"My brain is still working!": Conversations with Centarians about Learning in their Second Century of Living
This qualitative research project seeks a deeper understanding of the learning experiences of centenarians and their perceptions of the helps and hindrances they experience in their learning. Eighteen people between the ages of 100 and 106 were interviewed in their own settings. These centenarians reported rich late-life learning experiences such as acquisition of new knowledge, development of new skills and changes in behavior. The majority of meaningful learning experiences occurred through social interactions. Learning on a one-to-one basis was often, the preferred approach. Learning through the media, through activities and through adaptations to physical changes were also mentioned. The four major hindrances to late life learning were poor vision, poor hearing, poor mobility and illness. Recommendations for seniors' education programs are discussed.Résumé
Cette recherche qualitative vise à mieux comprendre l'expérience vécue de personnes centenaires, ainsi que les facteurs qui favorisent ou qui inhibent leurs démarches d'apprentissage. Dix-huit personnes âgées de 100 à 106 ans furent interviewées dans leur milieu de vie respectif. Les répondants font état d'une vie riche en apprentissages de toutes sortes, plus particulièrement de l'acquisition de savoirs, d'habiletés et de comportements nouveaux. Les apprentissages signifiants furent réalisés le plus souvent par le biais d'interactions sociales. Les démarches en tandem avec une autre personne paraissent être les mieux appréciées. Au nombre des sources d'apprentissage, on trouve également les médias, les activités quotidiennes et l'adaptation. aux changements physiologiques. Les quatre principaux obstacles à l'apprentissage sont les déficits de la vision et de l'ouie, la mobilité restreinte et la santé défaillante. Quelques recommandations sont mises de l'avant pour la conception de programmes éducatifs destinés aux personnes âgées.
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