning programmes, educators and researchers should have a firm understanding of these special learners. According to Lieb (2009) adults have special needs and requirements as learners which could affect their participation in learning programmes when not met. Although the reasons adult learners leave and the strategies for keeping them may differ, the goal of retention is the same: to keep learners in programmes until they achieve their goals. In any programme, adults are largely voluntary participants, but the student role is just one of many roles and responsibilities competing for their time and attention. In fact, personal reasons such as family problems, lack of child care, and job demands are often cited as the cause of withdrawal. At the same time, adults usually have pragmatic, focused reasons for participating and will leave whenever they feel their goals have been met or if they feel the programme will not satisfy their goals. Personal/job factors may seem to be beyond institutional control, whereas programme satisfaction is something educators can improve. Traditionally, learners engaged in adult literacy and numeracy provision on a voluntary basis. In light of recent labour market policy, a formal referral agreement has been put in place between the Department of Social Protection (DSP) and Education and Training Boards (ETBs), including their adult literacy services. This has resulted in an increasing number of people being referred to adult literacy services from local employment services. All learners will experience ‘highs’ and ‘lows’ in their education journey however, those referred by the DSP to attend education and training courses may be more reluctant to participate fully in the learning process. In such an environment, motivation to participate and learn can really be a challenge for both learners and tutors. There is extensive research to support the claim that motivation plays a big part in successful learning (Bates, 2016; Merriam & Bierema, 2013; Wlodkowski, 2008). Two types of motivation are recognised – intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation is the internal drive to succeed and extrinsic motivation focuses on outside influences which impact on our need to succeed. Some aspects of motivation require an understanding of the learners and what might work for them. Other aspects relate to what the teacher’s can do in their classes. Curzon (in Bates 2016) prescribes a plan that draws on all of the motivation theories that are relevant to methodology. The adult literacy facilitators who took part in this research are actively addressing the challenge involved in motivating learners who do not come to the services with their own learning goal, but attend in order to satisfy the requirements of the referring agency. In these instances, learners have benefited from engaging with experienced teaching personnel who can boost motivation at critical times. This research captures these motivational teaching practices and presents them in a way other facilitators may find useful when seeking to build the motivation levels of learners.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Adult facilitators often do not know or understand what inspires adult learners to participate in adult education programme. The present study will underscore that illiterates tend to be motivated by the same desire for self-actualisation as any other member of society, and may well stop participating in classes unless facilitators are more responsive to their needs and aspirations. Adults are not motivated enough to participate in the adult basic education programmes. Thus there is a great need for illiterate adults to attend adult basic education programmes. The unemployment rate is too high in this community. Although such challenges may be counteracted by adult basic education programmes that are provided in the area, these adults are simply not motivated to participate in such programmes. According to Crousin (2007) some adults are now being offered free computer skills training programme in some of the community. The programme was aimed at empowering the community with computer skills so as to be economically competent. Unfortunately, the programme could not continue because very few community members showed interest in that training programme. Lack of compulsory education, and the fact that schools were sites of struggle for liberation, made so many children not attend or had disrupted attendance leaving many without education, thus contributing to the massive need for adult basic education within the country. According to the Department of Education (2012) adult basic education supplies the foundation knowledge, skills, understanding and abilities that are required for improved social and economic life. It also provides understanding that gives people a basis from which they can progress along a chosen career and path in life. That is, the venue and time are determined by the adult learners and their facilitator. Although the programme is being structured in favour of the learners, however, they are still not motivated to register with the programme. Hence the need to conduct this study to investigate the motivational strategies to motivate adults to participate in adult basic education programmes (Mac Gregor 2008).
1.3 AIMS OF THE STUDY
The major purpose of this study is to examine motivational strategies for participation of adults in adult literacy programmes. Other general objectives of the study are:
1. To examine the factors that influence adult participation in adult literacy programmes.
2. To examine motivational strategies for the participation of adult learners in adult literacy programmes.
3. To examine effect of motivational strategies on adult learners performance.
4. To examine the barriers adult learners face as they pursue their education.
5. To examine the relationship between motivational strategies and adult learners performance.
6. To examine the coping strategies used to increase adult learners’ participation in adult literacy programmes
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What are the factors that influence adult participation in adult literacy programmes?
2. What are motivational strategies for the participation of adult learners in adult literacy programmes?
3. What are the effects of motivational strategies on adult learner’s performance?
4. What are the barriers adult learners faces as they pursue their education?
5. What is the relationship between motivational strategies and adult learners’ performance?
6. What are the coping strategies used to increase adult learners’ participation in adult literacy programmes?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H01: There is no effect of motivational strategies on adult learners’ performance.
H02: There is no significant relationship between motivational strategies and adult learners’ performance.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study may provide useful information to policy makers as it will hopefully shed more light on the reasons behind low participation in adult literacy in the area of study. Education managers may be better placed to implement literacy programmes that are relevant to learners‟ needs and to guide instructors appropriately. The literacy instructors maybe equipped with appropriate skills for managing literacy programmes at centre level leading to increased participation and eventually contribute to a rise in the country’s literacy rate. Adult learners will be equipped with relevant skills to enable them improve on their incomes and quality of life hence contributing to poverty reduction in the area of study and the country in general. It is therefore anticipated that the discoveries of this study will assist, government, agencies and organisations which offer educational programmes for adults to better understand what factors are important when selecting an educational programme and to improve on the motivational strategies of increasing adults’ persistence in learning programmes.
1.7SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is based on the motivational strategies for the participation of adults in adult literacy programmes in Idah L.G.A, Kogi state.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Motivational strategies: The specific efforts, both behavioural and psychological that were being used to tolerate, reduce or minimize stressful events that affect learners’ participation in learning programmes. Holahan & Moos, (1987) say that motivational strategies are responses designed to change behaviour. They state that motivational strategies are particularly designed to lead people into doing some activities.
Adult Learner: An adult person is defined differently in different countries. For example, he / she can be defined according to age, economic status, cultural and social roles he/she plays in his her community. Therefore, an adult learner is defined as any mature individual who participate in a learning situation that will bring about changes.
Literacy programmes: Literacy Programmes refers to systematic and planned activities intended to equip individual participants to become skilful in the ability to read, write and compute to an appreciable level.
Participation: It refers to active involvement in social action to become literate, through empowering participatory approaches and methodologies
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