ERIC Number: ED419095
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-May
Reference Count: N/A
Learning Projects of the Active Aging Eighty-Five and Over Population in the United States.
Main, Keith; Schaefer, Chris
Despite the fact that people in the United States are living longer, research on the learning projects of the population of individuals 85 years old or older remains sparse and sporadic. The literature that does exist debunks a number of common myths about aging and learning by establishing the following: adults aged 65 and over are a highly diverse population; three of four people over the age of 85 live "on their own" or in the community; nursing home stays average only 6 months; and many people over 85 remain healthy and able to think abstractly and engage in learning projects. Numerous researchers have documented that elderly learners are capable of engaging in lifelong learning through self-initiated learning projects. Research has also confirmed that engaging in learning projects in later life is linked to the families, lifestyles, values, society, and the larger community. The fact that many of the "oldest old" adults still remain active learners in various ways, through reading, learning projects, and travel, is confirmed by the experiences of a sample 24 adults over 85 who were interviewed about their learning and reading projects during the past year. (Contains 29 references.) (MN)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: United States
Note: Revised version of a paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (Charlotte, NC, November 1, 1996).