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News & Views:

Active Minds – Still Learning: a Campaign

One of AEA’s aims is to contribute to the development of public policy on education and older adults at local, national and even European level. At its May 4th 2018 meeting, AEA’s Executive Committee passed the motion

'[We] regard access to education as a human right for all age groups including older people. We note that adult and community education has been cut by 40% in the last 10 years reducing opportunities open to older people. The higher fees charged exclude those on lower incomes and reduce the number of courses on offer. We urge that adult and community education is properly supported with adequate funding by the government’.

During 2018 AEA members have been joining in a growing movement of protest in the UK against the reductions of publicly financed educational opportunities for older adults. The first of these occasions was an event organisedby the Hornsey Pensioners Action Group (HPAG) in London on February 21st 2018. John Miles, AEA Executive Committee member and animateur of AEA’s campaign, spoke to the theme of “Active Minds Still Learning” at the event.

On June 18th 2018 John organised and chaired a well-attended lunch-time fringe meeting at the national Pensioners’ Parliament in Blackpool. Professor Keith Percy, Chair of AEA, gave an introductory talk to the meeting on his ideas about a campaign. He argued that free education for all those in the Third Age should be the ultimate societal goal but that, for the present “a demand for ‘adequate’ funding for adult education, particularly for older adult education, is a reasonable policy goal ...[which could include]… lower fees for older adults and consultation with older adults at district-level on the sorts of classes that they would like to see provided”. Dozens of people present then joined in a wide-ranging discussion.

The British Society of Gerontology held its 47th Annual Conference in Manchester in early July. In the run up to the conference proper, John Miles and Emma- Reetta Koivunen organised an open fringe meeting on July 3rd as part of the work of the new Special Interest Group (SIG) of the BSG on Educational Gerontology, which is backed by a partnership between the BSG, AEA and the Ransackers Association. Also forming part of Manchester’s Festival of Ageing, the object of the meeting was to discuss the future of adult education and its importance for older people. It proved to be a very interesting and stimulating event, in which a plan of action for a campaign started to emerge. Professor Chris Phillipson gave a significant presentation under the title of ReCreating Spaces for Ageing: the role of education in later life.

Professor Chris Phillipson

The ‘spaces’ of the title were defined as where education and learning can enable us to practise ageing and thinking about ageing; spaces where we can ‘unlearn’ what we learned for work and re-examine stereotypes; and places where we can re-engage with activism as opposed merely participating in ‘active ageing’. A discussion of the paper was followed by a lively debate around the possibility of a new campaign for later life learning. Chris’s slides can be accessed here

John Miles is currently organising a seminar on March 12 2019 at Newcastle, under the auspices of the Joint BSG/AEA/ Ransackers’ Special Interest Group on Educational Gerontology. It will be hosted by Professor Tom Scharf and will exploregerontology, life-long learning and educational policy.

 

International Journal of Education and Ageing (IJEA)

AEA's journal, the International Journal of Education and Ageing (IJEA), published its twelfth issue in December 2018.

Volume 4 Issue 3 contains four articles:

Vera Gallistl, Viktoria Parisot & Anna Wanka
University of Vienna & University of Frankfurt
Learning to be old: “doing” age in the education of older adults

Sai-Lila Rees & Bernhard Schmidt-Hertha
University of Tübingen
The impact of workplace conditions and educational activities on older workers’ health

Julia Steinfort-Diedenhofen
Catholic University of Applied Sciences of North Rhine/Westphalia
Choice of place of residence in old age as a key learning opportunity - a didactic analysis

Ines Himmelsbach
Catholic University, Freiburg
Ageing and transitions:education in old age in the light of narratives


 

Volume 5 Issue 1 will be published in March 2019 and will contain the following articles:

Anna Goulding & Christopher Phillipson
Royal Victoria Infirmary Newcastle upon Tyne & University of Manchester
How can older people co-researchers and professionals learn to co-produce together?

Marvin Formosa & Priscilla Cassar
University of Malta
Visual art dialogues in long-term care facilities: an action research study

Robert Zheng, Derek Smith, AJ Metz, Sue Morrow, Janience Pompa, Justin Hill, & Rand Rupper
University of Utah, Salt Lake City, & Salt Lake City Medical Center & University of Utah
Activation of older adults’ schemas: the use of cognitive prompts to facilitate meaningful learning of care giving

Lee-Ann Fenge, Davide Mallaca, Sally Lee & Emily Rosenorn-Lanng
Bournemouth University
Older peoples’ preferences and challenges when using digital technology: a systematic review with particular reference to digital games

The International Journal of Education and Ageing was launched at AEA’s annual conference in July 2010 and has continued the mission of AEA’s original journal, Education and Ageing, which was published from 1985-2003. It is available for subscription.
Further details of the journal are to be found in this website at IJEA

 

Projects and Publications

Between 2012 and 2015 AEA was a very active member of three EU Lifelong Learning Programme (Grundtvig) funded projects concerned with learning in later life and took on leadership responsibilities in segments of all three. The projects were:

1) FORAGE for later life learning: building on European experience (2012-2015)

The main goals of FORAGE were to:
• To develop a European multi-lateral network concerned with learning in later life
• To be an archive and access point for information
• To promote informed discussion between practitioners, researchers, policy-makers and older people
• To promote the development of learning in later-life, the exchange of good practice and the raising of standards throughout Europe.

AEA worked on the Project with partners in Austria, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands. Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, UK.

At the end of the FORAGE Project took over responsibility for the ForAgeresource database which can be accessed at www.foragenetwork.eu/

2) Memory in Later Life: Learning - Supporting - Developing (2012 – 2014)
AEA worked on this Project with five partner organisations in Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy and Poland.
The aims of the Project were:
to investigate, analyse, improve, test and describe various practical memory and mnemonic rules, methods and techniques which might be implemented by teachers and seniors. These would be used both in the classroom and in private life to facilitate the learning and teaching of various subjects (such as languages, ICT etc.) and also to support personal development and well-being.

The Project Handbook which AEA wrote, edited and published is available to download here


The Wellbeing Project in Turkey, June 2014

3) Well-being in Later Life: Education, Creativity and Physical Activity (2013 – 2015)
AEA worked on this Project with five partner organisations in Italy, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey and Poland,
The two main goals of the project were:
i) to investigate, discuss and conclude how to facilitate and support learning by seniors in educational, creative and physical activities in order to increase their feelings of well-being, positive self-identity and meaningfulness - of still being “in control”, of still being somebody who can do things successfully and still have a life that means something
ii) to investigate how to make the teaching and learning of seniors focus more on process and be more concerned with methods which will encourage self-development and creativity
access here the Project report and resource pack which AEA wrote, edited and published

 

 


AEA on Social Media Networks

News and events of interest to older learners are also carried on:
our Facebook page AEAonFB and
on Twitter @AssocEduAgeing
 

 

 

The AEA is a UK registered educational charity (No. 1050439)