• (2007) Learning Wellness: A Water Exercise Class in Zagreb, Croatia

    Donald N.Roberson, Jr.

    The research reported in this article investigated the dynamics of a water exercise class with older adults in Zagreb, Croatia. It focused on 3 classes of older swimmers at a community exercise center. A total of 105 participants were asked to complete a short questionnaire. The questionnaire contained items on demographics, use of free time, and the context of the class. In addition, 8 participants were interviewed for more detailed information. The findings were approved by several participants. A variety of people were trained to participate in the collection of data. The findings indicate that these older adults were primarily motivated to maintain and improve their health. Also important was the social dynamic of participating within a class. These older adults were very active in various projects outside of the exercise class. Interesting data also provide insightful information on the details of the swimming class, descriptions of health, and use of free time. In addition, the research provides a glimpse into the life of older adults and the culture of Zagreb, Croatia.

  • (2008) Don't stop me now! A report on the lifelong learning needs of older people in Ireland

    AONTAS (The National Adult Learning Organisation, Ireland)

    This research report sought to map the extent of provision of learning opportunities for older people in the adult and community education sector in Ireland, to consult older people to elicit their views on their own learning needs and to identify innovative ways to address those learning needs.

  • (2009) Learning through life: a study of older people with literacy difficulties in Ireland

    National Adult Literacy Agency (Ireland)

    This research report investigates the attitudes, experiences, and views of older people who have literacy difficulties. The research examines the rationales and processes which older people use in their daily lives in relation to literacy difficulties, their coping strategies and any barriers to learning which they identify.

  • (2010) Improving Learning in Later Life

    Alexandra Withnall

    This book is a significant empirical investigation of learning in later life through a mixed methodology of interviews, focus group discussions, learning diaries and questionnaires. It contains a critical overview of theoretical and philosophical approaches to later life learning in recent decades and indicates a wide range of informal and formal learning experiences among older people

  • (2010) The role of education and training in helping older people to travel after the cessation of driving

    Charles Musselwhite, University of the West of England, UK

    This paper looks at the potential role of education and training in helping older people to gain confidence in using alternative transport modes when ceasing to drive. It reports on a qualitative piece of research involving 55 older people from the South of England who took part in interviews and focus groups and completed travel diaries. The findings suggest that formal travel information is accessed well, but that there is a dearth of information on more informal aspects of travelling, such as how practically to use a bus. It also identifies emotional and practical support for people ceasing to drive as being important.

  • (2011) A study of the co-operative learning model used by the University of the Third Age in the United Kingdom

    Rebecca Marsden, Lancaster University, UK

    This study examines the co-operative learning model of the University of the Third Age (U3A) as experienced by some members of the U3A in Northbridge (a pseudonym) and explores some of the variation in members’ experience of it. Phenomenographic analysis of the interview transcripts shows a variety of experience, from that of a didactic relationship between teacher and learners to full participation by all members of a group in planning of their learning programme and in leading individual sessions. U3A members report finding value in aspects of each of the four conceptions of co-operative learning identified by the phenomenographic analysis. The social and supportive nature of the U3A is found to be significant for the reported overall success of this application of a co-operative learning model.

  • (2011) Discourse on ageing in the autumn of life: language, indentity, society and learning in a Lebanese nursing home

    Hiba Ghandour, Rima Bahous, Nola Nahla Bacha, Lebanese American University, Lebanon

    This article describes a holistic investigation into aspects of the ageing process. It attempts to explore three different areas of enquiry that have served to centre clusters of research in the field: language and communicative abilities in old age; identity in old age; social values and practices in old age. It discusses a study of 20 residents in a nursing home in Beirut which aimed to investigate the use of narrative by the group to establish how different linguistic and communicative abilities, personal identities, and social values and practices had been shaped. It concludes by considering the implications for later life learning and research.

  • (2011) Grey matter really matters: learning opportunities and learning experiences of older people using social care services in England

    Trish Hafford-Letchfield, Middlesex University, UK

    This article reports on the findings of a small qualitative study, conducted in 2009, in which 20 in-depth interviews with older people using social care services in two different locations in England were used to explore learning needs and experiences within the context of social care provision. The findings suggest that exploration of the nature of learning and nurturing of more pedagogical approaches within traditional care provision have potential for achieving a more person-centered approach in social care. Based on a model developed by McClusky (1974), four potential areas of learning are explored in line with contemporary models of service user participation and involvement to be found in the social care literature. The findings from this study tentatively suggest that paying attention to older people’s learning needs within social care interventions may offer important vehicles for promoting self-directed care.

