Limiting Forces to Successful Implementation of Adult Education and its Intended Outcomes in Morogoro Community in Tanzania

Wissenschaftliche Studie, 2012

32 Seiten



Joseph Manase & Enedy Mlaki

The University of Dodoma, College of Education, Department of Educational Foundations and Continuing Education (Community development unit), P. O Box 523, Dodoma, Tanzania.


The major purpose of this research article was to determine limiting forces/factors to successful implementation of adult education and its intended outcomes. The study was inspired by the belief that through its findings useful data can be generated for guiding improvements of adult education in the community. The specific objectives of the study were to: assess adult educators’ perceptions on the intended outcome of the adult education programmes, determine the limiting factors to successful implementation of adult education campaigns for community development in Morogoro Region. The research involved a cross-sectional survey design and data were drawn from 80 adult educators by means of self developed questionnaire. Descriptive statistics was performed to determine frequencies, percentages and mean and rank of the items studied. Data from focused group discussion were manually analysed. The findings show that there are some forces or factors in Morogoro which hinders implementation of adult education and also, they don’t believe in the intended outcomes of adult education as being transformative in terms of development. In addition generally few of the educators were found to be not sure of adult education’s relevance. These findings imply that more efforts should be made to re-educate adults.

Key words: Limiting forces/factors, adult education, adult, outcomes, community, implementation


Adult education can be defined to mean all learning activities that persons who are beyond the age of compulsory schooling undertake consciously to bring about changes in areas that are important to their lives. Such education may be formal, non-formal or informal learning (Poonwassie et. al, 2001).

There are people in all communities of the world, whose reactions toward certain issues may act as obstacles in implementation of certain community education, more precisely adult education . This is believed to be due to the attitudinal orientation, whereby attitude has been explained as an evaluative disposition toward some purpose based upon cognitions, affective reactions, behavioural intentions, and past behaviours (Zimbardo and Leippe, 1991, Chao, 2005). It is an informed predisposition to respond in a particular way towards a target object, and is comprised of three constructs: viz. cognitive – belief; affective – feeling; and behavioural, a readiness or intent for action. According to Lawless & Smith (1997), the belief component of the attitude process involves a trust, or confidence, or perception that something, such as skills and technologies gained under adult literacy training, would provide benefits.

It is also considered that, feelings of community members can create a barrier in the process of implementing adult education and can be explained as an emotional, affective, or internal response towards, or away from something that is generally predicated on participatory experience (Mezirrow, 2000). The third component of attitude is behavioural or intent toward behaviour which is the readiness or predisposition to act, such as the intent to apply skills and technologies obtained when attending adult literacy classes to solve own problems and enhance development in the community. The three components of the attitude construct together provide an overall measure of an individual’s attitude toward a given target of assessment. Community , according to Hillary (1955) and Willis (1977) can be explained as a group of people who occupy the same territory, interacting with each other and having a common attachment of, or psychological identification with, the community. Adult education has been, for long, considered to be a driving force to community development although this cannot easily be realized by the entire community (Mushi, 2004).

Community development is the process of developing active and mutual respect. It is about influencing power structures to remove the barriers that prevent people from participating in the issues that affect their lives. Community workers (adult teachers/educators inclusive) facilitate the participation of people in this process. They enable connections to be made between Communities, and with the development of community initiatives (Stavenhagen, 1998). Education , adult education inclusive, if not well implemented can be seen as an barrier or limiting force to community development .Adult educators play the role of helping and facilitating adults to achieve knowledge, skills, values and change in their attitudes, all of which enable these adults to solve their immediate social and economic problems (Inglis, 1997).

Jack Mezirow (1990), the father of transformative learning theory states that, transformative learning for emancipation education is the business of all adult education. This psychological approach to adult learning, developed by Mezirow in 1978, inspired many in the women's movement and focuses on deep changes in how adults see themselves and their world (Mezirow, 2000). Mezirow defines transformative learning as “the process by which we transform our taken-for-granted frames of reference (meaning perspectives, habits of mind, mind-sets) to make them more inclusive, discriminating, open emotionally, capable of change, and reflective, so that they may generate beliefs and opinions that will prove more true or justified to guide actions in the practical world (Mezirow, 2000).

Adult education,is taken as a lifelong learning, guided by a lifelong learning theory also known as LLL.It is the lifelong, life wide, voluntary and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons (DES,2000). As such, it not only enhances social inclusion, active citizenship and personal development, but also the virtues of competitiveness and employability (CEC,2006).The theory of lifelong learning recognises that, learning is not confined to childhood or the classroom, but takes place throughout an individual’s life and in a range of situations. It assumes that Learning can no longer be divided into a place and time to acquire knowledge (schools) and a place and time to apply the knowledge acquired (the work place) (Fisher & Gerhard, 2000).In the present study, it is presumed that communities are aware of and have imbibed this notion of learning as life-long process.

