This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Exploratory Study of the Philosophy and Teaching Styles of Alabama Workforce Education and Entrepreneurship Instructors




Powell, Lisa

Type of Degree



Educational Foundations

Leadership and Technology


The adult educational philosophies and teaching styles of workforce education and entrepreneurship instructors within the State of Alabama were examined using Zinn’s Philosophy of Adult Education Inventory (PAEI) and Conti’s Principles of Adult Learning Scale (PALS) instruments. Relationships were examined between the educational philosophies and teaching styles among the participants. This exploratory study also examines the philosophies and teaching styles of Alabama workforce education instructors. The instruments described the attitudes toward various established educational philosophies and teaching styles of the participants in real life teaching situations. According to the PAEI, the majority of instructors agreed with the progressive and behavioral educational philosophies. Overall, the participants tended to agree with all five educational philosophies. Very few of the instructors reported scores reflecting disagreement, and none of the instructors strongly disagreed with any of the different educational philosophies. This would tend to support the literature that instructors do not tend to examine their educational philosophies and may not be aware of the existing inconsistencies within their beliefs. Both groups of instructors reported mean scores below the mean established by Conti (2004) for the PALS indicating they tended to be more teacher-centered rather than learner-centered. Female instructors tended to report higher scores than male instructors. Instructors with MBA’s tended to have lower scores than those with education degrees. Five of the instructors reported adult education degrees, and these instructors scored above the established mean in the learner-centered range, and score above the established means in three of the seven factor scores on the PALS.