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Motivation and Participation in Adult Education

Autor:   •  November 3, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  3,545 Words (15 Pages)  •  1,728 Views

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The subject of this case study is a number of mathematics teachers, who being led by a man known as Jose are participating in a two year project entitled "The Teaching Mathematics with Technology Project." This was a program designed for secondary mathematics teachers. The purpose of the project was to encourage the teachers to consider how best to use technology as an enhancement to their students understanding of mathematics. Secondly, the project was intended to create a community of mathematics teachers who share an interest in teaching with technology and can use the technology to support and learn from one another professionally. The problem contained within this case study is how to get the teachers involved in the project, specifically the goals of embracing and using the technology. The solution for this inherent problem lies in convincing the teachers to participate regularly. This is where the relation of motivation to participation comes into play. Motivational strategies will be addressed in our study, which will suggest ways in which participation can take place. Once the mathematics teachers begin to engage themselves in the project, questions such as how the teachers will convey their new knowledge to their students as well as their students' reaction to the technology will very likely occur.


Without any doubt, adult education has a broad extension. Its content involves formal and informal education, and it also has no neat boundaries for its participants (Merriam, Caffarella, Baumgartner, 2007, p.5). Therefore to know why people are engaged in adult education and how to motivate adults to continue to participate is important. Perhaps this is why Merriam et al. (2007) explains:

Participation is one of the most thoroughly studied areas in adult education. We have a sense of who participates, what is studied, and what motivates some adults and not others to enroll in a course or undertake an independent learning project. (p.78)

Before talking about participation and motivation in adult education, we need to thoroughly analyze the concept of learning. Because "learning, even self-directed learning, rarely occurs ‘in splendid' isolation from the world in which the learner lives; …it is intimately related to that world and affected by it" (Merriam, Caffarella, Baumgartner, 2007, p.5). In our case study, the social context is related to school reform and teaching technology. These are not only trends in our case, but are necessary transformations to all schools' development in our society. Fundamentally, school reform is intended to improve the student's academic proficiency, while technological improvement is an important function of school reform. By applying different technologies into teaching, it could lead students' learning


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