Creative Retirement: Survey of Older Adults' Educational Interests and Motivations

Atlanta Sloane-Seale, Bill Kops

Abstract


The University of Manitoba's Continuing Education Division (CED) and Creative Retirement Manitoba (CRM) formed a partnership to promote applied research on lifelong learning and older adults, to develop new and to complement existing educational activities, and to explore new program models and instructional methods to meet the educational needs of older adult learners. A survey, the first in a larger research project of this partnership, was undertaken to identify the learning interests and motivations of a select group of active older adults who participate in CRM's activities. The results indicate that these learners

  • prefer to learn only for interest, in non-educational settings or on their own;
  • are interested, motivated, and physically and financially capable;
  • confront situational and institutional barriers to learning; and
  • consider learning important to their lifestyle.

These findings are consistent with the notion that an active lifestyle, including continued learning, may lead to improved quality of life, and better health and wellness for older adults. University continuing education (UCE) has a role to play in developing and supporting learning opportunities and programs for older adult learners, albeit a measured one.


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