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Title: A comparative study of two non-credit educational organisations for older people : the University of the Third Age (U3A) in the UK and the Senior University (SU) in South Korea
Author: Jun, Soo-Koung
ISNI:       0000 0004 5353 5287
Awarding Body: UCL Institute of Education (IOE)
Current Institution: UCL Institute of Education (IOE)
Date of Award: 2014
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This empirical inquiry was designed as a comparative study to facilitate in the development of theoretical models that can promote a better understanding of the forces that shape the teaching and learning of older people in different cultural settings. For an examination of cultural similarities and differences, this thesis adopted a cross-national comparative method to study two institutions of third age learning, that is the University of the Third Age (U3A) in the UK and the Senior University (SU) in South Korea. In order to achieve a more active comparison, this research followed the systematic approach of comparative study advocated by Bereday (1964), and employing multi-faceted analysis according to the cube method of Bray and Thomas (1995) for a full and balanced understanding of the research subject. Quantitative and qualitative methods have been used in combination to capture the differences across the two institutions in terms of participants’ educational needs and their experiences, and the historical development of each institution, in order to analyse the different cultural meanings attached to learning and ageing in the two countries (Evans, 2001). This thesis also draws on national statistics and research reports in order to understand the broad trends. Policy thinking about the learning society and the ageing society are usually based on the same economic point of view, and governments tend to focus on the instrumental aspects of education. Therefore, in many countries older people have created learning opportunities for themselves, specifically U3A in the UK and SU in South Korea. In this study, U3A and SU’s cultures of learning are compared: the mutual aid or self-help model and organisation-led welfare model; the informal learning orientation and formal learning orientation; the andragogical and pedagogical models; the buffet or cafeteria style and set-menu style; horizontal and vertical teacher-student relationships; bottom-up and top-down management styles. Analysis of all these differences supports the conclusion that U3A is based on the tradition of liberalism and self-help tradition in the UK and SU is based on the tradition of collectivism and Confucianism in South Korea. The members of the U3A have a middle-class background and culture, and so dominantly feel more comfortable with an academic, discourse-based form of learning, while the SU members had a 'Botongsaram (ordinary person) culture' in which they preferred practical activities and pastimes (such as music and dancing) to academic subjects. This research will be of help to academics and policy makers to understand cultures of learning from the perspective of the third age group, so as to develop different learning models to satisfy the diverse interests of older adults in third age learning.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Lifelong and Comparative Education