The purpose of this study was to identify effective teaching methods for age 50+ baby boomer learners. The study used a mixed methods research design. The qualitative paradigm used focus group sessions and the quantitative paradigm was completed through surveys. Fifteen age 50+ baby boomer learners and 11 faculty who teach them comprised the two sample groups. Research participants were from two community colleges in a Southeastern state who were participating in the Plus 50 Initiative program sponsored by the American Association of Community Colleges. Data collected for this research revealed that age 50+ baby boomer learners prefer a traditional classroom setting, led by an instructor using the lecture method enhanced by hands-on activities. Learners and faculty agreed that the learning process, for age 50+ baby boomer learners, should be based on the experiential learning theory. Faculty stated they were surprised to find that socialization was an important part of the learning experience for the age 50+ baby boomer learners. Faculty suggested that time for discussion and reflections needed to be scheduled as part of the classroom experience. Faculty stated they would appreciate training on working with the age 50+ baby boomer learners as well as instruction on learning styles and technology. Suggestions for future research includes replicating this study using larger samples of both learners and faculty, replicating the study with university students and faculty, and researching how academic institutions could better accommodate age 50+ baby boomer learners in a more personable, professional, and efficient manner.
|Commitee:||Dunn, Suzanne, Howell, Cynthia|
|Department:||School of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Gerontology, Educational leadership, Aging, Adult education|
|Keywords:||Adult learners, Baby Boomer, Experiential learning, Mixed method research, Professional development, Teaching methods|
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