Self-directed learning readiness and learning style preferences of adult learners
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The main purpose of the study was to identify the relationships among demographic characteristics, learning styles, and self-directed learning of adult American and foreign students. Based on adult self-directed learning and experiential learning theoretical frameworks, a conceptual model was formulated and tested;The experiential Learning Style Inventory (LSI), and the Self-directed Learning Readiness Scale (SDLRS) were used to collect data from 178 graduate students;The study is based on a correlational ex post facto research design. Descriptive statistics, analysis of variance and path-analysis were employed for testing the hypotheses of the study;The results of the study indicate that nationality and degree program directly influence readiness for self-directed learning. Also, preference for learning styles and level of education directly influence an individual's level of readiness for self-directed learning;Academic major and years of prior work experience are indirectly indicative of readiness for self-directed learning;Age, gender and type of employment showed neither direct nor indirect influence on inner-outer directedness in learning; therefore they have no predictive capability for either self-directed learning readiness or preference for experiential learning style. The researcher concluded that a combination of active and abstract abilities are required for effective self-directed learning. Propensity for self-direction in learning can be enhanced. With further research, and adequate understanding of the relationships among demographic characteristics, learning preferences and readiness for self-directed learning, intervention efforts can become more feasible and productive. Implications for theory and research were highlighted, along with recommendations for further research.