  • (2011) Learning in social relationships – a contribution to successful ageing?

    Carola Iller and Jana Wienberg, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität, Heidelberg, Germany

    This paper explores the impact of social relationships on conditions of learning in later life. Using a meta-analysis of interdependencies between education and health in old age, it discusses the effects of social relationships and networks in the development of decision-making skills and coping strategies. The authors use qualitative data from the German Interdisciplinary Longitudinal Study of Adulthood (ILSE) to illustrate those effects. The results suggest that the quantity of social contacts has no effect on the quality of social networks and learning processes.

  • (2011) Older adults in the cross-border areas of southern Portugal and Spain: shared narratives, learning and the construction of identity

    António Fragoso and Vânia Martins, University of the Algarve, Portugal

    This article is based on a piece of research conducted in the cross-border areas of southern Portugal and Spain, with the main aim of investigating the learning processes that take place in identity-building in two different generations (adults and older adults). The findings allow the authors to argue that the older generation was able to maintain relatively mixed social networks, which enabled opportunities for shared narratives and informal learning about those living on the other side of the border. By contrast, the younger generation grew apart from their neighbours so that their identity was partly defined by the separation. They attempt to conceptualise and systematise these interpretations into a holistic model which includes both informal learning and formal education.

  • (2011) Quality of life and ageing: the vision of older people of their lifestyle

    Fermina Rojo Pérez & Gloria Fernández Fernández Mayoralas et al.

    Calidad de vida y envejecimiento: la visión de los mayores sobre sus condiciones de vida. The monograph analyses the ageing phenomenon from the perspective of older people who are getting older at home and is based on a range of data on quality of life and home conditions. These include a survey of older people in Madrid; population and housing censuses; and population registers. The findings have implications for policy directed to maintaining older people in their homes with the highest quality of life.La monografía ofrece un análisis del envejecimiento desde la perspectiva del individuo mayor que envejece en casa, a través del conocimiento de las condiciones y de la calidad de vida de esta población.

  • (2012) Benefits of learning a foreign language in later life; a study of the perceptions of older British adults

    Rebecca Hooker, UK

    The article presents findings from an interview study of 15 British older adults learning a foreign language. The participants are between 45 - 75 years old and from a wide range of social and educational backgrounds. Influenced by 'hermeneutic psychology', the study focuses on the benefits of 'leisure language learning.' It identifies and evidences multiple personal benefits experienced by these learners.

  • (2012) Learning in later life and the construction of meaning: biographical research and the ‘signposts of life’

    Małgorzata Malec, University of Wrocław, Poland

    This article presents initial outcomes from biographical research with a group of Polish senior immigrants in Sweden in which they ascribe connectedness and ‘meaning’ to their lives. Their summations of their life experience are described here as ‘signposts of life’. The paper proposes a three-part model of learning to be old and argues that, in an ageing society, it is relevant for all age-groups to consider preparation for being old in a positive way and to re-construct notions of later life in terms of the opportunities it presents for reflective wisdom. After presenting a range of ‘signposts of life’ drawn from the words of the narrators interviewed, the article concludes that these interviews validate the notion of learning to be old; the construction of meaning in later life by older people makes available to those younger the outcomes of a lifetime of learning from experience.

  • (2012) Music education opportunities for older people: a case study from Macao

    Barry Kwok Yeung Lee, Hong Kong Institute of Education

    This article describes education and training in music for older people in the Seniors Academy of the Macao Polytechnic Institute. Focused interviews were conducted with students of the Seniors Academy to collect views on provision and on the effects of music education on health and wellness. Findings indicate that the music education programmes offered in the Institute are practical, popular, seem to have substantial social value and are viewed by older people as contributing to a healthy life. However, there is plenty of room for further development. The article concludes with a discussion of implications for the sustainable development of music education for older people in Macao.

  • (2012) Spiralling through change: a collaborative case study of older people engaging with new communication technologies through informal and formal learning

    Mary Hamilton, Lancaster University, UK

    This paper reports on a collaborative research study among a small group of older adults at Lancaster University. The aim of the research was to generate ethnographic and case study data from a group of older adults using a collaborative methodology and to compare this data with media discourses of older people’s uses of technologies and literacies. The data explore different domains of social activity from local political participation to internet shopping; the experience of changing technologies across the lifespan; sponsors of learning including workplaces, businesses, adult education, intergenerational and cross cultural exchanges; issues of fear and trust, maintaining social contact; and the material factors that affect the ways in which different technologies for communication are taken up or rejected. It concludes that the dynamics of engagement with new technologies are driven by a complex of factors and social relationships that result in layered and changing uses of old and new technologies.

