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September 2019

Continuing education in later adulthood: implications for program development for elderly guest students

Author(s): Papalia-Finlay, D., Hennon, C.

Journal/Book: Int J Aging Hum Dev. 1984; 20: 93-102.

Abstract: While more and more institutions of higher education are offering cost- free continuing education programs to older men and women, the enrollment of this target population is quite low. This study was conducted to identify factors that would positively influence the decisions of individuals over sixty years of age to participate in such programs. Sixty-five white predominantly upper middle-class, highly educated (means = 16.92 years of schooling) women aged sixty years and over (means = 68.80) were given a questionnaire concerning attitudes toward continuing education. The majority (86%) indicated a high level of interest in taking geology, political science, world and art history, music, literature, and language courses. In addition, 85 percent preferred to participate in learning situations that included younger and older individuals; 58 percent reported interest in having a companion enroll with them; 48 percent preferred no specific learning environments (i.e., lecture, discussion, or workshop); and 75 percent reported that family members did not suggest that they enroll in continuing education classes. It is suggested that the high level of interest in taking courses offered by institutions of higher education displayed by the women surveyed is because of personal experience with university level education in young adulthood.

Note: Using Smart Source Parsing 85

Keyword(s): Aged. Curriculum. Education, Continuing. Human

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