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

in Qualitative
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.

International Journal of Education and Ageing, Vol. 2, No. 1, 371–382, September 2011, ISSN: 2044-5458


phenomenography, older learners, co-operative learning, University of the Third Age

Files to download