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ERIC Number: ED507246
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Nov-22
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 22
Educational Initiatives for Older Learners
Swindell, Rick
Online Submission
A rapidly ageing population has given rise to many innovative later life learning programs that engage older adults in the kinds of activities that are associated with successful ageing. Experts of all kinds retire and retired expert volunteers would seem to be the best people to run learning programs for other retirees. One of the best known approaches to later life learning is the low cost, widely accessible, University of the Third Age (U3A) model in which retired volunteers provide all the teaching/learning activities as well as the necessary administration expertise. Several leaders in late life adult education in different countries were contacted by email to contribute brief descriptions of U3A-like organisations within their regions. This paper contains summary details of: Lifelong Learning Institutes, Osher Institutes and Elderhostel in North America; and various U3A approaches in Australasia, China, Europe, South Africa, South America and a number of countries in Asia. The five elements of the Successful Aging model are related to these learning approaches leading to a proposition that many of them can be argued to be successful ageing organisations. The world first virtual U3A, U3A Online, which utilises volunteer teachers, administrators and other skilled volunteers from different countries, is also described. The paper concludes by noting that the Internet has opened up a low cost medium for research collaboration by U3As everywhere and calls for an international network of U3A researchers who carry out constituency research studies which would benefit the wider ageing population, nationally and internationally. The following is appended: U3A Online. (Contains 1 figure and 1 footnote.) [This paper has been adapted from a paper presented in January 2009 for the launch of the Hong Kong Elder Academy at the Hong Kong Institute of Education.]
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Asia; China; Hong Kong; North America; South Africa; South America