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Learning in Mature Adulthood: A comparative study of Swedish and U3A learners

O'Dowd, Mina LU (2005) Nordic Conference on Adult Education
Abstract
Interest in learning in mature adulthood has become increasingly important as attention has been focused on what is seen to be an impending crisis in the near future, i.e., shortage of labour due to the ever-growing number of elderly and decreasing nativity rates. In some circles "alarmist demographics" have overshadowed an arguably more important concern, that of providing for aging individuals' learning needs. The purpose of this paper is to clarify what characterises aging individuals' learning needs, seen in a life time perspective. Based on the Malmö Longitudinal Study, the study makes use of both qualitative and quantitative data, confirming Illeris' (1999) and Fjord Jensen's (1993) findings regarding the distinctive character of... (More)
Interest in learning in mature adulthood has become increasingly important as attention has been focused on what is seen to be an impending crisis in the near future, i.e., shortage of labour due to the ever-growing number of elderly and decreasing nativity rates. In some circles "alarmist demographics" have overshadowed an arguably more important concern, that of providing for aging individuals' learning needs. The purpose of this paper is to clarify what characterises aging individuals' learning needs, seen in a life time perspective. Based on the Malmö Longitudinal Study, the study makes use of both qualitative and quantitative data, confirming Illeris' (1999) and Fjord Jensen's (1993) findings regarding the distinctive character of learning in mature adulthood and the importance of "the turn of life" for aging individuals' learning, respectively. In addition, the paper introduces Biggs’ discussion on “aging identity” formation, seen “aging within and aging within society”, proposing that discrepancies between how aging is experienced from within and how aging is defined within the society in which one lives are essential for the maintenance of a healthy aging identity, in which learning –on one’s own terms—plays a significant role. This argument is made against the background of WHO’s definition of active ageing as “the process of optimizing opportunities for health, participation, and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age”. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to conference
publication status
unpublished
subject
keywords
U3A, Malmö Longitudinal Study, Sweden, Turn of life
conference name
Nordic Conference on Adult Education
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
178aa88b-5d17-402f-aa8e-26594a3f4e3a (old id 964195)
date added to LUP
2008-02-26 12:23:04
date last changed
2016-04-16 12:21:04
@misc{178aa88b-5d17-402f-aa8e-26594a3f4e3a,
  abstract     = {Interest in learning in mature adulthood has become increasingly important as attention has been focused on what is seen to be an impending crisis in the near future, i.e., shortage of labour due to the ever-growing number of elderly and decreasing nativity rates. In some circles "alarmist demographics" have overshadowed an arguably more important concern, that of providing for aging individuals' learning needs. The purpose of this paper is to clarify what characterises aging individuals' learning needs, seen in a life time perspective. Based on the Malmö Longitudinal Study, the study makes use of both qualitative and quantitative data, confirming Illeris' (1999) and Fjord Jensen's (1993) findings regarding the distinctive character of learning in mature adulthood and the importance of "the turn of life" for aging individuals' learning, respectively. In addition, the paper introduces Biggs’ discussion on “aging identity” formation, seen “aging within and aging within society”, proposing that discrepancies between how aging is experienced from within and how aging is defined within the society in which one lives are essential for the maintenance of a healthy aging identity, in which learning –on one’s own terms—plays a significant role. This argument is made against the background of WHO’s definition of active ageing as “the process of optimizing opportunities for health, participation, and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age”.},
  author       = {O'Dowd, Mina},
  keyword      = {U3A,Malmö Longitudinal Study,Sweden,Turn of life},
  language     = {eng},
  title        = {Learning in Mature Adulthood: A comparative study of Swedish and U3A learners},
  year         = {2005},
}