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Nov. 22nd to 25th, 2011, Singapore LIFELONG LEARNING OF THE ELDERLY IN JAPAN Shigeo HORI (Ph.D., Dept.

. of Lifelong Education, Osaka University of Education, Osaka, JAPAN) 1. Background Issues on Aging and Elder Learning in Japan Japan is a country with several characteristics as a nation. For example; a. More than 120,000,000 people are living in 370,000km2 areas surrounded by the sea. b. One language, one time zone, (mainly) same race. c. No colonized history in the past. d. Economical advancements in 1980s and the depression after mid 1990s e. Before the World War, educational system was borrowed from Europe. But after the War educational system from the USA was incorporated into Japanese system. f. People' longevity is one of the longest in the world; average age: 82.7 in 2009, female: 86.4, male: 79.6, in 2010. g. Ratio of the elderly (65+) is 23.1% (29.44 million) in 2010 statistics, which is one of the top ranking percentages in the world. h. Boomers (1947 to 1949 born cohort) aging has triggered new types of aging related problems; both positive and negative. i. Adult Education and Social Education, Lifelong Learning. The idea of adult education is not popular. Instead, we have the ideas of social education and lifelong learning. 2. The Term and the Act of Adult Education in Japan (1) Social Education In Japan, the term adult education is seldom used. In a world where the term adult education is popular, adult youth/child line is predominant. But in Japan, school out of school line is predominant than adult - child line. So the term, social education (shakai kyouiku: , out of school education + adult education) is traditionally used in Japan. In other words, we have school education, family education, and social education. Behind social education practices, we have Social Education Act (1949~) in contrast to School Education Act. Main idea of Social Education Act is "decentralization." In other words, cities and towns are first thing to be considered and prefecture or national levels are supposed to be secondary. Indirect support for learning (not direct teaching; support but no control) is an ideal in this Act. Kohminkan (community learning center) is supposed to be a learning center in the idea of Social Education Act. Libraries, museums, sports centers are also included as key facilities in this Act. One problem of this Act is, I think, it is sometimes not so effective in big cities or business areas, because the idea is based on people's community lives. (2) Lifelong Learning From late 1980s, the term lifelong learning (shougai gakushu: ) became rather popular than social education in Japan. Reasons of its wider use are, for example, a) the term "learning" is welcomed and accepted in the public, b) it includes school education for adults, c) it considers people's learning directly and recognizes the roles of the prefecture or big cities. In 1990, Lifelong Learning Facilitation Act was enacted. It pays attention to the prefectures role for promoting

people's lifelong learning and Lifelong Learning Center is considered to be a center of their learning. Lifelong learning also pays attention to higher school education for adults, which was not a main target of social education beforehand. For example, University of the Air has been serving learning opportunities via broadcasting system from 1985 and in 2002 graduate course of University of the Air has opened. Moreover regular universities and graduate courses open their educational opportunities to the public rapidly within these 10 years. Plus that senior (mainly 50+) targeted university education is popular within these 5 years. (3) Two Streams of Thoughts Now in Japan I guess we have two streams of thoughts on education/learning of adults; community based social education and the government guided lifelong learning/education. And so is true for the learning of the elderly in Japan. 3. Learning Opportunities and Practices of the Elderly in Japan How about the learning opportunities of the elderly in Japan? Traditionally learning of the elderly was opened at Kohminkan in Japan. Small sized and community based elderly classes of learning were popular and they are still now active, too. Main topics of the elderly classes were, for example, classics, arts, gardening, senior sports, social issues, health issues and so on. One of the unique practices of education for the elderly is Senior/Elderly College or Roujin Daigaku, which is partly equivalent to the University of the Third Age in Western countries. The first Senior College (or elderly class) was opened at a rural private temple in Nagano Prefecture in 1954. It was just a community meeting place through learning under a good will Temple priest. From 1965, elderly classes at Kohminkan were subsidized by the Ministry of Education and since then many elderly classes have been mushroomed. One of the most sensational events was the opening of Inamino Gakuen Senior College, in Hyogo Prefecture in 1969. Inamino Gakuen is a school type Senior College, with nearly 50,000m2 site and 2,000 students (60+) now. It has a 4-year regular course and a 2-year community leader training course. Contents of the courses are gardening, health and welfare, cultural studies, pottery, and general education. History, community activities, health and welfare courses are held in graduate course. Except for Inamino Gakuen Senior College, it was basically a small sized community based learning center that education for the elderly was held. But from around 1990 bigger sized or school type Senior Colleges (like Inamino Gakuen) were beginning to emerge. Reasons behind it were the enactment of Lifelong Learning Facilitation Act (1990) and the restructuring of Education Ministry (1988). But more important trend was from the side of Health and Welfare Ministry, learning opportunities for the elderly were considered to be a good vehicle for health promotion and therefore many Senior Colleges were founded and organized at that period. Thus we have now two types of Senior Colleges (or whatever you name them), Senior College from education stream and Senior College from health and welfare stream. The good thing with welfare side Senior College is that it is often incorporated as a part of health center or medical center. But how about the role of learning program coordinator? Within these 10 years, however, partly because of the restructuring of the government organization and financial system reform, subsidizing to the learning of the

