- A HOLISTIC MODEL FOR THE IDENTIFICATION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF DESCRIPTIVE CONCEPTS IN ADULT EDUCATION.
BAGNALL, RICHARD GORDON., The Florida State University
The generic problem addressed in this study is the low level of clarity and commonality in the use of descriptive concepts in the discipline of adult education. Since this problem was seen to be, at least in part, a function of the lack of a suitable model for the identification and characterization of descriptive concepts in the discipline, the initial development of such a model was adopted as the specific purpose of the study., Although, historically, the standard approach to the problem...
Show moreThe generic problem addressed in this study is the low level of clarity and commonality in the use of descriptive concepts in the discipline of adult education. Since this problem was seen to be, at least in part, a function of the lack of a suitable model for the identification and characterization of descriptive concepts in the discipline, the initial development of such a model was adopted as the specific purpose of the study., Although, historically, the standard approach to the problem has been the development of classification systems of adult education events or components of events, conceptual analyses of taxonomic models and procedures, and of selected classification systems in the discipline, revealed that both theoretically and empirically the development of such classification systems was an inappropriate means to solution of the problem. Rather it was evident that a generally applicable descriptive framework would preferably be based on the use of variable descriptive concepts., A multidimensional descriptive paradigm was developed through an iterative and cyclical formal modeling procedure, using as its data base those descriptive concepts which are current in the discipline: deriving its basic components and their interrelational functions from the elements which were indicated by the literature of the discipline, and identifying and clarifying variable descriptive concepts through this framework, with the application of deductive and conceptual analysis. The published materials that were used in the development and testing of the model encompassed definitional perceptions of the field, normative philosophical orientations towards it, and descriptions of adult education events and research pertaining to them., The model that was developed--termed the configurational model--is based upon the perception of adult education events as arbitrary, continually variable, multidimensional systems of interdependent interrelationships. The model encompasses two configurations: one identifying the precision of definition of the elements (such as the learner and the content) in the event, and the other identifying the relationships between and among the elements. Within the model, variability is defined by specific functions which identify differences within elements of an event, or between and among elements. The descriptive dimensions identified by the functions are perceived as being qualitatively distinct, but expressive of quantitative variability within each dimension. An appropriate symbolic system was developed for the cryptic expression of these dimensional qualities., The testing of the model revealed a large number of descriptive dimensions in the discipline, many of which were highly complex interrelationships. There was, however, a high degree of commonality among the dimensions identified from the different bodies of literature tested. Although a small number of the concepts analyzed were too vaguely presented to permit their interpretation through the model, the majority could be expressed in the constructs of the model, but in alternative ways, since the descriptive precision of the model constructs was shown to be generally greater than that normally used in the discipline., From the results of the testing of the model, it was concluded that a dimensional descriptive paradigm is indeed applicable and appropriate to the description of variability in the field, and that the configurational model may well serve as a suitable system of this type. However, as it presently is developed, the configurational model offers too great a diversity of descriptive concepts for many practical purposes; its suitability as a general descriptive framework for the discipline probably being conditional upon the future development of another configuration to encompass the variable magnitude of its other components, and on the generation of explanatory theoretical systems which are based on its constructs.
- Date Issued
- 1980, 1980
- AAI8020327, 2989670, FSDT2989670, fsu:74177
- Document (PDF)
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