NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
PDF on ERIC Download full text
ERIC Number: EJ973638
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Dec
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 22
ISSN: ISSN-1443-1394
The Learning Projects of Rural Third Age Women: Enriching a Valuable Community Resource
Lear, Glenna
Australian Journal of Adult Learning, v51 spec iss p170-179 Dec 2011
As a third age PhD candidate with a passion for learning, I wanted to explore the learning of other rural third age women who live on the Lower Eyre Peninsula (LEP) of South Australia. This reflects the methodological stance of heuristic inquiry, which requires the researcher to have a passionate interest in the phenomena under investigation, and in this case includes my tacit knowledge as a third age learner and long-term resident of the region. I deliberately chose six very influential women over 50 years of age who have transformed their rural communities into vibrant "can do" societies better able to cope with the economic, environmental and social changes of the last two decades. I wanted to know how they adjusted to the lifestyle changes in their middle years, after their children left home, their third age, how they adapted to the social and economic changes in rural life, and what they learned as community change agents and leaders of community organisations, boards and community development committees. My research methodology gave them the opportunity to reflect on their autobiographies as co-researchers during our two informal conversations about their learning. I discovered that, at different stages in their lives, these midlife women intuitively realised that they needed to do something for themselves in the wider world, independent of the farm and their family, which required them to learn and change. They are passionate lifelong and lifewide learners, continually searching for something that challenges, excites and extends them. This paper discusses their lifewide learning and personal development in community activities and formal educational institutions, which has been personally rewarding and enormously beneficial for community viability and wellbeing. Although the numbers are low and the women come from a small remote region of South Australia, there are similar women of action in almost every community, both rural and urban, who continue to make a difference.
Adult Learning Australia. Level 1, 32 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra, ACT 2603, Australia. Tel: +61-02-6274-9515; Fax: +61-02-6274-9513; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia