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ELSIN  October 2008

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Subject:

Older learning styles

From:

Anita Pincas <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Anita Pincas <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 19 Oct 2008 14:56:18 +0100

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Older learning is alive and well and is, in my view, set to make significant 
contributions to education.  I believe there are some significant differences 
between the way that younger and older people approach and tackle learning.  
This will become more significant as we seei increasing numbers of mixed age 
learning groups in further and higher education.  The UK Universities figure is 
15% of undergraduates, and at my largely post-graduate institution it is about 
10%.  These older students can be a very successful learning group. 

I wonder if others agree also that a steady influx of older people as part of 
educational contexts [i.e. as teachers as well as learners] will bring new 
benefits of inter-generational learning, such as maturity, criticality, and 
creativity.

There is as yet little more than anecdotal evidence, but it seems to me that - 
given we now know older people outnumber children under 16 in the UK [Office 
of  National Statistics,  21 August 2008 
http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?ID=949 ], the situation is 
interesting, to say the least.  If you feel the same, you may wish to know 
more about a new master's level module** at the Institute of Education  in 
which we investigate the widely diverse contexts of older learning.   It is 
delivered by blended learning with the emphasis on peer collaboration.

As the first programme of its kind, we see it as an acknowledgement that the 
older population is thriving in educational settings and will continue to play an 
important role. 

Anita Pincas, [log in to unmask]  
Senior Lecturer, Institute of Education, University of London

** Issues in Educating and Training Mature Adults (50+)
www.ioe.ac.uk/courses/ietma

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