AIUTA - Lublin 2015
Students of the Third Age – A New Generation of Students?
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Dates and locations

September 17, 2015,  15:00 - meeting of the AIUTA Governing Board
September 17, 2015, 20:00 - dinner
September 18, 2015, 9:30 - AIUTA conference Lublin, Rynek 1
September 19, 2015 - optional tourist programme

Deadlines

September 4, 2015
Registration of participants
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August 30, 2015
Submissions of papers
Submission of abstracts and speaker's profile
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“Elderly wisdom as a result of the integration of life experiences”
Prof. Stanisława Steuden,
Catholic University of Lublin (Poland)

The aim of the lecture is to reflect on the essence of wisdom, its shaping, its way of revealing itself and its importance to human functioning. It is described in various scientific disciplines (philosophy, theology, psychology) and also finds its place in literature, the bible, everyday life. Many researchers believe that it is the sum of the accumulated experiences of life, and a prerequisite for its disclosure is the individual’s age, hence it is attributed to old age. This argument, however, is simplified since wisdom is not a simple sum of the accumulated knowledge and life experiences. Growing in wisdom throughout one’s life is  not made automatically, but it requires an effort to understand oneself and the others from many different perspectives. The wisdom of the elderly can be perceived as the final result of a successful life, the ability to overcome difficulties and push one’s  limits.
On the other hand, struggling with life difficulties is not only an expression of the level  of life wisdom achieved , but it is one of the ways of shaping it. It has a universal character, is reflected in literature, the Bible, prophecies, everyday life. Research done in this area shows diverse understanding of the term wisdom. It is a complex construct, formed by several dimensions: cognitive, reflective, affective. The cognitive dimension reflects the ability of a person to a holistic understanding of life and perception of the deeper meaning and sense of phenomena and events, it reflects the  awareness of positive and negative aspects of human existence and the natural  limitations of the knowledge possessed. The reflective dimension is a key component of wisdom, it shows the ability of multifaceted assessment of phenomena and events, keeping distance to oneself, interpreting events from different perspectives, understanding the motives of one’s decisions and actions. The affective dimension reflects a person's ability to empathize and to love, the readiness of crossing one’s own egocentrism, the presence of positive emotions and positive behavior towards other people. Wisdom is identified with virtue, it helps to rediscover  what is most important in life - helps to keep the right moral conduct , to see wider and deeper the complexity of life, to develop within the spiritual dimension, respect one’s own dignity and the dignity of other people. It is not an expression of erudition, nor the knowledge of the unusual, but the ability to manage one’s own life.
The characteristics of wisdom point to those aspects of human action, which result in a sense of meaning and life value and good interpersonal relations. The task of older people is integrating their personality,  coming to terms with the present life, with the past which cannot be changed and finally with the inevitable prospect of death. The wisdom of older people is expressed in the fact that they become more accepting and less evaluating  to themselves , to other people and what is more, to many life situations. They are characterized by perseverance in pursuing goals and the capacity to take life just the way it is. In difficult situations they are able to maintain mental balance and serenity, as well as patience and humility. They are more predisposed to self-limitations and sacrifices. While taking a stand on various life problems they are usually cautious and they prefer the so-called  golden mean.  Their decisions are based on their rich life experiences, they are aware of the limited influence one has on the course of many events. The road to wisdom is not simple and it never ends, those who love it - can easily see it, those who search for it- will find it.


“The Economic Education of Seniors”
Ilona Skibińska-Fabrowska, National Bank of Poland (Poland)

The Polish National Bank - the central bank of our country, along with many tasks related to the implementation of monetary policy and current operating activities is committed to conducting educational activities. They aim at raising the general level of economic knowledge in society,  at the same time abolishing many stereotypes concerning the functioning of banks and their services. we are particularly proud of implementing a project called “ Academy of Available Finances”.  This long-term project,  covering  the whole country is addressed to senior citizens. Within its framework, we organize workshops, lectures and talks, during which employees of the Polish National Bank make  the rules of functioning of the banking market familiar to the listeners. They also talk about the basic banking products - accounts, loans, deposits, etc. They point the attention not only to the benefits of the use of banking services but also to the associated hazards and risks.
The knowledge about complex issues is presented  in an accessible and understandable manner, so it not only expands the horizons of the audience, but also gives them a sense of confidence and security with their daily use of banking services. In a broader dimension it prevents financial exclusion of older people. The past experience of the  Academy of Available Finances, the response and vivid reactions of the participants allow us to evaluate the project as a very useful and needed one, which stimulates us to deepen further cooperation with seniors and to develop its practical elements.

