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Wednesday, June 18 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
CON3.03 – Third Age Learning: Beyond (and Back to) The Classroom (Room A239)

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As baby boomers retire, Canadian universities have the opportunity to meet a growing interest in what is variously called “third age learning,” “lifelong learning” and “adult learning.” Several existing models partly meet this demand; for example, Continuing Education and Elder Colleges are firmly established at some Canadian universities.

However, not only are baby boomers more numerous and better educated than previous groups of seniors (and thus, studies show, more likely to engage with educational opportunities in retirement) they are also more diverse and, arguably, more independent. This presentation will contend that, while existing models serve some facets of the growing population of seniors effectively, Canadian universities would be wise to adopt multiple flexible platforms from which to foster lifelong learning.

Specifically, I will take a case study approach to espouse what small cities researcher Lon Dubinsky refers to as “organic collaborations” between universities and independent learning organizations. As a professor who has volunteered for, and completed primary research in the form of interviews and surveys, on such an organization, I will advocate for organic collaboration as a tool for community outreach, university- community collaboration, and faculty and student enrichment – even transformation. Universities and individual professors have much to learn from independent third age learning organizations – including how to reinvigorate their own classrooms.

Participants in this session will come away with an overview of the state of third age learning in Canada, an enhanced knowledge of the needs of independent senior learners, and a greater understanding of how working with these learners can foster innovative learning for younger university learners.


Wednesday June 18, 2014 3:30pm - 4:00pm EDT
A239 McArthur Hall

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