This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

An Exploratory Study of the Philosophy and Teaching Styles of Georgia Workforce Educators and Entrepreneurship Instructors




Floyd, Tuboise D.

Type of Degree



Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


This exploratory study examines the adult educational philosophies and teaching styles of workforce educators and entrepreneurship instructors within the State of Georgia. A workforce educator is an educator teaching workforce skills; an entrepreneurship instructor is an educator who teaches entrepreneurship skills. Conti’s Principles of Adult Learning Scale (PALS) and Zinn’s Philosophy of Adult Education Inventory (PAEI) instruments were used to examine relationships between the educational philosophies and teaching styles among the participants. The PAEI describes which educational philosophy an educator values, and the PALS measures the frequency an educator practices one teaching style over another. The reliability coefficients were Cronbach’s alpha =.99 for both surveys. Descriptive statistics were computed for the sample. The alpha level for this study was p =.05. Sixty-two surveys were returned from each of the populations. Mean scores on the PAEI tended higher on the progressive and behaviorist orientation. A small number of instructors reported scores reflecting some disagreement, but overall participants had no strong disagreement with all five educational philosophies. This tended to support the literature that instructors may not be aware of any inconsistencies within their beliefs due to lack of personal examination into their educational philosophies. Total mean scores fell below the mean established by Conti (2004) for the PALS. This indicated that instructors tended to be more teacher-centered rather than learner-centered. Entrepreneurship instructors had higher means scores on all teaching style factors, than workforce educators.