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Title: Older adult education in a Maltese University of the Third Age : a critical perspective
Authors: Formosa, Marvin
Keywords: Gerontology -- Education
University of the Third Age -- Malta
Continuing education -- Malta
Adult education
Issue Date: 2000
Publisher: Education and Ageing
Citation: Education and Ageing. 2000, Vol.15(3), p.315-339.
Abstract: The education of older adults has been considered the fastest growing branch of adult education in post-industrial countries and one of the most crucial challenges facing current adult European education. It has generated a significant number of research projects and publications seeking to analyse the character of third age learning. This article represents a further attempt, in Sandra Cusack’s words, to root down the expansion of older adult education programmes in ‘Critical Educational Theory’, as a distinct form of ‘Critical Sociological Theory’. Critical field research was carried out at the University of the Third Age (U3A) in Valletta (Malta), due to the fact that the U3A represents one of the most successful and important educational programmes specifically developed for older people. Data were interpreted through Paulo Freire’s critical pedagogy and critical educational gerontological theory. The study revealed that despite the often reported positive functions of U3A for older persons and society in general, the Valletta U3A is grounded in mainstream and traditional models of educational practice which equate education as a one-way flow of information from teachers to students. The study concluded that as a result of such a ‘banking’ ideology, the U3A fails to act as an archetype of transformative education but is yet another euphemism for glorified occupational therapy that is both conservative and oppressive.
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - FacSoWGer

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