ERG SES H 13, Social Aspects of Education
The world’s population is ageing rapidly driven by declines in fertility and improvements in health and longevity. The number of world population over age 60 is projected by the UN Population Division to increase from just under 841 million in 2013 (representing 11% of world population) to just over 2 billion in 2050 (representing 22% of world population). While global aging represents a triumph of medical, social, and economic advances over disease, it also implies tremendous challenges. How to meet these challenges of an ageing population has been raised as an urgent agendum in many countries. The World Health Organisation ([WHO], 2002) proposes a model of active ageing in order to enhance quality of life for seniors. Within this framework, elderly learning is assumed to be an important factor in facilitating participation in society and allowing adults to enjoy a positive quality of life as they age. Elderly learning was found beneficial for health (Boulton-Lewis, Buys, & Lovie-Kitchin, 2006), which in turn shows positive effects on social integration, wellbeing, and the delay of cognitive decline in later life (Dench and Regan, 2000, Hatch, Feinstein, Link, Wadsworth, & Richards, 2007). With the improving of the medical treatment level, more seniors have a good physical and mental health when they reach retirement, and postretirement life expectancy is extending. Thus, learning should be an integral part of this new phase in their lives (Commission of the European Community, 2006). As more senior citizens are participating in learning activities, it is necessary to seek ways to improve learning among these individuals. It is nevertheless important to take learning barriers for seniors into consideration in order to allow attractive and sustainable learning experiences.
Various propositions have been put forward to explain why participation declines with age, and barriers identified in the literature can be divided into four main areas: included situational obstacles (Cross,1981, Darkenwald & Merriam,1982, Brockett,1997, Xiuru Zhan,2004), institutional obstacles (Cross,1981, Darkenwald & Merriam,1982, Brockett,1997,Qinmin Lin, 2002, Xiuru Zhan,2004), informational obstacles (Darkenwald & Merriam,1982, Qinmin Lin,2002), and psychosocial obstacles (Darkenwald & Merriam,1982, Hemei Peng,1993). With the development of social welfare and economic level, former stereotypes of decrepit seniors change in a higher educated group. The 21st century will see a new kind of older adult: healthier, better educated, and more financially secure (Foot, 1996; Martin & Preston, 1994). Future generations of seniors have more willingness to participate in education activities after retirement. It is well known that the prior education experiences and quality of life influence their learning motivations and barriers. Therefore, the present study examines the impact of learning barriers under these new circumstances. The research questions that will be addressed in this study are: 1) “Which barriers prevent seniors from participating in lifelong learning programs?” and 2) “How can barriers to learning engagement be overcome by pedagogical approaches?”
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00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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