Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction


The study examined the following research questions: (1) Are there predictive relationships between readiness for self-directed learning and the extent to which adults are involved in self-directed learning? (2) Which personal readiness factor(s) is(are) the best predictor(s) of high involvement in self-directed learning?;The Self-Directed Learning Readiness Scale (SDLRS) and the Adult Learning Projects Telephone Interview Schedule was administered to a random sample of sixty-five Iowa State University Cooperative Extension Service professional staff;Findings indicate there is a positive, predictive relationship between readiness and the number of self-planned projects conducted, as well as the amount of time spent on them;Self-concept as an effective, independent learner was identified as the readiness factor that best predicted the number of self-planned projects (R('2) = .20) and the time spent on them (R('2) = .42). After self-concept was accounted for, view of learning as a lifelong, beneficial process was the only other readiness factor which contributed to the prediction. At least five individual items on the SDLRS appear to be very effective (r('2) = 1.00) in predicting extent of involvement in self-planned projects;Readiness level did not differ with respect to gender, full versus part-time employment, program area, level of position, educational level beyond a bachelor's degree, or job tenure;Extent of involvement in self-planned projects was found to differ with respect to tenure and level of position. Staff with less than two years and those with 6-10 years tenure engaged in more self-planned projects than their colleagues. Individuals with less than two years tenure also spent significantly more time on self-planned learning than other staff. State level staff devoted significantly more time to self-planned projects than county or area level staff;Findings suggest that the SDLRS can predict involvement in self-planned learning. However, its predictive ability is limited due to the large portion of unexplained variance in the number of self-planned projects and time spent on these projects. Recommendations for further research were identified, including possible revision of the SDLRS.



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Karen J. Hall-Johnsen



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171 pages