Attracting new categories of students to Uppsala U3A
Gunhild Hammarström, Uppsala University of the Third Age (Sweden)

The aim of the presentation is to describe Uppsala U3Age, in Sweden, and to discuss the possibilities to attract new categories of students of elderly people to Uppsala U3A.
 First of all I would like to present some historical circumstances that restrict our activities and our possibilities to attract some categories of elderly people. One of these obstacles concerns the educational system. The Uppsala U3A does not have the right to offer regular courses followed by examinations. Another obstacle is the Swedish tradition of liberal educational associations since more than 100 years, of which follows that we have to compete with many other educational associations. These liberal education associations offer a lot of study circles and courses of different kinds, and some of them are exclusively for senior citizens. Therefore, Uppsala University of the Third Age has the policy to offer lectures and study circles of a kind that the other educational associations do not offer.
Within this scope our challenge will now be to attract new categories to our U3A activities. One of our problems is an uneven distribution between men and women among the members, and a question raised is: How can we attract more men? Another question is: How can we make it easier for elderly people with physical disabilities to take part of our program? A further question is how to attract the immigrants in Uppsala. An assumption is that the number of immigrant members does not correspond to their proportion in Uppsala.
 
Concerning the uneven distribution between men and women we have made some progress; some of the lecture series in later years have in fact attracted more men than women. When it comes to physically disabled persons, some solutions are discussed, for example, circles and lectures via internet, and/or videotaped circles and lectures outside the city. Concerning the immigrants Uppsala U3A plans on creating one or several study circles in cooperation with immigrants associations in order to develop new methods to enrich our activities. Some of these issues are part of the Erasmus program that EFOS is involved into.

The 40th Anniversary of the Movement of Universities of the Third Age in Poland (1975-2015).
Wiesława Borczyk, Polish Association of Universities of the Third Age  (Poland)

During the past  40 years there has been a great development of universities of the Third Age. Our potential is currently 550 universities in Poland and 15 Polish U3As abroad (Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Austria)
The estimated amount of U3A students in Poland is about 150 thousand people and has a growing tendency. There are various legal  and organizational forms of U3As activity:
- U3As in universities (such was the beginning of U3A)
  - NGOs – U3A associations and U3A  foundations  
  - U3A in local government institutions, such as centers of culture, lifelong learning centers, libraries, etc.,
It allows the participation in non-formal education for older people living outside large academic agglomerations .
The development of U3As  was and still is possible thanks to the leaders of Universities of the Third Age, who are their social managers. They need to improve skills and competence to make good decisions, clearly define lines of action for the next years, motivate students to social and civic activity, collaborate skillfully with many entities. These skills need to improved all the time, and for this reason the Polish Federation of  U3As organizes trainings. For example the project "Academy of the Leader of a University of the Third Age" - precisely in order to help leaders in their difficult and responsible work.
The Federation is implementing a project called  "Standards of U3A Activities in Poland. A Professional U3A ", which helps U3As both in terms of legal and financial issues as well as in obtaining good quality of educational activity and activating the elderly. Among the essential elements of standardization the following issues were underlined:  cooperation with universities and academies, collaboration with local government and non-governmental organizations, educational and cultural institutions intergenerational integration.
The Polish Federation of Universities of the Third Age undertakes a number of initiatives for the development of lifelong learning, and, for this purpose, as a social partner, it cooperates with the government, ministries, parliament, the Human Rights Defender and many institutions that understand better and better the challenges of an aging population and the need to promote active aging.
 

