1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Interest is a key element to understand students’ engagement, satisfaction, and level of achievement in learning (Eccles & Wigfield, 2014; Wentzel & Wigfield, 2009). While there is a considerable amount of research on the interest of traditional students (i.e., students younger than 25 years), adult or non-traditional learners’ interest for learning is still a scarcely studied subject under the framework of contemporary theories of motivation like self-determination theory (SDT). One of SDT’s core assumptions is that motivation is not only a matter of quantity (being more or less motivated) but also of quality—that is, that there are different types of motivation and that some types are considered to lead to better outcomes than others. Because in the same individual, different motives for learning can coexist (e.g., interest in the subject, desire of getting good grades, wanting to please other people), in recent years, some studies under SDT’s framework are using a person-centred approach to identify different profiles of motivation in students (i.e., different combinations of motives), as well as relating these profiles to learning and outcome variables in order to understand their differences in quality. Whereas most quantitative research uses a dimensional or variable-centred approach, in which the level of analysis is the variable and the goal is to describe associations between variables, in person-centred analyses, the level of analysis is the individual by means of grouping individuals into categories (e.g., cluster analysis; Gore, 2008) based on similar profiles of variables (Magnusson, 2013; Magnusson & Cairns, 2013). In other words, the assumption in person-centred analyses is that there are differences among individuals with respect to how the predictors operate on the outcomes. The person-centred approach in quantitative research is likely to yield complementary information to the variable-centred approach by offering a more holistic view of individuals, yet is still much less used, namely in motivational research (Vansteenkiste et al., 2009). Since a very limited number of studies used a person-centred approach to investigate profiles of enhancing interest in adult learners, the purpose of this study was to explore these profiles and relate them to learning, engagement, academic self-concept, and self-efficacy. We also wanted to explore the effect of adult learners’ gender and educational level on their profiles of interest.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
To facilitate learning in adult learners, a thorough understanding of how they are motivated to learn, what and how barriers to learning are formed. Adult learners have their own personal biography, view of the world, what is needed to survive and succeed in their personal endeavours and they even have their own personal view of success. Internal and external influences on the adult learner both in their past and present experiences form these views. With this in mind, the need to create a tool to help teachers of adult learners understanding the adult learners’ motivation and the barriers to learning is of great importance and the reason for this particular paper. There has been a worldwide upsurge of educational programs in recognition of adults' practical needs and knowledge-pursuits in recent years. As the adult learners' participation rate in a variety of programs increases, it is important to detect their underlying motives for enrolment. If the reasons older learners participate in education can be tapped, then educational programs designated to respond to these motivations can better serve the needs of our contemporary and future seniors. The purpose of this comparative study was to identify the exponential factors that enhance adult learners' interests and to understand the motivations for their educational participation in Ibadan, Oyo state.
1.2 AIMS OF THE STUDY
The major purpose of this study is to examine the exponential factors in enhancing interest among adult learners. Other general objectives of the study are:
1. To examine the factors that influence adult interest in adult literacy programmes.
2. To examine motivational strategiesfor the participation of adult learners in adult literacy programmes.
3. To examine effect of exponential factorsin enhancing interest on adult learners performance.
4. To examine the barriers adult learners face as they pursue their education.
5. To examine the relationship between factors enhancing interest 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 thatinfluence adult interest in adult literacy programmes?
2. What aremotivational strategiesfor the participation of adult learners in adult literacy programmes?
3. What are theeffects of exponential factors in enhancing interest on adult learner’s performance?
4. What are the barriers adult learners faces as they pursue their education?
5. What is the relationship between factors enhancing interest and adult learner’s performance?
6. What are the coping strategies used to increase adult learners’ participation in adult literacy programmes?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: There is no effect of exponential factors in enhancing interest on adult learner performance.
H1: There is a significanteffect of exponential factors in enhancing interest on adult learner performance
H0: There is no significant relationship betweenfactors enhancing interest and adult learner performance.
H1: There is a significant relationship betweenfactors enhancing interest and adult learner 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 strategies of increasing adults’ persistence in learning programmes.
1.7SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is based on the exponential factors in enhancing interest among adult learners in Ibadan L.G.A, Oyo 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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