Youth learners: The authentic neglected species learning for an unknown future

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Research and Development in Higher Education: Learning for an Unknown Future Vol. 26

July, 2003, 692 pages
Published by
Helen Mathews and Rod McKay
ISBN
0 90 8557 55 8
Abstract 

This paper reports on a major research project that investigated youth learning. Specific parts of the project have been published in other literature (Choy, 2000; Choy & Delahaye, 2000; Choy & Delahaye, 2001), and this paper provides an overview of the findings. The Study Process Questionnaire, the Student Orientation Questionnaire and the Learning Preference Assessment were completed by 448 youths (aged 18 to 24 years) from TAFE (59%) and university (41%). Fifty three youths participated in five follow-up focus groups. Generally, youths studied in this project were found to be surface learners with low level of readiness for self-directed learning but, surprisingly, they showed a high preference for a combination of structured and unstructured learning. Youth comments on formal learning, the learning institutions and role conflicts are discussed. Finally, the paper suggests that learners progress through a four stage development sequence and that youth learners are at Stage 2.

Key Words: youth learning; self-directed learning; adult learning.

Youth learners: The authentic neglected species learning for an unknown future

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Choy, S. & Delahaye, B.