The growing number of older adults returning to postsecondary education has created not only a new trend but a new tradition in higher education. Understanding how classroom experiences impact their perceptions of belonging as well as influence their motivation, retention, and learning becomes critical. The aim of this research was to conduct a qualitative study with learners 55 years and older, situated in an intergenerational classroom, to gain insight and understanding of their perception of belonging and its effects on them as older learners. Using in-depth interviews, qualitative questionnaires, and journal entries, this study explored the experiences and perceptions of belonging among 21 learners, 55 and older, from two postsecondary institutions. Findings from this grounded theory study describe several classroom conditions responsible for contributing to the experience of belonging among older learners. These findings suggest that experiences of belonging not only acted as motivational and belonging factors but also had mediating effects on the view of the self among these older learners as well. Results from this study confirm past research and add to the limited research on experiences of belonging among adult learners over 55 years in an intergenerational classroom.
|Commitee:||Kostere, Sandra, Pimpenelli, Angelo|
|Department:||School of Psychology|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-B 70/09, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Social psychology, Educational psychology|
|Keywords:||Adult learners, Belonging, Intergenerational classroom, Older learners|
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