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Adults now constitute the majority of students in higher education; what they bring to it, want and need are important questions in the development of a more responsive higher education. The author discusses The Relationship Between Motives, Education, And Life History To Explore how culture and history shape people and their motives for learning, taking into account variations in gender, social background and ethnicity, challenging the orthodox view that non-traditional students enter higher educational for vocational/material reasons.
Although the traditional-aged college student my still be the most visible on campus, adult students are becoming the new majority in the student body. The adult student may fulfill many different roles and is now taking on the additional role of a student. Many of these adults also have the responsibility of children and jobs. As these adults successfully pursue an education their grades are often higher than their younger counterparts in the classroom. What motivates them to take on more responsibility? An adult's decision to return to school is the product of multiple factors. A change in family situations often motivates a return to school. A desire for education is also created by occupational changes and pressures, that is, the loss of a job position or the pressure to move to a higher or different position. Individual factors can also motivate an adult toward education, such as the children are growing and leaving the adult time for personal educational pursuits. Adult educators should offer assistance that taps into the adult learner's motives and work together to accomplish the task of learning. This paper will help to identify different factors that motivate an individual to return to higher education, specifically nursing education.
This text presents a critical analysis of social exclusion across the education system and how it affects adult learners who take part in university adult education. It draws on the experiences of 30 marginalised adults.