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National Adult Learning Survey report findings


In the current issue of Individual Learning News, Richard Ingham, reports -

'PATHWAYS IN ADULT LEARNING', a report written for the DfEE by Ivana La Valle and Steven Finch of the National Centre for Social Research, draws together research into four and a half years of learning activity or inactivity. Three of those years involved a study of over 5000 people in the National Adult Learning Survey (NALS97); and in the follow-up Pathways to Adult Learning Survey (PAL) nearly 1000 of those people were studied to see how the patterns of their learning continued.

Amongst many other findings, the report showed:

- over the four and a half years, 81% of the sample group took part in some learning of some kind. But the interest of the report is very much in the insight it gives into the way people's learning habits change and develop.

- there is evidence that people do progress from non-vocational to vocational studies. 31% of the people who, in NALS97, were non-vocational learners, were shown in PAL to have taken up vocational learning; 16% continued with non-vocational learning only.

- there is movement from non-learner to learner. Of those who, in the earlier report, NALS97, declared themselves to be non-learners, 28% were shown in PAL to have taken up learning, 4% taking non-vocational courses only, and 24% vocational. This reinforces the findings that it is job-related learning that provides the significant motivation to make people initiate a learning experience of some kind.

This is just an extract from the report and you can read a fuller paper on the findings at


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