Harnessing the New Demographic: Adult and Community Learning in Older Populations. An Australian Focus with General Implications
Steinberg, Margaret A., Kearns, Peter B., Reghenzani, Denise M., & Peel, Nancye (2007) Harnessing the New Demographic: Adult and Community Learning in Older Populations. An Australian Focus with General Implications.
1. THE NEW DEMOGRAPHY: A DRIVER FOR RE-FOCUSING ON ADULT AND COMMUNITY LEARNING?
This is a unique moment in human history- we have never lived longer (Borowski et al., 2007, p1). It has even been said that of all the people over 65 who have ever lived, two-thirds are alive today (M. K. Dychtwald, 1997).
We argue that adult and community learning provides untold opportunities across a range of parameters and locations to support optimal ageing – for societies, for organisations, for communities, families and individuals. We also argue that understanding the new demography and the impact of ageing societies in other areas such as public health, including opportunity and direct costs, will broaden and enhance the perspective of policy makers and practitioners involved in adult and community learning.
While the focus of this paper is largely on the Australian experience, the paper also points to some general issues relevant to other countries where international exchanges of experience through the PASCAL Network would have considerable value. The paper ends with a set of key questions which it is hoped will stimulate discussion.
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