Wedekind, Volker; Schrader, Josef
Lifelong education for seniors is becoming a significant policy focus because of factors relating to the global aging society phenomenon. Yet the modern ‘educational demoralisation’ that can result from informal experiential learning not being sufficiently valued or encouraged, may also apply to later life learning—typically manifest as a ‘fear of ageing’ as well as ageism. This is especially so in contexts where policymakers tend to just mainly focus on the worrying economic, health and other related challenges of growing numbers of seniors living longer in ageing societies (i.e. without sufficiently linking this to the related qualitative challenges of a meaningful and resilient life course). Conversely however, there is also growing recognition that ‘life reviews’ in later stages of the human lifecycle have an important lifelong education and learning purpose with also important cross-cultural relevance for addressing the related resiliency dilemmas facing many seniors around the world. In other words, if another key function of later life learning is the informal sharing of knowledge, stories and experience through social (and social media) networks, then it might be that developing countries have as much to offer as more developed countries when it comes to emerging models of third age (and fourth age) models of lifelong learning for seniors—if not more. On such a basis for better grounding policy in practice or actual lived human experience, the paper will thus discuss the cross-culturally universal importance of a ‘life review’ function of later life learning as also an integral requirement of the most effective ‘active ageing’ policies and practices.
Maßmann, Alexandra; Egetenmeyer, Regina
The article analyses the linkage between the age of participants of continuing education and the function which learners appoint to their participation. Therefore, the influence of the subjective age for further education is studied. The study differentiates professional, social and personal functions of participation in continuing education. The result of a factor analysis designs subjective age into the two constructs cognitive and social-psychological subjective age. The data of two survey studies (n?=?265 and n?=?441) are analysed with structural equation models. The results show, that the subjective age has no significant influence on the appointment to the professional and personal function. But, the analysis shows that an increasing subjective age is reducing the social function of continuing education.
Graeff, Bibiana; Bestetti, Maria Luisa; Domingues, Marisa; Cachioni, Meire
In 2015, a report led by the mentors of the World Health Organization Age-friendly cities program, proposed a review of the concept of active aging, including, alongside the three pillars (health, security and participation), lifelong learning, both as formal education (access to grade and diplomas), and in their informal dimension (when learning take places in daily life or in leisure activities). This study aims to analyze if the question of lifelong learning was raised and what the salient themes were related to that topic during the discussions of some of the focus groups of a research that applied the “Age-friendly cities” method in two neighborhoods of São Paulo. The two focus groups were conducted in 2016 in Mooca neighborhood: one composed of 5 residents between 60 and 75 years old, and one of 6 residents aged 76 years and over. Although the age-friendly cities guidelines did not predict specific questions about lifelong learning, the theme came up with a number of nuances in the discourses. Five general content categories have been achieved: 1) Learning: Activities and Spaces; 2) Learning and Accessibility; 3) Education: Respect, Consideration; 4) Learning and Work; 5) Learning and Aging. There was little emphasis on formal education, but aspects related to respect for older people and opportunities for leisure and social participation were quite present. In participants view, the simple offer of activities does not guarantee lifelong learning, since different types of barriers may make it difficult for older people to access them. Moreover, participants recognize not only the importance of educational activities for adults and older persons, but also the need for education of all on gerontological themes
Schreiber-Barsch, Silke; Gundlach, Hannah
Validierungsverfahren zwischen subjektiver Deutung und hochschulischem Gatekeeping
The paper tackles the issue of procedures for the validation of competences, which are used in the tertiary education sector in order to evaluate an individual’s study ability on the basis of his/her vocational qualifications. This contested terrain will be explored by means of the University of Hamburg’s validation procedure (the so-called Eingangsprüfungsverfahren, §38 HmbHG). The focus of interest will be put on a qualitative reconstruction of individual decision-making processes during these periods of transition. For this aim, the paper introduces findings of a qualitative research project on students with such vocational qualifications background, using Grounded Theory Methodology and a triangulation of methods (participatory observations; focus groups; a quantitative questionnaire). The findings show that the validation procedure is indeed perceived by the sample as a legitimate and feasible instrument for assessing an individual’s ability of study—and serves, however, as an instrument for (re)producing discursive orderings of society in periods of transition during the life course.
This article presents the results of a recent online survey of graduates of the Austrian Academy of Continuing Education. Methodically, the survey’s results on benefit items are interpreted and answers to open questions are analyzed by qualitative content analyses. Empirical findings are subject to an interpretation using concepts of professionalization and the political agenda of validation of informal and non-formal learning. An important finding is, that WBA enhances individual professionalization as well as a structure-related professionalization. Valorization of the newly acquired qualification on the labour-market is not attained. Gaining a new identity as adult educator and crucial knowledge concerning professionalization is the benefit which provides adult educators with the ability to work on their own professionalization.
Fischer, Andreas; Hecker, Kristin; Pfeiffer, Iris
The IdA KompetenzCheck represents a scientifically developed test procedure for measuring non-formally and informally acquired competences and for evaluating competences in relation to German occupations. As part of the IdA KompetenzCheck, testees are confronted with an occupational profile’s typical fields of action. Multiple action-oriented questions concerning each field of action are presented in order to determine the corresponding level of competence. The IdA KompetenzCheck allows for testing competences of testees with regard to selected German reference occupations from four sectors (Metal, Electrical, Logistics and Gardening & Landscaping). This article uses the example of the IdA KompetenzCheck Metal to demonstrate how occupational competences can effectively and efficiently be tested via paper or computer-based test procedures and which special features are to be considered when measuring the competence of refugees.
For the first time empirical evidence for the reliability and validity of such test procedures is provided: Based on a sample of 162 refugees, who completed a paper-based version of the test, it is shown that the IdA KompetenzCheck allows for reliable and valid conclusions about occupational competences, and that test scores positively correlate with work experience.
The results of the IdA KompetenzCheck and similar tests are discussed critically and in the field of tension between practicability, reliability and validity, as well as in relation to other competence assessment procedures. In summary, we consider the IdA KompetenzCheck a successful contribution to validate “learning outcomes” of non-certified non-formal and informal learning, that can complement (but not replace) other methods of competence assessment in order to achieve a holistic assessment of occupational competence.
Fischer, Martin; Follner, Magdalene; Rohrdantz-Herrmann, Ines; Sandal, Cüneyt
AiKomPass is a web-based tool to make informal and non-formal competences within the electrical and metal industries visible. It is based on an interview study with potential users and a task inventory, which covers tasks of work areas like process planning, production, maintenance and logistics within production processes. The tool itself was developed within a participative design process. It enables employees and people in search of employment to self-assess their ability to fulfil working tasks and thus visualizes their skills and knowledge. In addition it helps to analyse biographical aspects of competences (competences from spheres outside work and outside the electrical and metal industries and related certificates). The online tool focuses especially on people who are not formally qualified for the labour market. AiKomPass is available online (www.aikompass.de) and can be used free of charge.