In an effort to gain more knowledge, and sharpen their skills and abilities to fit into the 21st Century job market and society, many adults have returned to school as part of their lifelong learning experiences. This study examined the academic experiences and challenges of adult learners who fall in the domain of lifelong learners attending higher education in Ghana, West Africa. Seven adult learners in a graduate adult education program participated in the study. Results indicated that the participants identified themselves as adult learners mainly by virtue of the formal training they were receiving. The participants also identified challenges in their studies but they were both intrinsically and extrinsically motivated to carry on due to their own desires to study and what they stood to gain at the end of their studies.
adults, educational experiences, lifelong learning, Ghana, West Africa, lifelong learners
Dr. Samuel Amponsah is a lecturer at the Department of Adult Education and Human Resource Studies, School of Continuing and Distance Education, College of Education, University of Ghana. He holds a Diploma in Labour Studies and a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) degree in Basic Education both from the University of Cape Coast. He also holds a Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) degree in Adult Education from the University of Ghana and a Doctor of Education (D.Ed.) degree in Curriculum Studies from the University of South Africa.
Until 2010, he worked as a teacher with the Ghana Education Service and also served as a Graduate Assistant at the Institute of Adult and Continuing Education, University of Ghana. Prior to his appointment at the University of Ghana, Dr. Amponsah lectured at Esayidi Technical Vocational Education and Training College (Umzimkhulu Campus) in South Africa, where he taught at all levels and also headed the Farming Management Department.
Dr. Amponsah’s research interests are Distance Learning, Adult Learning, Cooperative Learning, and Qualitative and Mixed Methods Research Approaches.