"A new lease of life with the U3A in the UK”     
Morag Tamisari, The Third Age Trust/U3A (United Kingdom)

The idea of informal adult education and later lifelong learning is not new to the UK; adult education has fulfilled a role in many different ways over the years. Universities used to provide some extra-mural studies in a formal setting, including lectures, talks, discussion groups, learning opportunities in a variety of subjects or topics, ranging from Current Affairs, Art or Music Appreciation, Local History or Geology to name but a few with relevant field trips. These took place during the day, perhaps at lunchtimes, and were geared towards those who had retired or were able to attend out of interest.
 Local colleges also offered a wide variety of courses, some vocational leading to certification, some intended as leisure opportunities, perhaps updating knowledge eg computing, Holiday Language Courses linked to travel plans, Photography and so on. Some financial help was available for those on low incomes, including the retired.
The Open University also provided for those who had been unable to follow the traditional route into University, permitting for instance part-time, evening and distance learning courses with great flexibility: the desired outcome however was still the acquisition of a traditional degree.
The Workers Educational Association and Community Education provision in Community Centres on the other hand provided less forma,l work-oriented, skills-based, person-centred learning opportunities. These could be on a small-group or on a person-to-person basis, depending on the needs or aspirations of the learner.
 It is clear that the principles, aims and objectives, as well as learning outcomes, of these differing styles of providing learning opportunities cannot or should not be the same: in a formal setting the content, style and delivery of the body of knowledge to be imparted is dictated firstly by the institution and secondly by the individual tutor, lecturer, teacher or facilitator, whereas the more informal person-centred, participative approach ensures the learner is involved in decision-making in his or her own learning. What, why, when and how seen from the learner’s viewpoint.
At present the place of community and lifelong learning itself seems to have been eroded: opportunities for retired or older people are fewer, expensive and in some cases non-existent. Learning with a purpose (world of work) only is deemed worthwhile. Learning for learning’s sake, for pleasure, for personal enrichment has become less and less possible. Policy changes and resulting cutbacks in many areas are responsible.
What then motivates “Third-agers” if not training or retraining for the world of work? Their aims can be varied:

Learning needs and motives can therefore differ widely. Does this then need to be reflected in the content, delivery and style of learning/teaching? If so, what implications might there be for U3As? To find out what and why people want to learn is crucial in deciding how to satisfy needs and learning outcomes which may be different for each member of a given group or circle. The role of the convenor, leader, facilitator or tutor of any learning group is therefore of great importance in negotiating how the group will best function to address these many aims and objectives and produce the desired outcomes.
These issues will be further explored, based on the UK experience whereby “Third-agers” co-operate with “Third-agers” according to the maxim “By the members for the members”, following the vision of one of the founder members, Peter Laslett, whereby “Those who teach shall also learn and those who learn shall also teach.”   
 

„Sense of Humor and the Quality of  Life of U3A Students”
Monika Guzewicz , Catholic University of Lublin (Poland)

Previous studies underlined relationships between sense of humor and life satisfaction and were focused on the role of humor in overcoming stress, coping with stressful events and regulation of social support. Moreover, research indicated substantial role of laugh for relaxation-related physiological and immunological changes and creating social attachments. Some research indicated, that also negative consequences of some styles of humor can occur (Aggressive humor, Self-defeating humor). The aim of this study was to investigate relationships between styles of humor and life satisfaction in elderly people. 50 students of the University of the Third Age in Lublin, aged 56 to 85 were examined. The Humor Styles Questionnaire (R. Martin), Quality of Life Questionnaire (R. Schalock & K. Keith), Attitudes Towards Life Scale (S. Steuden) and Self-Esteem Scale (Rosenberg) were administered. Research indicated that affiliative style of humor and self-enhancing style of humor were positively related to most of coefficients of life satisfaction. Some surprising findings were also found. Self-defeating style of humor was related positively to life satisfaction in elderly. Such results can be caused by specific value system or increased self-distance in this group.


