Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Education

Major

Adult & Higher Education

Date of Defense

12-17-2009

Graduate Advisor

John A. Henschke, Ed.D.

Committee

E. Paulette Isaac-Savage, Ed.D.

Deborah Baldini, Ph.D.

Wolfgang Althof, Ph.D.

Lloyd I. Richardson, Jr., Ph.D.

Abstract

Adult education literature suggests that the instructional perspective of the teacher has an important effect on adult satisfaction with learning. In this study, the relationships between instructional perspective, satisfaction with language learning, and certain teacher and student characteristics were investigated. Study participants were adult students enrolled in noncredit foreign language courses offered through a community college’s Continuing Education program and their teachers. Henschke’s Modified Instructional Perspectives Inventory (MIPI) was used to evaluate teacher-reported use of andragogical principles. The MIPI is comprised of seven subscales: Factor 1: Teacher Empathy with Learners, Factor 2: Teacher Trust of Learners, Factor 3: Planning and Delivery of Instruction, Factor 4: Accommodating Learner Uniqueness, Factor 5: Teacher Insensitivity toward Learners, Factor 6: Experience-based Learning Techniques (Learner-centered Learning Process), and Factor 7: Teacher-centered Learning Process. The MIPI-S, an adaptation of the MIPI, was used to assess student perceptions of their teachers’ instructional perspective. Students reported satisfaction with language learning on a Likert-type scale found on the Personal Information Form-Student (PIF-S). Each student used her/his own unique, subjective, internal, unarticulated definition of satisfaction with personal language learning in responding to this item. The MIPI-S summative score as well as scores for Factors 1 through 6 were found to have significant positive relationships with satisfaction with language learning. As foreign language students perceived increased use of andragogical principles in the classroom, satisfaction with learning increased. MIPI-S Factor 1 was found to be the strongest significant predictor of student satisfaction. MIPI-S Factor 7 had a significant negative relationship with satisfaction with language learning. As foreign language students’ perceptions of Teacher-centered Learning Process decreased, satisfaction with language learning decreased. When the relationship between satisfaction and certain student characteristics was examined, achievement of the foreign language student’s primary goal was found to be the strongest significant predictor of satisfaction with learning, and second strongest was general experience with language study. The portrait of noncredit foreign language students and their teachers found in this study contributes to understanding a population and a learning environment which is not represented in the literature on adult education, language learning, educational satisfaction, or Continuing Education.

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