elderly was reduced or sometimes abolished. Another reason of downsizing the elderly learning sites was the incorporation of private sector agencies; NPOs, Private Funds, contracted administrators, etc.. Under the label of New Public, Peoples Public, government supported learning places of the elderly have been reduced. For example, Osaka Prefecture Senior College with 1,500 elder students was abolished in 2008. In spite of these backlashes, however, some elders were setting up new types of learning opportunities (e.g., NPO guided Senior College). Also within these 10 years, main policy of the Health and Welfare Ministry has a bit changed. Traditionally, the Welfare Ministry was supporting the elderly as a target of protection and care. Recently the idea and practice of Care Prevention () became popular, and which presupposed even healthy seniors as targets of welfare policy. Active senior society, participatory welfare society, active aging society, social participation of the elderly these terms were messaged from the side of the welfare sector of the society, not from the education sector. Learning is supposed to be a good vehicle for health and welfare promotion of the elderly. Then what is the indispensable and inherent role of education and learning of the elderly? Besides Senior Colleges, today we witness lots of Japanese senior/elderly people enjoy varieties of learning activities. Senior citizens are now one of the main users of Kohminkan, Learning Center, Museum, etc. We can see some senior students in traditional university classes and University of the Air. They are creating the Internet based community, what we call senior net. Volunteer activities of these people are also popular. 4. Studies and Practices of Learning of the Elderly in Japan (1) Learning Needs of the Elderly: From our Survey Data and Practices of Elderly Learning via Life Review Detecting learning needs of the elderly is one crucial step in producing learning programs for the elderly (Hori, 1999a). The idea of learning needs of the elderly per se stems from Howard McCluskys propositions in White House Conference in 1971, in which they are categorized as coping, expressive, contributive, influence and transcendence needs(McClusky, n.d.). Merriam argued life review needs are also important learning needs of the elderly (Merriam, 1990). Kahn and Antonucci argued reconstruction of social network and social support system is one crucial need of the elders in relation to the retirement. Hori proposed the unique learning needs of the elderly are revolving around the idea the tie; ties to the future, to the past, to the society, to the younger generation, etc.(Hori, 2006b). In order to detect the unique learning needs of the elderly, I have conducted several surveys on this topic in several elder learning classes in Japan (Hori, 2006b). The results suggested 3 major areas of learning needs have bloomed in the later years of our life. These are, 1) learning focused on life review, 2) communication with other elderly, 3) learning of the inquiry into humanities (history, religion, art, classics, etc.). These three have their own implications. 1) Life Review: Learning with life review or reminiscence interventions to the elderly is gradually recognized in Japan. Not only its therapeutic effects on alleviating the degree of senile dementia, heightening of life satisfaction feelings, but its educational effects on elder learning are accelerated via reminiscence. For example, in Shimane

Prefecture a local library has a room of life review with several past pictures and with storytelling practices. Watching old movies and discussing with them are one practice of elderly learning with life review. 2) Reconstruction of the Social Support System: In Osaka Prefecture Senior College, there were and are several tactics for making new friendship ties among elders via learning. Reunion system, College festival, excursion, class management system are used as this type of mechanism. 3) Inquiry into Humanities: This assumption is supposedly equivalent to McCluskys transcendence needs. In traditional universities, classes on vocational orientation or qualification, health sciences, psychology, sociology are popular. However, in senior classes these are not so popular. Instead, senior classes are serving history, classics, literature, art, spirituality, gardening, etc. and their reputations are good. Though, they are now targets of downsizing in traditional universities. (2) NPO Osaka Prefecture Senior College As I mentioned before, Osaka Prefecture Senior College was abolished mainly because of the Prefectures financial reasons. However, reunion members of this College and other elder NPO members were worried about the then situation, and from 2009 opened new Osaka Prefecture Senior College with nearly 1,000 students and with no subsidy from Osaka Prefecture. Because of no subsidy from local government, the fee to the College has being raised and some unpopular courses have removed. However, the new Senior College has also removed the geographical and age boundaries. Which means, for example, some members age are 30s and some are from other prefectures. New classes are opened with new naming. For example, Enjoy Classics, Appreciate and Deepen Music courses, etc.. The leader of the Senior College said that the experiences of his company management were good resources of their administration of this College, and he and his colleagues have some knowhow of managing NPOs. But he said the expertise from the company experiences was very narrow, so its hard to manage classes as curriculum management. The College is now hiring a variety of experts from different content areas as lecturers. Another important management area is the management of ex-curriculum activities. For example, circle and club activities of this College. From the observations of senior ex-curriculum activities, we recognize what we call teacher type leader is not suitable for managing this type of activities. Instead, what Greenleaf call servant type leader are welcomed (Greenleaf et al., 2002). (3) Senior Targeted Exams of the Traditional Universities Within these 5 years, Japanese traditional universities are opening their learning opportunities mainly to the senior (50+) people. One crucial reason behind this trend is ensuring the university capacity. Decrease of young people and the increase of senior people are the opposite sides of the same coin, namely Japans aging. There are two types of senior targeted entrance exams in traditional universities in Japan. Age integrated type and age segregated type. Age integrated type university accepts senior students with a very similar students conditions to the traditional students.

