Qualitative

  • (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) Mind, body and spirit: an exploration of some of the many benefits to older adults of learning a foreign language for leisure purposes

    Rebecca Hooker, UK

    This paper considers ‘well-being’ as associated with one particular and under-researched educational context: that of older British adults learning a foreign language of their own volition in England through formal adult and community education (ACE), at so-called ‘evening classes’. It reports on a study of 15 British older adults learning a foreign language.

  • (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) Next steps: Life transitions and retirement in the 21st century

    Dr. Alison Hulme

    An analysis of a wide range of recent research carried out by respected bodies to gain a broad understanding of current thinking on life transition theory, and a more specific picture of the challenges faced at various life transitions. It also brings together recent research into transitions from work to retirement and outlines current thinking on the issues and implications involved. Recent policy is also briefly summarised. In order to gain a deeper qualitative picture, the report analyses the findings from several specially commissioned focus groups. The report finds that there has been limited systematic focus in policy making on supporting life transitions holistically; and that there is scope to use National Service Programmes (NSPs) as a tool to address the most common ones, particularly those faced by young people, new employees, new parents and retirees.

  • (2012) Not just another website: Review of “50 Plus Works” Good-practice guide and toolkit

    Tim Willis

    This report presents the findings of a review, using mainly qualitative research methods, to assess the views and experiences of users of “50 Plus Works”, a free to use website designed to assist staff in provider organisations who are helping older jobseekers to return to work. The good practice guide and toolkit was developed and operated by The Age and Employment Network (TAEN).

  • (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.

  • (2012) Well-being in old age: findings from participatory research

    Lizzie Ward, Marian Barnes, Beatrice Gahagan

    The well-being project was carried out between 2008-2011 in Brighton and Hove, UK, by a team involving university researchers, a voluntary sector manager and older co-researchers. The aim was to develop participatory research with older people which would foreground lived experiences of ageing and produce knowledge about what well-being means. This report provides the findings from the research undertaken. The research identified many different things that impacted older people’s well-being but it focused on two main topics for the production of learning materials: 1) supporting people in situations that involve them having to make difficult decisions; 2) caring relationships in which older people are adjusting to changes in the way they can both give and receive care from others. Learning resources, including a film and handbook, are also available on the project website: http://www.brighton.ac.uk/ssparc/research-projects/older-people-wellbeing-and-participation.aspx

  • (2013) Contemporary visual art and identity construction – well-being among older people

    Andrew Newman & Anna Goulding, Newcastle University, UK

    Reports on a study involving 56 older people which aimed to understand how the lives of older people can be improved by examining their use of contemporary visual art for identity construction practices. Contemporary visual art was used because its often contested nature gives it particular power to prompt people to engage in identity construction processes through their imaginative and/or critical responses to it.

  • (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) Pressing the right buttons - new users of the internet at older ages

    Becky Gulc & Kay Silversides for Age UK

    Age UK commissioned Qa Research (Qa) to undertake qualitative research with new users of the internet at older ages, exploring the transition from never used to basic online competency. The primary aim of this research was to better understand and explore, at an individual level, how and why older people (aged 55+) who had never used the internet started to attend training courses gaining basic online competency skills. Research based on 36 face-to-face depth interviews with individuals who had attended/used one of three different types of online courses, in 2013.

  • (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.

  • (2013) The RIVER Manual

    The RIVER participating organisations

    All the elements of the RIVER - Recognition of Intergenerational Volunteering Experiences and Results - work methodology

  • (2013) The role of musical possible selves in supporting subjective well-being in later life

    Andrea Creech, Susan Hallam, Helena Gaunt, Anita Pincas, Hilary McQueen, Maria Varvarigou

    This paper explores the relationship between musical possible selves and subjective well-being in later life. This paper argues that through music many older people found a means by which they were able to formulate well understood and highly esteemed versions of their possible future selves. This, in turn, may have been a significant factor in helping to navigate the process of ageing in later life with enhanced subjective well-being, including a sense of purpose, a significant degree of autonomy and a strong sense of social affirmation.

  • (2014) Enhancing Lifelong Learning for Seniors (ELLFS): Improving the social inclusivity of Hartlepool and District University of the Third Age – a qualitative study

    Rebecca Patterson, Suzanne Moffatt, Maureen Smith, Jessica Scott, Judith Bell, Norman Bell and Christopher McLoughlin

    Hartlepool & District U3A acquired financial support from the Averil Osborn Fund and Newcastle University to run a small scale research project in collaboration with the Institute of Health and Society at Newcastle University. The primary aim of this research project was to establish why eligible individuals, particularly those from lower socio-economic groups, do not participate in Hartlepool and District U3A and to identify ways that barriers to participation can be overcome. To address this aim, a qualitative approach was adopted consisting of a combination of semi-structured interviews and focus groups with 60 residents of Hartlepool over the age of 50. This report presents the research findings, including an exploration of views of opportunities in Hartlepool, the U3A and barriers to participation.

  • (2014) La Carta di Fabriano

    UNIEDA

    La "Carta di Fabriano - L'apprenidmento permanente per il futuro dell'Italia", presentata dall'Università degli Adulti, UNIEDA, che l'ha redatta, nell'aprile 2014 in una conferenza pubblica.

  • (2014) Young tutors facilitating the acquisition of basic E-skills by older learners: The problem of selecting learning topics

    Tiina Tambaum & Peeter Normak, Tallinn University, Estonia

    The authors discuss the issues involved in selecting learning topics for older learners who have young (teenage) tutors to assist them in acquiring basic e-skills. This qualitative case study focuses on the following problems: the ways of specifying a learning topic, the impact of using tutorial handbooks and the selection of topics that are unfamiliar to young tutors. Recommendations for solving these problems are elaborated and some related risks are considered. Problems of intergenerational learning that need further investigation are also suggested. The pilot research is based on four video-recorded two-hour training sessions and 8 interviews, using content analysis methodology.

  • local seminar EADTU – CADUV

    Piet Henderikx

    EADTU proudly presents, in collaboration with the Czech Association of Distance Teaching Universities, a European local seminar about OER, QA in e-Learning, Mobility, Lifelong Learning, Employability, International Cooperation e.g. on 24th November 2011 in Prague