  • (2012) Understanding the importance of the body in contemporary society and in the education of older adults

    Nina Cenkar and Dušana Findeisen

    Azumevanje pomena telesa v sodobni drutžbi in izobraževanje starejših odraslih. With the increasing interest in the body within our consumer society, Nina Cenkar’s qualitative research examines education and learning about the older body, learning by the body and individual, social and cultural representations of the body. She studies individual representations of the body from the point of view of their evolution through one’s life and the latter she examines by studying their evolution through history. She concludes that our body is dependent on both time and space and on the different factors in its context (primary family, partner, secondary family, gender, education, profession, occupation, sexuality, ageing process, etc.). Moreover, the author argues that the identity of the body changes lifelong, particularly under the impact of learning by and about the body as well as through education. V potrošniški družbi raste zanimanje za telo in tako Nina Cenkar s to kvalitativno raziskavo preučuje tako izobraževanje o telesu (starejših) kot učenje s telesom, hkrati pa tudi individualne, družbene in kulturne reprezentacije telesa. Prve raziskuje z vidika njihovega spreminjanja skozi življenje in druge skozi zgodovino. Odkrije, da je telo odvisno od časa in prostora in različnih dejavnikov v zvezi z njima in sredi njunega konteksta (primarna družina, partner, sekundarna družina, izobraževanje, poklic, spolnost, proces staranja itd.) Avtorica pravi, da se identiteta telesa spreminja skozi življenje tudi pod vplivom izobraževanja o telesu in učenja s telesom.

  • (2013) ICT skills acquisition by older people: motivations for learning and barriers to progression

    Jatinder Sandhu & Leela Damodaran, Loughborough University, & Leonie Ramondt, Anglia Ruskin University, UK

    This paper reports findings from one strand of an extensive research project in the UK investigating digital engagement of older people and the risks to sustained usage of information and communication technologies (ICTs). The factors that motivate older people to learn about ICTs, the barriers they face in the learning process and with on-going ICT use are examined. Findings show that while learning to use ICTs to ease the mechanics of daily life (e.g. on-line shopping) was a motivating factor for some, the more powerful drivers tended to be those applications seen as enriching quality of life. The key barriers found related to fear of using a computer; learning support; quality and provision of ICT training; cost of training and technology; memory problems, and technology barriers.

  • (2013) Older adults’ voices: an exploration of preferred learning and communication styles and their fit with emerging insights from neuroscience

    Val Bissland, University of Strathclyde, Scotland

    This article reports the findings of a small-scale qualitative study which explored older adults’ preferred learning and communication styles and how these fit with current neuroscience insights into learning. The study provides evidence that classroom environments are, in general, more conducive to learning when strong social dimensions and active engagement are present. This fits well with neuroscience insights into the connections between enriched brain networks, emotional wellbeing and protection from age-related cognitive decline. The author argues that professionals in education and learning need to take more account of discoveries and advances in the field of neuroscience, and argues that the conclusions from the study have implications for the way learning is perceived by society in general, and older adults in particular, and how classes in later life are presented and delivered.

  • (2013) Reweaving the Tapestry of the Generations. A Guide to Community-based Intergenerational Initiatives in Europe

    The TOY consortium

    A Guide to Community-based Intergenerational Initiatives in Europe.

  • (2013) Staying digitally connected – a study of learning and support provision for older people in seven cities in the United Kingdom and implications for policy and practice

    Leonie Ramondt, Anglia Ruskin University; Jatinder Sandhu and Leela Damodaran, Loughborough University, UK

    This paper reports on an investigation conducted as part of the Sus-IT project in 2011 into the learning and support provision in the United Kingdom for older peoples' use of information and communication technologies (ICTs). A carefully selected sample of seven UK cities was used. The study identified UK Online Centres and Age UK as the two main providers of face-to-face ICT learning and support for older people. Some public libraries, community groups such as U3A and 50plus forums and some local Age UK agencies also provided tutor-led classes and/or one-to-one support. As well as identifying examples of good practice, the study also reveals a significant shortfall in the learning support provision available to sustain digital connection or engagement of older people. The paper concludes with a discussion of how these shortcomings may be addressed through coordinated policies, strategies and practices which extend from central government across local government, the third sector and the business sector.

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