"Understanding the Third Age Students in the New Generation"
Mr. Lin Yuanhe, Guangzhou Elderly University  (China)
 
One, understanding the era of the " third age students: a new generation students " of the times
 Third age students have become a new generation students, is the inevitable result of the aging times, the inevitable requirement of the information age, and the inevitable way of life in the era of lifelong learning. It is the trend of our time for the third age students to become the new generation of students.
Two, the meaning of the proposition "third age students -- a new generation students"
(Firstly) this is a systematic study of the education objects
(Secondly) it is easier for the society correctly view the third age education
(Thirdly) the third age can be more easily identified with and respected
Three, the main characteristics of the new generation of third age students
(Firstly) the physiological characteristics of the new generation of students
While physical, action, memory and other aspects are relatively weaker than the general adults, but this does not constitute a reason that the third age people are not suitable for further studies. The elderly in the third age (active aging), is fully equipped with the intelligence to continue to learn and to participate in social affairs.
(Secondly) the psychological characteristics of the new generation of students
Modern third age people, have 1. High self-esteem. 2 Less curiosity. 3 Over insistence (stubbornness). For the third age students, in order to adapt to the society, self perfection is the main motive for learning. For them, there are diverse learning needs and the greatest demand is for applicable knowledge. Studies are conducted in which the teacher and students can be interchangeable. Third age students also have a strong desire to display learning results. The psychological characteristics of the third age students will be reflected in the process of his entering into the students' role, which has a profound influence on our teaching.
Four, grasp the new characteristics and follow the law of third age education
We can take "enjoyable learning" as a basic rule throughout the whole practices in which  third age universities can better serve the new generation of students.
For the "new generation of students”, their learning needs are increasingly diversified. In the curriculum, we should be bold to innovate and speed up the upgrade, while trying to establish a teaching system of “fundamental courses, professional basic courses, professional courses + Lectures". Fundamental course is the basic knowledge of computer and internet.
Carry out research study in the classrooms; realize the teaching level division and the flexible mode of teaching, so as to improve the academic content of teaching.
Trying to ensure that teacher-student learning together becomes the new normal for third-age universities. Most of the third age universities in China have the students' committee, participating in the school’s teaching supervision.
Creating platforms for study results display is the result from the needs of "a new generation of students" for self-fulfillment. China Association of the Universities for the Aged (CAUA) often hold national contests, variety shows and exhibition for exchanges among third age universities in China. Every two years in Guangzhou, we hold a National Piano Competition among third age universities in China. As third age university education providers, we should increase support and establish more display platform.

"Preparation to Retirement in the Light of the BALL Project (Be Active Through Lifelong Learning"
Dr Monika Adamczyk, Catholic University of Lublin (Poland)
Alongside with the development of social activity of older people, the process of increasing the educational activity of this group should follow. This type of activity makes it possible to not only to broaden knowledge and acquire new skills and competencies, but also to update the skills or knowledge already possessed, which specifically refers to the ability and willingness to take an active and skillful attitude to preparation for retirement. Educational activity plays also an important role in creating social bonds, and thus is crucial to a successful, active and happy life in the old age. The activity of the Polish population in the area of education has recorded an upward trend, but the situation looks much different when this type of activity is analyzed according to age groups. Age, in this case turns out to be a very important variable differentiating participation in various forms of education. As it turns out, the older a person is, the less likely they participate in improving / changing education. For obvious reasons, this applies primarily to formal education. Lifelong learning (especially in the age group 50+) is a key element of active aging, because it enables to develop new skills till the end of a professional career and during retirement, thus promoting social functions of seniors and their well-being. The educational achievements of adults are regarded as an indicator of knowledge and skills available in the economy.
Education also strengthens the potential of older people to participate actively in society through paid employment, volunteering, active participation in civic life and the resourcefulness of independent life. Selected results of the survey conducted within the BALL Erasmus + Project will be presented. The degree of preparation to retirement is going to be discussed in the following dimensions: the perception of retirement and attitudes towards it; degree of preparation to retirement in four main areas: finances, learning, personal development and active retirement; preferred forms of action to prepare for retirement.


