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ERIC Number: EJ874275
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 11
ISSN: ISSN-0790-8040
Growing into Greatness: A Study of a Local History Group of Active-Retired Learners
Corrigan, Trudy; Byrne, Brid; Harris, Phyllis; Lalor, Maureen; O'Connor, Maura; O'Reilly, Kathleen; Quinn, Frank; Forde, Kathleen
Adult Learner: The Irish Journal of Adult and Community Education, p62-68 2005
Research in Canada on the learning needs of older people looked at such issues as how to cope with changes in society, the need to make a contribution and the need to be influential. The White Paper on Adult Education "Learning for Life" notes that strategies for active ageing stress the critical importance of access to learning as a key tool in coping with change. Adult education can play an important role in contributing to active ageing by promoting social integration and enhancing the quality of life. By reason of the profound changes in Irish society in recent years, older people increasingly find themselves socially excluded from leading full lives as citizens of their country. In an article entitled "Learning for Citizenship in Ireland: The Role of Adult Education," Helen Keogh, (2002) notes that, "A key question for adult educators is: Within the range of adult models and locations, which adult education methodologies and topic/subject areas contribute to the development of citizenship?" Various opinions exist in regard to this question. Some contend that anything taught to adults can be seen as a form of citizenship education while others maintain that a liberal education approach which includes literature, history, geography and/or the social sciences is critical to the development of citizenship knowledge, skills and dispositions. However, many claim that the most beneficial learning will take place not through the formal curriculum, but through positive experiences of participation and, therefore, the adult education experience should itself be "an experience of participation, with a view towards enabling learners to develop the skills, insights and confidence to make their own voice heard and take a full and active role as citizens in society." A practical example of a project which helps to address some of these issues is a Local History Group of Adult Active Retired Learners. Initially, the group's plan was to study the local history of their own area, in this case Drumcondra, Dublin 9 and its environs. The group has been funded under the Community Education section of the City of Dublin VEC with two teaching hours a week. However, the group's love of learning has embraced far more than the study of local history. It has also included all the social interaction, fun and enjoyment which has taken place since this group of fifteen people started meeting regularly on Wednesday mornings in a room in the local parish centre.
AONTAS The National Adult Learning Organisation. 2nd Floor, 83-87 Main Street, Ranelagh, Dublin 6, Ireland. Tel: +353-1-406-8220; Tel: +353-1-406-8221; Fax: +353-1-406-8227; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ireland