Type of Document Dissertation Author Nugraha, Sumedi P. Author's Email Address firstname.lastname@example.org URN etd-01072005-114205 Title Self-directed Learning Among Wives of International Students at the Florida State University Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Peter B. Easton Committee Chair Keywords
- Adult Learning
- International Students
- Self-Directed Learning
- Adult Education
- Wives Of Foreign Students
- Wives Of International Students
- Foreign Students
- Florida State University
Date of Defense 2004-11-23 Availability unrestricted AbstractThe purpose of this study was to provide a better understanding of the effect of cultural dislocation on adult learning and to throw new light on the ways in which self-directed learning behaviors vary cross-culturally. The topic was investigated through a mixed-method research design that entailed, in a first and principally quantitative phase of study, developing and administering a survey of learning behaviors with a sample of wives of international students at Florida State University–and, in a second qualitative phase, conducting in-depth focus group discussions with a subset of the same subjects on topics arising from the results of the questionnaire. Member checks with focus-group discussion members enabled the researcher to further validate and deepen the insights derived from the qualitative phase of the study. Analysis of the two types of data made it possible to triangulate on a first set of answers to the research questions of the study.
The wives surveyed came from twelve different countries ranging from East Asia to the Middle East and the former Soviet Union. Analysis of the quantitative data revealed that intensity of learning behaviors and type of learning activity undertaken varied considerably within the sample of international student wives, though–as the existing literature on adult learning would suggest–they were most pronounced among the younger and better educated women and among those with greatest English proficiency. Religious and cultural differences also accounted for a good deal of the variability.
Results of the focus group discussions and follow-up interviews confirmed that many of those not officially pursuing formal schooling were nonetheless concerned with their own education and had found ingenious ways to continue learning. Meeting in friends’ houses in connection with religious and cultural events provided one prominent venue for learning. Women in general and those from non-Western cultures in particular seem to place strong emphasis on learning through relationships with others both within and without their cultural communities.
The study concludes with some recommendations for further study and for more effective support of the learning ambitions of international students’ wives.
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