|Institution:||Mississippi State University|
|Department:||Education, College of|
|Keywords:||community development; grassroots organization; non-core county; structural constraints; transformative learning|
|Full text PDF:||http://sun.library.msstate.edu/ETD-db/theses/available/etd-03242015-204651/|
This dissertation assesses the impact of structural constraints to participation on residents of a rural, non-core county and members of a local grassroots organization in conjunction with the measurement of grassroots members for the presence of transformative learning. This study was motivated by three research questions: (1) To what extent may the presence of structural constraints to participation in community action activities be found in the adult residents of a rural, non-core county? (2) To what extent may the presence of structural constraints to participation in community action activities be found in members of a local grassroots organization? (3) How many members of a local grassroots organization show evidence of the 10 phases found in transformative learning? Theoretical foundations for this work are based upon the following research; Theodoris (2008) analysis of structural constraints to participation in community action activities; Mezirows (2009) development of transformative learning theory in adult populations; and Kings (2009) Learning Activities Survey as a measurement of transformative learning. Purposefully obtained data were collected from the general population to establish a measurement of structural constraints to participation. Within the grassroots organization, survey data were used to determine the presence of structural constraints to participation and transformative learning. The findings utilizing regression analysis suggest significance for structural constraints to participation in the general population is minimal, and not significant at all in members of the grassroots organization. Transformative learning in members of the grassroots organization was confirmed by significance for 5 of the 15 variables analyzed. The results were contrary to expectation; yet, these conclusions do contain important implications for those involved in community development.