ERIC Number: ED262196
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Nov-7
Reference Count: 0
Motivation in Late Life: The Personal Need for Challenge.
Wolf, Mary Alice
Older adults attend continuing education courses for a variety of reasons. Some, like Wuschko K., seek to make sense of their early life experiences. Wuschko is a Polish immigrant who wanted to go on with his education in early life but was prevented from doing so by poverty and war. He spent years in a concentration camp, then became a carpenter and immigrated to the United States. He sees education as a life review and pursues it for self-esteem and the pleasure of learning. Others, such as Jenny M., a black widow in her 60s, pursue education as a means of getting a new job. Jenny had an opportunity to go to college when whe was young, but rebelled against her parents and married instead. Jenny insists she has no regrets about her decision, but is now continuing her education in order to learn more about working with retarded toddlers. She is looking to the future and learning for practical rather than philosophical reasons. These two persons are illustrative of the myriad personalities of the older persons who continue their educations. Their motives vary, and all must be respected by adult educators. Methods of research on motivation must include data that tap the most personal levels of history and psychology. Such methods must be qualitative and allow for in-depth answers. Finally, it is also important that adult educators do not isolate the older adult through a "they-out-there" versus "we-in-here" approach, but respond to individual needs with respect. (KC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the National Adult Education Conference (Milwaukee, WI, November 6-10, 1985).