Ilona Gehtmane-Hofmane


This study investigated the motivational components of adult learning within informal educational settings using Constructivist grounded theory methodology. The research question - what are the motivational components of adult informal learning viewed in the Equine Assisted Learning practice framework as a learning space, where primarily learning takes place. Three dominant motivational components of adult learning were identified from the study and offered for discussion. Equine-Assisted Learning as an informal learning environment incorporates motivational components that appear intrinsic over extrinsic motivation, performance over achievement, and immediate satisfaction over long-term benefit. These motivational components are detailed further through three surfaced subcategories: interest-driven learning, immediate satisfaction, and desire for the challenge.


adult learning, Constructivist grounded theory, Equine-assisted learning, informal learning, motivational components

Full Text:



Brown, K. (2010). Horses for discourses: the discursive construction of guided human equine interaction (Doctoral dissertation, University of Southampton).

Chakanika, W.W., Sichula, N., & Sumbwa, P.I. (2016). The adult learning environment. Journal of Adult Education VOL. 2, No.2. Retrieved from

Charmaz, K. (2000). Constructivist and objectivist grounded theory. In N. Denzin and Y. Lincoln (Eds.). Handbook of qualitative research, 2nd ed., pp. 509–535. SAGE Publications.

Charmaz, K. (2006). Constructing Grounded Theory: A Practical Guide Through Qualitative Analysis.

Chakanika, W.W., Sichula, N., & Sumbwa, P.I. (2016). The adult learning environment. Journal of Adult Education VOL. 2, No.2. Retrieved from

Charmaz, K. (2014). Constructing grounded theory. (2nd ed.). SAGE Publications.

Charmaz, K. (2018). Thinking About Data With Grounded Theory. Retrieved from ata_With_Grounded_Theory.

Cook, D. A., Anthony, R., & Artino Jr. (2016). Motivation to learn: an overview of contemporary theories. Medical Education Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and The Association for the Study of Medical Education, DOI:

Conlon, T. J. (2004). A review of informal learning literature, theory and implications for practice in developing global professional competence. Journal of European Industrial Training, Vol. 28 No. 2/3/4, pp. 283- 295. DOI:

Council of Europe (n.d.). Retrieved from

Gehtmane-Hofmane, I. (2019). Grounded theory methodology for understanding how Equine Assisted Learning contributes to adult learning. In Innovations, Technologies and Research in Education, 2019: proceedings of ATEE spring conference (pp.464-472). University of Latvia. DOI:

Gehtmane-Hofmane, I. (2018). Equine Assisted Learning: Symbolic value of the horse as an underlying pattern in human thinking. In Society. Integration. Education, 5, pp. 81-86. DOI:

Gehtmane-Hofmane, I. (2019). The Unique Characteristics of the Horses for Humans Learning Purposes in Equine Assisted Learning Practice. International Journal of Smart Education and Urban Society, 10(3), pp. 35-42. DOI:

Gehtmane-Hofmane, I., & Nimante, D. (2016). Equine Assisted Interventions: History, development, types and models of practice. In L. Daniela, & L. Rutka (Eds.), Selected papers of The Association for teacher education in Europe: Spring Conference 2015 (pp. 292-307). Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

King, N. (2004). Using interviews in qualitative research. In C. Cassell, & G. Symon (Eds.), Essential guide to qualitative methods in organizational research (pp. 11- 22). SAGE Publications Ltd. DOI:

Knowles, M. (1984). Introduction: The Art and Science of Helping Adults Learn. In M. S. Knowles (Ed.), Andragogy in Action: Applying Modern Principles of Adult Learning (pp. 1- 21). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Malcolm, J., Hodkinson, P., & Colley, H. (2003). The interrelationships between informal and formal learning. Journal of Workplace Learning, 15(7/8), pp. 313-318.

Manuti, A., Pastore, S., Scardigno, A. F., Giancaspro, M. L., & Morciano, D. (2015). Formal and informal learning in the workplace: A research review. International Journal of Training and Development, 19(1), 1-17. DOI:

Merriam, S. B., Caffarella, R. S., & Baumgartner, L. M. (2007). Learning in adulthood: A comprehensive guide (3rd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Merriam, S. B. (2020). Learning in Adulthood: A Comprehensive Guide, 4th Edition. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. ISBN: 978-1-119-49049-4

Munsaka, E. (2020). Mastering the Psychology of Teaching and Learning. Publisher: University of Zambia Press, ISBN: 978-982-03-060-1. Retrieved from

Naderifar, M., Goli, H., Ghaljaie, F. (2017). Snowball Sampling: A Purposeful Method of Sampling in Qualitative Research. Strides in Development of Medical Education, 14(3). DOI: 10.5812/sdme.67670

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (n.d.). Recognition of non-formal and informal learning. Retrieved from recognitionofnon-formalandinformallearning-home.htm

Symon, G. (2004). Qualitative research diaries. In C. Cassell, & G. Symon (Eds.), Essential guide to qualitative methods in organizational research (pp. 98- 113). SAGE Publications Ltd. DOI:



  • There are currently no refbacks.