A description of learning in a group of well elderly over the age of 75

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Michael, Ruth Rosina-Glass
McElhinney, James H.
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Thesis (D. Ed.)
Department of Educational Leadership
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There is an acknowledged need for continual intellectual growth in older adults. This study describes the characteristics of learning practiced by a particular. group of well-elderly adults over the age of 75. Data were gathered self-reported learning experiences.A semi-structured interview was developed by the researcher to elicit responses in three areas that characterize learning: (1) decision to start to learn, (2) awareness of individual learning process, and (3) evaluation of their own learning processes. Fifteen members (n=10 women and n=5 men) of the Trinity United Methodist Church in Huntington, IN were interviewed.The data showed depth and comprehension in the learning experiences. The learning experiences ranged from skill acquisition to the writing of scholarly papers. The data indicated the group was homogeneous allowing it to be used for future research comparisons. Data for the three learning characteristics revealed that building on experience as a basis, the group was continually ready to learn. They had established wide resource networks, used a variety of printed, visual, and audio material, and readily sought expert advice. From the bases the participants to organized the material, evaluated the information, related the information to their situations, and then used the information to make decisions. All of the participants this process.