Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




The major purpose of this study was to determine the self-directedness toward learning of individuals using the Seward County Extension program; methods of learning now being used and/or preferred in seeking information to develop a skill and to acquire knowledge. It also attempted to develop a prediction equation to predict self-directedness and to also predict an extension participation score, to determine what electronic devices were available in the home which could be used for educational purposes, and to gain more understanding of the self-directed learning readiness score. The research data were collected by using two instruments. An instrument measuring self-directedness was mailed to the population sample, then one week later an interview was held with the participant to complete a structured questionnaire. This study involved a population of 77 adults randomly selected by a computer program from 5024 families in Seward County, Nebraska;Findings indicate that place of residence, age, and sex were not significantly related to the self-directedness of individuals in this study. Education was found to be significantly related to self-directedness. An analysis of variance did not reveal a significant interaction among the variables. All homes had regular television, radio and telephones; the majority had record players and tape recorders; and a few had cable television, home video or disk recorders and mini-computers;In developing a skill, individuals significantly preferred more use of small group workshops, demonstrations, field trips, tours, discussion groups as one method and independent study (correspondence course) as another method. In acquiring knowledge a significant preference was found for more use of independent study (correspondence course), small group workshops, demonstrations, field trips, tours, discussion groups and face to face or telephone calls. Most used source of information from the Seward County Extension Service was reading of newspapers, newsletters and state/federal publications;The study showed that 89.6 percent of the people used the Extension program as a source of information and 76.6 percent were in the "medium" to "high" degree of self-directedness in their learning;Education was the only variable that could be used in predicting self-directedness based on the variables of place of residence, age, sex and level of education. Also, self-directedness cannot be predicted by the number of meetings attended, telephone calls to staff, personal visits, publication received, newsletters received, newspaper articles read and radio programs heard;Major implications are: (1) use preferred teaching and learning methods; (2) more involvement of learners in the county extension program; (3) county staff needs to work more on a one-to-one basis with the learner; (4) develop educational materials for home study use with one electronic equipment.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Dennis David Bejot



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178 pages