In many instances, however, adult education can be seen as playing the role of ‘second chance’ opportunity in the life of the individual; offering the privilege of a new beginning for those who have been held back in social status through inadequate background or initial education and training (Rinne et al.,1992). The “second chance” theory of adult learning draws from the ideals of democracy to provide learners with the means of enhancing their social status, participation and liberation in the society (Merriam et al., 2007). In this way, it argues that comprehensive theory of participation in adult education must take into account a wider range of explanatory forces than are presented in the traditional or existing lifecycle, motivational orientation or decision models. Also the Second Chance Theory of adult-education incorporates other sociological factors as well, and recognizes that, for adults, learning is a ‘discretionary’ activity competing with their other life activities of the individual (Cranton,2006).The theory thus attempts to explicate processes of adult education in a wider society context.

Such a theory presents a vision of adult education and community development that emphasise the continuous and unproblematic self-development of individuals. Lifelong learning is recognised in the literature as a central element in modern living, and as an essential tool in our current communication and informational age. In this regard, Hughes and Tight (1995) argue that current image of an independent learner accessing a continual cycle of adult educational services is a myth; one created to support the notion that, we live in a time of unprecedented modernisation and change, in which people can educate themselves independent of the need for organized learning procedures.

According to Ewert as cited by Hamilton (1992) and Manase (2010), adult education is designed to promote social (i.e. education, self-help and participation), economic (i.e. income generation and resources), political (i.e. democratization and self-governance), cultural (i.e. traditions, diversity and intercultural), institutional (i.e. capacity building and networking), environmental (i.e. protection) rehabilitation.

Statement of the Problem

Although most of adult education programmes currently running is the responsibility of the government, implementation and accuracy on how the adults could be transformed and acquire skills to facilitate their own development still faces a number of limiting forces (Haig-Brown, 1995). Hence, the nature of the limiting forces in adult education implementation and the way they view linkages between adult education and its outcomes is of key value for the good or ill of adult education. This study therefore, is interested in assessing the limiting forces to successful implementation of adult education and its intended outcomes in morogoro region, in Tanzania.

It was also realized that since majority of the community groups across the country are increasingly being involved in developing their own community-based initiatives, then adult education programmes should be made to play vital roles in facilitating community involvement and inclusion in peoples development initiatives (Spencer, 2006).Thus as contended by Goalathe, (2004) lack of enough education to adults must be seen to be for enormous problems of underdevelopment to the generality of the people; a crisis that in turn, leads to failure of implementation of anti-poverty campaigns in many communities throughout the Nation. Although the government and Nongovernmental organization have been implemented in Morogoro region for a reasonable period of time, yet, it is still facing a number of barriers in its implementation (URT,2004). Adult education has been facing barriers which need to be addressed by the people as limiting factors to successful implementation of adult education as well as uncover the intended outcomes of adult education in Morogoro region.

The general purpose of the study was to limiting forces to successful implementation of adult education and intended outcomes in Morogoro community, in Tanzania.

Specific objectives of this study were to assess adult educators’ perceptions on the intended outcome of the adult education programmes, determine the limiting factors to successful implementation of adult education campaigns for community development in Morogoro Region.

Reviewed Literature

Perspectives on adult education

The functionalist perspective that has dominated educational policy contends that education contributes to the socialisation and training of people into the shared value system and existing social order. Entirely absent from this educational perspective is any account for radical change or critical action, such as those that accompany the models of adult education proposed by Freire (1972) and the feminist pedagogy (Weiler, 1996). Lynch (2000) argues that the sociology of education ‘is a normatively-orientated discipline with a much greater focus on educational reform than radical change.’ Consequently, radical and critical perspectives have remained marginal in mainstream educational debate. King et al. (2000) outline how critical perspectives see ‘education as a process rather than a product. Issues of control and power, status, relationships, understandings of knowledge and pedagogy, and how they manifest themselves within education are central to their concerns.


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Limiting Forces to Successful Implementation of Adult Education and its Intended Outcomes in Morogoro Community in Tanzania
University of Dodoma  (College of Education)
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limiting, forces, sucessful, implementation, adult, education, intended, outcomes, morogoro, community, tanzania
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Joseph Manase (Autor:in)Enedy Mlaki (Autor:in), 2012, Limiting Forces to Successful Implementation of Adult Education and its Intended Outcomes in Morogoro Community in Tanzania, München, GRIN Verlag,


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