The Association Between Selected Health Characteristics and Participation in Learning Projects by Retired Educators
Description: This study identified the number of learning projects undertaken by thirty-eight retired educators and examined the extent to which these experiences were associated with the body weight and the exercise patterns of the subjects. A list of 1091 names of retired educators was obtained and 400 names were randomly selected to receive a brief survey seeking responses to demographic, personal and miscellaneous questions relating to their efforts to continue to pursue learning. Interviews were arranged with thirty-eight subjects who met established criteria. The 19 8 3 Metropolitan Height and Weight Tables were used to estimate weight characteristics and a probe sheet was designed to identify the number of hours spent exercising in activities vigorous enough to increase heart beat. In-depth interviews were conducted by the investigator using the questions from Tough's Interview Schedule for Studying Some Basic Characteristics of Learning Projects, and the probe sheet designed by the investigator. The interviews focused on the efforts to continue learning during the past twelve months and on the participation in vigorous exercise during the past twelve months. Findings were analyzed by computing t-tests for independent means and the Pearson product moment method of correlation. Comparisons of the results from this study were made with the results from two previous studies, "The Older Adult and Learning," by Roger Hiemstra, ancj "A Comparative Study of Professionally Related Learning Projects of Secondary School Teachers," by N. E. Kelly. The results of this study indicate that much learning is continued past retirement and that all learning is not focused on self; some relate to the needs of the community and of churches. The data supports Hiemstra's premise that health related obstacles diminish learning activity. The Theory that older adults pursue less learning than young adults was not supported by this study.
Date: August 1985
Creator: Simmons, Anne Harris