Academic journal article International Education Studies

Active Life of the Senior Citizens through Education

Academic journal article International Education Studies

Active Life of the Senior Citizens through Education

Article excerpt


The paper presents reasons for including the senior citizens into educational process, as well as active age model. Education, communication and leisure system for the senior citizens, implemented by Yelabuga municipal district, is presented as a requirement for model realization. A core of the paper is the Active Age Institute. Its program consists of organization of courses based on the senior citizens' requests and their involvement into educational work with the children and the youth. In its turn, work of future teachers with the senior citizens results in advance receiving by future specialists of integral system of knowledge concerning ageing social mechanisms and ways of increasing social mobility of the senior citizens.

Keywords: elderly age, senior citizen, active age model, education, communication and leisure system model for the senior citizens, The Active Age Institute

1. Introduction

Due to stable growth of the senior citizens in the country, new ideas of their role in social development are formed. On one side, wisdom and a feeling of satisfaction with life and fulfillment of trust, the highest level of personal integration are typical for the senior citizens. They make many-sided contribution to social development, welcome positive changes in life management and organization, show interest to social, cultural and economic life of the district, support solidarity of generations and keep intellectual and moral values, preserve capacity for a reasonable labor activity (Vladimirov, 2004; Shakhmatov, 1996). The poll, conducted in Yelabuga, Republic of Tatarstan, showed (350 senior citizens took part in the poll) that 81% of the senior citizens are ready to transfer experience and to fill in resources spent for their life support. Many people of older generation have high education and qualification level, they are ready to work and learn new professions that are in demand on a labor market. The results of the poll are as follows: 51% of the pollees would like to get an additional IT education, 46%-medical, 23%-construction-engineering, 17%-legal, 13%-historical, 10%-pedagogical education, etc. The senior citizens are ready to take up those fields of activity that are not claimed by the youth, to share their knowledge with the peers and the youth: to discuss with young people their behavior-56%, to transfer religious knowledge-47%, to share professional skill-71%, to organize clubs-28%.

On the other side, changes due to innovation processes in Russian society and life of its citizens influence the status and well-being of the elderly people, which feel difficulties in adapting to dynamic economic and social-cultural conditions. The senior citizens need consultancies on the following issues: pension benefits-67%, longevity and health culture-54%, economy-34%, politics (reasons of the USSR collapse, external policy of Russia, etc.)-61%, law (rights of the elderly people, employment, housing and public utilities benefits, defense against fraud, etc.)-86%. The senior citizens require help taking into account differentiation, complexity of their problems, their needs and demands (Bakhmetova & Ivankova, 2004; Sukhova, 2003).

One of the actively developing ways to solve these problems is different special educational programs for the senior citizens. For today, there are plenty of universities for the third age people in Europe and America. They have different educational programs and include different modes of study both paid and free (Malone, 1999; Field, 2011; Minigalieva, 2004; Allen & Unwin, 2002; Imel & Merriam, 2001). Based on the research of the senior citizens' subjective view on the essence of educational processes, conducted by M. E. Elyutina and E. E. Chekanova, the authors pointed out three types of gerontological groups having different strategies in educational activity: the 1st group is activity-oriented, has demand for creativity, inexhaustible interests, that's why education is an inherent value for this group; the 2nd group thinks that the main form of education is clubs; the 3d group includes the elderly people, which consume educational services but do not see their prospects in educational activity. …

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