"Older students in universities, learning needs, motivation, barriers and requirements"
Nadežda Hrapková, Centre for Continuing Education, UTA Comenius University in Bratislava (Slovakia)
 
 
The first Universities of the Third Age (UTA) in Slovakia came into existence after 1990. As the first institution concerned with the education of the elderly, we started our program at Comenius University in Bratislava. Immediately, many other institutions followed with educational activities for senior citizens in the Slovak republic. Currently there are about 7000 senior students at 16 UTAs across Slovakia. UTAs are covering a large variety of interests among seniors from the east to the west of Slovakia linked by the Association of Universities of the Third Age (ASUTV) of Slovakia. Association was established as an initiative of Slovak universities and other institutions of higher education to have a body which represents education of elderly students, gives them support in learning activities, finds contacts for the international projects as well as acts as supervisor and methodological advisor for the members. Universities of the Third Age in Slovakia have strict rules and can be founded only at the universities and usually exist as a part of the university.
There are many important pedagogical categories which influence the creation of the study programs for the elderly students. Our research work and studies focused on the motivation, barriers, needs and requirements of the elderly students. As the older people are changing also their requirements and opinions on programs are different. When we founded our first programs one of the main motivations besides the interest in getting new information was fulfilling the wish for study at the university. At present this motivation category is not important because half of our older students graduated from universities and continuing education during retirement became their life style. After velvet revolution in Slovakia (1990) there were many people who couldn´t study before because of their political, religious or personal limits. Seniors who come to our universities after twenty five years are different. They have more requirements and present wider needs and interests and they are more flexible. The knowledge of the seniors´ needs supports decisions of the organizers for the creation of new programs as well as for the involvement in the European projects and preparation of other leisure time activities. Wide interests of the seniors in many different learning activities open us the space to offer them wide scale of study subjects in the cooperation with the faculties of Comenius University. A couple of years ago we noticed as a big barrier for the study the distance for reaching the study premises. Recently we can see that quality and large study offer doesn´t influence senior´s decision to commute further from the Centre.
Learning needs of the older students are always changing. When we founded first UTA in Slovakia at Comenius University there was large interest in studying Law, Economics, Psychology, Art, besides Medicine. Later the subject of Information technologies, foreign languages and historical subjects came into their interests. Today many older students permanently sign up for the historical subjects as UNESCO, Slovak history, History of Bratislava, History and art of Austria and Italy,  Latin and ancient Roman history, History of art, Theatre and Music through the ages, Tourism and services, Archaeology , Architecture, languages, as well as health oriented subjects (Regeneration of the strength of Seniors, Yoga, etc).
What I can confirm as a continual reality is that seniors prefer in their study different subjects to their professional orientation. They have interest in new them, not only lectures but also discussions, traveling and meetings. 


Michał Łużak (Polska) Narodowa Agencja Programu Erasmus +
EPALE -
ePlatform for Adult Learning in Europe in Europe Erasmus +

EPALE is a multilingual open membership community for teachers, trainers, researchers, academics, policy makers and anyone else with a professional role in adult learning across Europe. Community is at the heart of EPALE. It is set up around the sharing of content related to adult learning, including news, blog posts, resources, and events and courses.
EPALE is funded by the European Commission, as the latest development in an ongoing commitment to improving the quality of adult learning provision in Europe. You can read more about the EU policy on adult learning here.
Members of the community can engage with adult learning colleagues across Europe through the site’s features, including  the forums and by commenting under blogs.  You can also interact with your peers across Europe through the thematic areas which provide structured content according to topic. You can find projects and make professional connections using the partner search repository.

Prof. Maria Braun-Gałkowska (Polska)
„There are Different Types of Old People”

Older people are not a unified group, on the contrary, they differ in the level of activity and openness to others. These characteristics can be presented on two interesting axes: from activity to withdrawal, and from egoism to altruism. Taking into account the relative positon to these two axes, four types of older people can be distinguished (of course it is a simplification): active and egoistic (selfish), active and altruistic (friendly), withdrawing and  egoistic (grumpy), and withdrawing and altruistic (gentle). The distinguished types of older people have diverse psychological characteristics relate to activity and interpersonal functioning, many intermediate types are also possible, as well as shift from one group to another on both activity-withdrawal and egoism-altruism axes.