Spring Semester, 2004

Dr. Jan Armstrong, University of New Mexico

The focus of this seminar will be on aging, adult socialization for changing occupational and social roles, and education. Special emphasis will be placed on how understanding the work of scholars and researchers might help us improve the quality of adult, post-secondary, and graduate/professional education.

Topics :

Creativity and aging
Cultural perspectives on aging
Knowledge and wisdom
Aging, motivation, and cognition
Grandparents and child development
Narrative Geropsychology and education
Life history interview and ethnographic/field research methods

We will read and discuss anthropological and sociological research on professional socialization in various fields (engineering, medicine, law, education, business, technology), taking a close, critical look at how "old hands" in different occupations transmit their knowledge and expertise to novices and peers. We will also examine what psychologists and neurologists are learning about the impact of aging on learning, cognition, creativity, task performance and motivation. Guest speakers will share their perspectives on how learning processes and educational aims and experiences change as we move through the lifespan. Requirements : Participate in seminar discussions and field trips/ site visits; complete a literature review or research project on a topic related to aging.

Student in all majors are welcome. Graduate and non-degree students with interests in Educational Psychology, Human Development, Adult Education, Medical Education, Health Education, Educational Leadership and Teacher Education, Human Resource Development, and Professional Development/Training may find this course of interest. Feel free to contact me for additional information (

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Luke, H. M. (2001/1987). Old age: Journey into simplicity New York: Bell Tower/Random House.

Adams-Price, C.E. (1998). Creativity and successful aging: Theoretical and empirical approaches . New York: Springer

Copies of texts will be available at UNM Bookstore and on Reserve at Zimmerman Library.

Additional readings will be assigned.