Learning: Meeting the Challenges of Older Adulthood.Report as inadecuate

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Erik Erikson's model (1963, 1982) is most useful to an understanding of development and aging. He describes lifelong growth as related to tasks that must be performed. At each stage of life, times of stability are followed by developmental crises. Upon resolving the crisis, the individual can enjoy the particular beauty and security of that psychosocial stage and go on to the next. Robert Kegan (1982) points out that the developing person needs confirmation in times of transition. Educational environments should be able to "hold" older people and provide the support to encourage growth. The origin of the concept of reminiscence as a life task is the work of geriatrician Robert Butler, who developed the theory that reminiscence in older persons was a natural and universal process of "life review." Another aspect of "task" theory is the changing nature of one's femininity or masculinity. Adult educators must be concerned with the concept of "wellness." Adults who fear growing old would benefit from education about successful aging, covering cognitive functioning, muscular capacity, and nutrition. The concept of locus of control, also called autonomy, refers to decision making throughout one's lifespan. When given responsibility, older persons respond with physical and psychological improvement and a greater feeling of wellness. Educators need to provide opportunities for older adults to connect with and contribute to others so that they do not lose their creative inclinations. (Contains 41 references.) (YLB)

Descriptors: Adult Development, Adult Education, Adult Learning, Aging Education, Aging (Individuals), Developmental Tasks, Educational Gerontology, Educational Theories, Lifelong Learning, Models, Older Adults, Reminiscence

Author: Wolf, Mary Alice

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=11282&id=ED366748

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