Lifelong Learning in the County: A Context of Nature, Community, and Simplicity

Donald N. Roberson, Jr.


The purpose of this study was to understand more about the impact of living in a rural area on personal learning with older adults. This is important to consider because of the higher concentration of older adults in rural areas. This qualitative research was based on twenty interviews with older adults. All of the participants lived in the same rural county in south Georgia (USA). One of the results from this research was the positive description of living in a rural area. Despite literature that often describes rural areas in a negative light; all of the  participants spoke about the positive aspect of living in a rural area. These positive characteristics were discussed as simplicity, quiet, community, and nature. Negative aspects of rural life were mentioned as lack of resources and fewer people. Ten participants were purposefully chosen who were identified as active older adults who continue to learn. Two interviews with each person were conducted and the interviews were transcribed verbatim. The findings were based on recurring themes as a result of comparative analysis throughout the process. Public schools can contribute to the continued education of older adults by holding various classes as well as incorporating volunteerism.


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