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ERIC Number: EJ1117564
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0360-1277
Back to School in Later Life: Older Chinese Adults' Perspectives on Learning Participation Barriers
Wang, Renfeng; De Donder, Liesbeth; De Backer, Free; Shihua, Li; Honghui, Pan; Thomas, Valerie; Vanslambrouck, Silke; Lombaerts, Koen
Educational Gerontology, v42 n9 p646-659 2016
Background and aim: Even though the beneficial effects of elderly learning are widely acknowledged, many older Chinese people are still not involved. This paper aims to examine the barriers that affect the level of educational participation of older adults in China. Methodology: Using a focus group methodology, 43 older participants (aged 55 years and over) were assigned to five focus groups based on gender and (in)activity rate in Xi'an, China. The focus groups were conducted to identify the individual learning experiences including motivation, learning preferences, and, especially, participation barriers between older adults who have already participated in the Universities of the Third Age (U3As) and others who have not. Strategies to overcome or minimize these barriers were also raised in focus group interviews. Results: The results have demonstrated that barriers associated with situational factors were reported the most; informational barriers and dispositional barriers were perceived as the least obstructive. The active group was characterized by a more optimistic mood in dealing with these learning barriers. The study also suggests that the Selective Optimisation with Compensation Model of successful ageing can be useful in explaining older adults' strategy for coping with the barriers. Conclusion: The findings of the study provide policy makers and U3A practitioners an insight into the barriers to educational participation. These findings provide input to develop targeted intervention strategies and tailor-made measures to reduce these constraints and increase participation.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A