BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Education is a kind of progress in and of itself, and as such, it focuses on how to manage or decrease dependency on others, as well as how to improve the living situations of individuals who rely on others. According to Anyanwu (1987), education is a way of increasing a person’s and a community’s level of consciousness. He continues by saying that education gives individuals the skills they need to manage, sustain, and improve the quality of their lives, as well as the quality of life in society as a whole.
Adult education is the process of teaching and educating individuals. This is prevalent in the workplace, as well as in ‘extension’ or ‘continuing education’ courses offered by secondary schools, colleges, and universities. More places to learn include folk high schools, community colleges, and lifelong learning institutions. ‘Training and Development’ is another name for this activity. It has also been referred to as andragogy (to distinguish it from pedagogy). There is a contrast between vocational education, which is often done in enterprises and is linked to upskilling, and non-formal adult education, which involves learning skills or studying for personal betterment. Adults learn in a variety of ways, one of which is through blending what they have experienced with what they can observe. Children are supposed to learn faster than adults when it comes to learning. Because there is nothing to divert their attention or concentration, such as thoughts, anxieties, and so on, children find it easier to comprehend and learn. Learning as an adult is not the same as learning as a child. To fully appreciate adult undergraduates, we must investigate and comprehend how adults learn completely, not just half. Adult education instructors have greater expertise and understanding in this field. This adult learning theory research will serve as the foundation for a thorough assessment and evaluation of the roles that institutional policies, services, and the classroom environment play in persistence. Schools frequently create curricula and services for adult learners, which may impact whether an adult undergraduate insists on graduating. “Understanding learning in adulthood is like piecing together a jigsaw; different regions must be fitted together before the entire image shows” ( Merriam & Caffarella, 1999). This issue encompasses the individual learner, the learning environment, and the learning approaches. Adult learning is the glue that holds the subject of study, adult education, together, which is heterogeneous in terms of content, clientele, and delivery method, together. Many studies on adult learning have lately been undertaken, and many of the studies on adult learning have found that intelligence deteriorates with age.
One approach for students to take on learning responsibility is to behave as readers, writers, presenters, listeners, and thinkers in the classroom through active participation in social contact with others (Alvermann & Phelps, 2005; Vacca, Vacca, & Mraz, 2011). We define social interaction as meaningful discussion among learners for the sake of this study. Learners who interact socially are more engaged (Vacca et al., 2011). According to Routman (2005), “students learn better when they can converse to one another and participate actively” (p. 207). In summary, social connection is essential for learning.
The social constructivist theory holds that humans actively create knowledge and understanding, and that knowing one’s reality is an active, mind-engaging activity. In other words, in order for knowledge to have meaning for the learner, it must be mentally acted upon (Piaget, 1979; Sigel & Cocking, 1977). According to constructivist viewpoints, learning entails building on the learner’s prior knowledge and reorganizing earlier information. Because learners have varied backgrounds, experiences, and interests, they form different connections as they expand their knowledge over time. In a constructivist framework, skills and concepts are learned in relevant and integrated situations rather than in isolated and hierarchical ones. Learning develops throughout time as beginning information is amended in response to new inquiries and old knowledge is challenged in the context of social interaction, and this will go a long way toward promoting effective learning among adult learners.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Learning is a productive process in which teachers try out specific activities with students in the classroom and then discuss the outcomes with other teachers in the same classroom (Borko, 2004). Teachers must be able to communicate openly and honestly about topics such as the best techniques to teach a student, a group of students, or a class. Instructors are often keen to discuss teaching with others; yet, teachers seldom express their thoughts and ideas about teaching and practice techniques to enhance their abilities in the setting of classroom students. The educational process necessitates major and necessary interruptions in students’ intellectual, social, and linguistic experiences. According to reports, the adult learning center’s academic performance has been dropping. Curriculum specialists are deeply concerned about this low performance. Adult learners’ low academic accomplishment is often blamed on instructors, as well as a lack of social connection and bad time management, according to these individuals. These factors are accused of enticing people into bad habits including test cheating, cult activities, and other maladjusted behaviors. These unhealthy adult learner practices, which have a detrimental impact on academic achievement, compel the researcher to inquire, “Why are Nigerian adult learners not concerned about the current trend on their academic performance?” Is it possible that they are unaware of the potential benefits of social interaction on their academic performance?. Upon this premise the study review social interaction and its impact on adult learners academic attainment.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main purpose of the study was to examine social interaction and its impact on adult learners academic attainment. Specifically, it sought to:
i. Ascertain whether age impedes adult learner’s comprehension during classroom instruction.
ii. Determine whether classroom communication between teachers and adult learners improves student learning outcome.
iii. Establish the extent to which social interaction affect the academic performance of adult learner.
iv. Identify how adult learner utilize social interaction in class room.
The following research questions guide this study:
i. Does age impedes adult learner’s comprehension during classroom instruction?
ii. Does classroom communication between teachers and adult learners improves student learning outcome?
iii. What is the extent to which social interaction affect the academic performance of adult learner?
iv. How does adult learner utilize social interaction in class room?
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this study is to explore the impact of social interactions on adult learners’ academic performance as the foundation for solutions that may assist adult learners better adapt in contexts demanding high social interactions. The findings of this study will assist educators and academic institution administrators in providing a better learning environment for adult learners in the country. Physical and cognitive ergonomics principles can assist educators analyze, plan, create, and execute solutions to support adult learners by understanding the link between social interactions and academic achievement. On a practical level, the conclusions of this study will be extremely beneficial to teachers, society, schools, and researchers. To the teacher-the study’s findings will assist teachers as well since they will help them understand what is expected of them as role models. To the school-the study’s findings will immediately lead to an increase in our educational standards because research has proven that disciplined adult learners learn quicker and do better academically than undisciplined kids. As a result, the findings of this study will assist the school in producing students who can contribute meaningfully to the nation’s growth in the future. The study’s findings will be made public through arranging conferences, workshops, and seminars to educate people about the impact of social interactions on adult learners’ academic achievement. Finally, the findings of the study will be extremely beneficial to future researchers. They will be able to use this as a source of study materials or empirical data.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study examined the social interaction and its impact on adult learners academic attainment. The study will further investigate if age impedes adult learner’s comprehension during classroom instruction and ascertain if classroom communication between teachers and adult learners improves student learning outcome. The study is delimited selected Adult Learning Centre in Ibadan Local Government Area in Oyo State.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject owing that it is a new discourse thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size covering only Adult Learning Centre in Ibadan Local Government Area in Oyo State. Thus findings of this study cannot be used for generalization for other adult education centre in other States within Nigeria. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work will impede maximum devotion to the research. Howbeit, despite the constraint encountered during the research, all factors were downplayed in other to give the best and make the research successful.
DEFINITION OF RELEVANT TERMS
Adult learning is defined as ‘the entire range of formal, non-formal and informal learning activities which are undertaken by adults after a break since leaving initial education and training, and which results in the acquisition of new knowledge and skills.
Social Interaction is an exchange between two or more individual and is a building block of society