Adult Learning Not Increasing With Internet AvailabilityCategory: Science & Technology
Posted: April 9, 2012 07:23PM
Good education is important to everyone because everyone recognizes it is needed to succeed; at least when it comes to children. Adults who are out of school are not necessarily active learners, for a number a reasons. With the growth of the Internet though, many hope that adults may use the technology available to them for some informal learning. Researchers at the University of Leicester though have found that this hope, and the efforts made to support it, may have been misplaced.
The concept is simple enough; give adults a viable way to learn, in this case the Internet, and they will then improve themselves and bolster the ‘knowledge economy.’ The researchers collected data on the learning habits of British adults from 2002 to 2010. Within the data, the researchers found adults who continued their education after they were 16 years old and those who had non-manual jobs were more likely to continue learning informally. Other adults were not likely to try to participate in adult learning programs.
During that decade there were several technology advancements and government initiatives to stimulate adult learning, but it appears nothing had any impact. Adult who were previously not engaged in further education were no more likely to get involved in 2002 than in 2010. The researchers attribute this to the attitude of the adults, instead of the available access. Children who have an interest in their own education during school and were successful learners will maintain their interest in education when they become adults. Those who experienced some kind of educational failure or were otherwise alienated by the school system are not going to seek out education once adults, even if it is just a click away.