Graduation Year

2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ed.D.

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Department

Curriculum & Instruction

Degree Granting Department

Adult, Career and Higher Education

Major Professor

Waynne B. James, Ed.D.

Co-Major Professor

Jeffrey D. Kromrey, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jeffrey D. Kromrey, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Liliana Rodríguez-Campos, Ph.D.

Committee Member

William H. Young III, Ed.D.

Keywords

Adult Education, Commercial Fishing, Curriculum Design, Learner Preferences, Learning Styles, Safety Education

Abstract

This study surveyed 435 commercial fishermen across eight coastal regions of the United States where commercial fishing takes place. The regions of the study included: Northeast Atlantic, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, Great Lakes, Southern Pacific, Pacific Northwest, and Alaska. Participants were asked to complete the Commercial Fishing Worker Survey (CFWS), which is a survey instrument consisting of an approved, adapted version of the Index of Learning Styles instrument (ILS) combined with a demographic section which included questions designed to obtain data regarding the four variables of the study: age, education level, captain's license status, and method of fishing. The instrument was designed to provide data sufficient to answer the three research questions of the study.

1. What are the learning preferences of commercial fishermen?

2. Are there differences in the learning preferences of commercial fishermen across the eight geographical regions of the study?

3. Are there differences in the learning preferences of commercial fishermen based on the demographical variables?

The commercial fishermen showed obvious inclinations toward specific learning preference dimensions. The fishermen indicated that they preferred the active (rather than the reflective) dimension, the sensing (rather than the intuitive) dimension, the visual (rather than the verbal) dimension, and the sequential (rather than the global) dimension. The participant's responses were similar across the eight regions. Where differences existed, they were related to the sensing/intuitive and sequential/global learning preferences dimensions. Region 8 Alaska appeared to have stronger sensing and sequential learning preferences than the other regions.

Age did not appear to influence the learning preferences of the fishermen. The majority of the respondents indicated they were high school graduates. However, education did not appear to affect the learning preferences of the fishermen. Captain's license status had no influence on the learning preferences of the commercial fishermen, since the majority of the respondents did not possess a captain's license.

Respondents indicated that the largest percentage of commercial fishing used net fishing methods as their primary means of fishing. For the majority of the commercial fishermen, method of fishing did not appear to influence the learning preferences of commercial fishermen. However, net and trap fishermen exhibited significant differences related to the sensing/intuitive and sequential/global learning preference dimensions and reported more preference for the sequential/global learning preference dimensions then fishermen using other methods of fishing. Implications and recommendations for further study are enumerated in the last chapter.

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