Experiences of intrinsic values in education for older adults: insights from a Swedish senior university
This study aims to acquire more knowledge about the meaning of intrinsic values in organised post-work non-formal educational activities for older adults. Observations and focus group interviews were conducted at a senior university in Sweden. John Dewey’s concept of experience and theory of value are used to facilitate a deeper understanding of the intrinsic values that were identified. The results of the study demonstrate what intrinsic values in education for older adults can be, as well as how they are experienced. Several intrinsic values were identified: (i) new insights and widened perspectives, (ii) the reflective process, (iii) enrichment, (iv) meaningfulness, (v) enjoyment, (vi) peacefulness, (vii) existential awareness, (viii) relational support and (ix) sense of community. The results further reveal how the values of education are experienced in the interactions and relations between older individuals and the social environment in the ongoing education and that the activities themselves are valued by the participants.
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