Experiences of intrinsic values in education for older adults: insights from a Swedish senior university


  • Magnus Schoultz Örebro University’s School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences,
  • Johan Öhman Örebro University’s School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1423-4233
  • Mikael Quennerstedt Örebro university's School of Health Sciences https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8748-8843




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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Author Biographies

Magnus Schoultz, Örebro University’s School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences,

Doctoral student in education

Johan Öhman, Örebro University’s School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences

Professor of Education

Mikael Quennerstedt, Örebro university's School of Health Sciences

Professor in Physical Education and Health


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How to Cite

Schoultz, M., Öhman, J., & Quennerstedt, M. (2022). Experiences of intrinsic values in education for older adults: insights from a Swedish senior university . European Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults, 13(1), 39–57. https://doi.org/10.3384/rela.2000-7426.3513



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