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Discriminating participants and non-participants in continuing professional education: the case of teachers

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There are a number of theoretical perspectives established for studying adult participation in education, but they are seldom examined together in single studies; neither are participants and non-participants examined simultaneously. This study examines the relative power of the major perspectives in distinguishing between and predicting participants and non-participants. Secondary school teachers who were participating or not participating in continuing professional education programmes were taken as target respondents. Results show that the theoretical perspectives of situations, dispositions, attitudes and beliefs in continuing professional education, and social norms and pressure, do not discriminate teacher participants and non-participants and are therefore not good predictors of the participation status of teachers. Only a few factors in the perspectives of motivations and socio-economic background are significant and meaningful in distinguishing the two teacher groups and in predicting participation status.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 1999

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