Workplace Learning: Exploring Confidence & Motivation


ABSTRACT How are adults affected by studying maths and English as part of a workplace-learning programme? Is confidence enhanced by the way they learn? This thesis attempts to understand the roles of confidence and motivation in learning. I have tried to explore how adult learners feel when it comes to studying maths and English in a formal environment. Specifically, my research explores the microlevel interaction between eleven adults who study in a classroom for one day a week over five months. They all work in the care industry. Using a diary and reflective methods, I also explore my role and relationship with them as their tutor of maths and English, and my personal attitude towards aspects of my learning - both past and present. I interview the participants on two occasions. From these dialogues, several one-to-one conversations emerge, which I describe as cameos. I also use reviews with participants that are completed by the training manager. These examine the impact of my role as their tutor. Analysing my data thematically, my findings show that confidence in learning occurs, in part, due to personal relationships. Whilst the use of scaffolding and situated learning are seen to develop confidence, participants also acquire it from their group peers. When adult learners work together and share an interest in caring for one another, their perception of their own development is affected. I have found that encouragement and building trust are vital for their learning. The development of the tutor/learner relationship has tended to increase learners’ motivation because they want to please the tutor as well as themselves. For both participants and myself, the confidence to continue to learn and to use the knowledge gained took place when encouragement, trust and motivation were present in the process

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White Rose E-theses Online

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This paper was published in White Rose E-theses Online.

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