Assessing Readiness for Lifelong Learning: Volunteers to a 4-H Youth Development Program

By Kenneth Kungu, Krisanna Machtmes, Leon Prieto and Khata Jabor.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Given the importance attached to lifelong learning, questions about the readiness of adults to engage in lifelong learning have continued to rise. This paper reports on a study aimed at assessing the lifelong learning readiness of adult volunteers to a 4-H Youth development program. Based on a literature review, readiness for lifelong learning was conceptualized as incorporating a readiness to respond to triggers for learning, self-directed learning readiness, and a readiness to overcome deterrents to participation in learning. A three-part survey was developed based on that conceptualization and administered online to the adult volunteers. Their overall readiness, differences in their overall readiness based on selected demographics, and a regression model results are reported.

The results indicated that the volunteers had a “high readiness” for lifelong learning. There were significant differences in the overall readiness mean score based on marital status, yearly net income and preferred format for learning. No significant differences in the readiness mean score were observed based on gender, ethnicity, and highest level of education completed, presence of children at home, employment status, and occupational category, and whether or not their current employment required continuous certification. Four demographic variables were found to explain a significant portion of the variance in the overall readiness for lifelong learning score. Preference for “web-based/online training” and “divorced” marital status increased the overall readiness for lifelong learning score, while earning “more than $100,000” in yearly net income and being “single never married” reduced the overall readiness for lifelong learning score.

Keywords: Lifelong Learning, Self-Directed Learning, Participation in Learning, Triggers for learning

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp.23-44. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 889.716KB).

Dr. Kenneth Kungu

Assistant Professor, College of Business, Tennessee State University, Nashville, TN, USA

Dr. Kenneth Kungu is an assistant professor of Human Resources at the College of Business, Tennessee State University. His research interests include Self-Directed Learning and Intersections of Culture and HRD/HRM practices.

Dr. Krisanna Machtmes

Associate Professor, School of Human Resource Education and Workforce Development, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, USA

Dr. Krisanna Machtmes is an Associate Professor with the Louisiana State University School of Human Resource Education and Workforce Development. Her research areas comprise both quantitative and qualitative research methodology and program evaluation. She teaches courses in research methodology, program evaluation, and introduction to statistics.

Dr. Leon Prieto

Assistant Professor, College of Business Administration, Savannah State University, Savannah, GA, USA

Dr. Leon C. Prieto, MBA, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Management at Savannah State University. His research and teaching interests include social entrepreneurship, human resources, organizational behavior, entrepreneurship education, leadership in organizations, diversity and personality.

Khata Jabor

Lecturer, Department of Technical and Engineering Education, Universiti Teknologi, Johor, Malaysia

Dr. Khata Jabor, is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Education, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 Skudai, Malaysia. His research interests are in human resource development, entrepreneurship and technical education. He welcomes any collaboration in research activities, consultancy and training.

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