Same classes and same ex-curricular activities, graduation qualification, etc.. Age segregated type accepts senior students with different conditions from the traditional students. For example, special classes for senior students, limitation of the number of attending classes. In 2010, I have conducted some interview surveys on senior exams in traditional universities around Kobe City. One integrated type had a seminar class, though we could not distinguish who was a teacher and who was not. One boy student said I like this class atmosphere and senior students told us lots of good advices for our future planning. But he also said with subtle voice, to tell you the truth, I want more same age male friends. One the other hand, from a survey data of age segregated type senior classes in traditional universities, the class has a different atmosphere from the traditional classes. Because of the similarity of their experiences, senior students and the professors interests were converging into a similar direction. Classes of literature, history, classics, religion are not so popular among young students. However, for senior students, they hit the nail right on their heads. These classes are vitalized by senior students, since they are more responsive than traditional students. One problem of this type classes is that seniors are lacking in the interaction with traditional students, so the planner are now thinking about the idea of incorporation of integrated class. 5. Problems and Future Issues of Learning of the Elderly in Japan Due partly to the boomers aging, Japan now faces to an unprecedented aging experience. The number of what we call healthy seniors is increasing and also that of old-oldsters is increasing. Now is the time to reconsider and redefine the role of learning and education, since the social aging and the idea of lifelong learning prompt us to reexamine the learning issues of the elderly. Learning of the elderly has, of course, very strong ties to welfare and health promotion, care prevention. But if you think learning or education has its own dynamism in itself, what is it? It does not connote that a mere extension of education of our school days is enough. New type of assumptions of learning or education is needed if you reconsider the role of learning from a viewpoint of elder learning. One hint for it is, as McClusky mentioned some years ago, the essence of education of the elderly is affirmative enterprise resulting in positive outcomes. Rehabilitation and medical care can do it. School type education can do it. But lifelong learning can do it more directly. Behind the idea of lifelong learning of the elderly, redefinition of the idea and social conception of aging is also important. The terms like anti-aging or aging problem are prevalent in Japan. But the message of 2007 National Conference on Positive Aging in Florida State hit our deep seated emotions for aging and learning; Positive changes occur because of aging, not in spite of aging. Thank You. References Greenleaf,R.K.& Spears,L.C. Servant Leadership. Paulist, 2002. Hori, S. (1999a) Kyouikurounengaku no Koso (Issues and Problems on Educational Gerontology). Gakubunsha Publishing Company.

Hori, S. (1999b) Education and the Elderly in Japan, Paper presented in Macau '99 East Asia Forum for Adult Education, April 30th, Macau Hori, S. (1999c) Learning for Older People in Japan, Paper presented in ASPBAE Older Person's Adult Learning Working Meeting, November 7th, Singapore. Hori, S. & Fujiwara, M. (2003) Learning Needs and Activity Limitations of Elderly Japanese with Physical Disabilities, Educational Gerontology, 29(7), 585-595. Hori,S.& Cusack,S. (2006) Third Age Education in Canada and Japan: Attitudes Toward Aging and Participation in Learning, Educational Gerontology, 32(6), 463-481. Hori,S. (2006a) Elder Education in Japan: Educational Strategies in Elder College in Osaka, Proceedings of 2006 Conference on Educational Strategies for Elder Education in East Asia. Chinese Adult and Lifelong Education Association, Taipei, Taiwan, pp.3-14. Hori,S. (ed.)(2006b) Kyoikurounengaku no Tenkai (Recent Development of Educational Gerontology). Gakubunsha Publishing Company. Hori,S. (2010a) Shougai Hattatsu to Shougai Gakushuu (Lifespan Development and Lifelong Learning). Minerva Publishing Company. Hori,S. (2010b) A Study on the Change of Functions of a Senior College: A Comparative Study in Nishinomiya City Senior College in 10 years. Japanese Journal of Gerontology, 32(3), 338-347. Hori,S.(ed.)(in press) Kyouikurounengaku to Koureisha Gakushuu (Educational Gerontology and Learning of the Elderly). Gakubunsha Publishing Company. McClusky,H.Y. Education for Aging, in Grabowski,S.M.& Mason,W.D. (eds.) Education for the Aging. Syracuse Univ.: ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult Education, n.d.(ca.1974), Merriam,S.B. Reminiscence and the Life Review, in Sherron,R.H.& Lumsden,D.B.(eds.) Introduction to Educational Gerontology (3rd ed.). Hemisphere, 1990, pp.41-58.