Molnár Attila Károly

 

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June 9, 2018

LEARNING AND MOTIVATION
in Seminars at the Third Age University
Zsuzsa Kovács - Georgina Kasza - Attila Károly Molnár

Since aging has an impact on every aspect of life, it affects the social, economic, and cultural ways of the human. That's why we consider it necessary to study aging processes and development opportunities (Boulton-Lewis, 2010). In our time there are considerable demographic changes that, in the first half of this century, the elderly population is expected to increase dramatically. However, this process is not resulted in reducing in the activity of the elderly, which is because this age group has a wide range of interests (Zouba, N. et al., 2010). Along with the very successful lectures on the University of the Third Age, ELTE decided to develop a series of seminars that would provide more active and participatory learning opportunities for elderly people, who are mostly retired. Two benefits of this activity emerged within the pilot programme: (1) the continuous support of positive adult development through engaging older people in active learning, and (2) the professional learning processes of those doctoral students who led these seminars on various topics (family tree investigation, online learning tools for adult learners, EU and education, learning difficulties among children and adults). The paper presents the professional development trajectories of the four doctoral students who participated as teachers in the program during the fall semester of the 2017/18 academic year and the feedback on seminars collected from participants at the end of the course. Theories and research in social sciences, multicultural studies and the neurosciences reveal at least four motivational conditions for adult motivation to learn. These conditions are inclusion, attitude, meaning and competence (Wlodkowski, 2008). This framework of adult motivation provided the basis for designing the seminars and for the self-reflection of the teachers. Teacher’s experiences are structured and presented along the four key elements of the model together with describing those actions, which they took in order to establish inclusion, enhance meaning, engender competence, and develop positive attitudes toward learning during seminars. Our intention with the focus group interviews were collecting feedback about the effectiveness of using these motivational strategies. This reflective approach together with participants’ feedback clearly show the learning outcomes at two levels: firstly, the programme had the effect of fostering the well-being of the participants, as they perceived themselves to be more competent and more socially integrated and supported. Secondly, the programme fostered doctoral students’ teaching effectiveness as they used the theoretical model of motivation to structure their teaching practice and to understand better participant's reactions. (Photo: ESREA).

 

 


 

 

 
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