Cogito Ergo Sum: A Grounded Theory of the Filipino Elderly Transition Experiences in Third Age Education Program
Escolar Chua, Rowena
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Session presented on Friday, July 25, 2014: Purpose: A considerable number of studies have been carried out to explore the experiences of the elderly engaging in third age education, but most of these investigations have focused on elderly motivation, the benefits accruing from their participation, and the barriers they have encountered during their lifelong learning experience. However, there has been little attempt to probe into the experiences of the elderly engaging in third age education and how they view themselves during that time. This grounded theory study purported to describe the processes through which a select group of Filipino elderly experienced community-based third age learning programs. Methods: Cognizant of the purpose of this study, the grounded theory design was employed. A series of in-depth interviews were conducted on 24 Filipino elderly who participated in a four-month third age education program. Results: This study revealed four distinct and yet inter-related stages of Holding Back, Opening Up, Moving Forward and Empowering which were embedded in the model, H.O.M.E: A Pulley Model of Elderly Participation in Third Age Education Program. The emerged model is a valuable compass for gerontologists as they provide meaningful and geriatric-friendly programs, projects and activities that address the growing needs of the elderly but also facilitate their smooth entry to and completion of their third age learning participation. Conclusion: This model provides a greater understanding of how these elderly go through their learning experience, from the time they hesitantly started the program until they were able to go beyond their expectations. The H.O.M.E Pulley Model has important implications to geriatric education as it provides educators a comprehensive model that they can use in understanding and facilitating the various facets of participation of the elderly in third age learning.