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Teaching Gerontology, September 2011
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Sunday, 25 Jun 2017

Teaching Gerontology, September 2011

In this issue:

- Are You Feeling Old Yet?
- Bad News: Students Don't Know How to Use the Internet
- The Cost of Long-term Care
- Working Longer
- Is Lifelong Learning Really the Answer?
- Books of Interest
- Web Sites to See

ARE YOU FEELING OLD YET?

A good way to starting feeling older is to browse Beloit College’s famous Mind Set List about this year’s college freshmen. This year’s freshman class was mostly born in 1993, a year when The New Yorker Magazine ran its famous cartoon of two dogs in front
of a computer terminal saying "On the Internet nobody knows you’re a dog." But, hey, doesn’t the year 1993 seem like "just yesterday?" Think again.  For this year’s freshman there are lots things they take for granted:

-Refugees and prisoners have always been housed by the U.S. government at Guantánamo.

-Charter schools have always been an alternative.

-Music has always been available via free downloads.

-Jimmy Carter has always been a smiling elderly man who shows up on TV to promote fair elections and disaster relief.

-There has never been an official Communist Party in Russia.

-Amazon has never been just a river in South America.

-There have always been at least two women on the Supreme Court, and women have always commanded some U.S. Navy ships.

-"Arnold Palmer" has always been a drink.

To read the full Beloit College Mind Set list, visit: http://ntserver2.geron.org/t/65068/395346/4445/0/

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BAD NEWS: Students Don’t Know How to Use the Internet

The Ethnographic Research in Illinois Academic Libraries project has concluded that a majority of college students are unable to conduct what most faculty or librarians would regard
as a "reasonably well-executed search" on the Web.

Researchers Lynda Duke and Andrew Asher concluded that students "appeared to lack even some of the most basic information literacy skills that we assumed they would have mastered in high
school."

Researchers identified a series of failings among college students such as:

-Many students feel overwhelmed and anxious at what they turn up, but are unable the narrow their Web search to get better results.

-It is not unusual for students engaged in research to abandon their inquiry without understanding that perhaps they’re using the wrong search terms or looking in the wrong places.

-Students in the Illinois study appeared unable to distinguish between news sources and scholarly sources of information.  Still worse, scholarly articles don’t often reach to top of search results,
so students end up ignoring the most solid resources for knowledge.

-There is little understanding of how search engines, such as Google, actually work.  Thus, students lack critical thinking about the Web and so they may end up saying things like "I read it on the Internet."

For more on results from the Ethnographic Research project, visit: http://ntserver2.geron.org/t/65068/395346/4446/0/              

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THE COST OF LONG-TERM CARE

A national survey by Genworth in 2011 found that the median annual cost of long-term care in an assisted living facility was to be $39,000, while the comparable cost for a private nursing home
room is $77,745.  For details see: http://ntserver2.geron.org/t/65068/395346/4453/0/     

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WORKING LONGER

The labor force participation among those over age 65 has gone up dramatically in recent years. In 2010, more than 17% of those over 65 were in the labor force, up from around 11% in 1985.
According to a 2011 analysis from the Urban Institute, adults over age 50 made up 31% of the labor force in 2010, a proportion up from 20 percent in 1995.

For details, see Sara Rix (2011): "Unemployment Down but Overall Job Growth Remains Anemic" (Fact Sheet No. 210) from the AARP Public Policy Institute at: http://ntserver2.geron.org/t/65068/395346/4449/0/

The Sloan Center on Aging and Work at Boston College has provided important analysis of these trends. See their "Aging & Work Facts Database" at: http://ntserver2.geron.org/t/65068/395346/3542/0/            

Alicia Munnell, head of the Boston College Center for Retirement Research, notes that the average retirement age now for men is 64 and for women 62.  She summarizes the trends as follows:  "Labor force
activity of both men and women has increased significantly since the mid-1980s as many incentives now encourage work. Several hurdles remain to continued increases, however, including the sluggish economic
recovery, the move away from career employment, the availability of Social Security at 62, and employer resistance to part-time employment."

For a detailed overview of Munnell's conclusions, visit: http://ntserver2.geron.org/t/65068/395346/4450/0/

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IS LIFELONG LEARNING REALLY THE ANSWER?

"Life for us has become an endless affair of trying to improve ourselves: achieving more and doing more, learning more, always needing to know more things.  The process of learning and
being taught has simply become a matter of being fed facts and information-- receiving what we didn’t have before, always being given something different from ourselves."

-Peter Kingsley, IN THE DARK PLACES OF WISDOM

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BOOKS OF INTEREST

AGEING AND OLD ADULT MENTAL HEALTH: Issues and Implications for Practice, by Patrick Ryan and Barry Coughlan (eds.) (Routledge, 2011).

ONE NATION UNDER AARP: The Fight over Medicare, Social Security, and America's Future, by Frederick R. Lynch (Univ. of California Press, 2011).

THE LONGEVITY PROJECT: Surprising Discoveries for Health and Long Life from the Landmark Eight-Decade Study, by Howard S. Friedman and Leslie R. Martin (Hudson Street Press, 2011).

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WEB SITES TO SEE

FINANCIAL ELDER ABUSE.  Read "The MetLife Study of Elder Financial Abuse: Crimes of Occasion, Desperation, and Predation Against America's Elders," (June 2011) at: http://ntserver2.geron.org/t/65068/395346/4451/0/

S & P ON AGING.  The folks who downgraded America‘s credit status also have a gloomy view about population aging.  Read all about it in "Global Aging 2010: An Irreversible Truth" at: http://ntserver2.geron.org/t/65068/395346/4397/0/

INTERNATIONAL AGING. The Summer, 2011 issue of "AARP: The Journal" is available, featuring articles by Mexican Secretary of Health José Ángel Córdova Villalobos, Polish Minister of Labour and Social Affairs
Jolanta Fedak, and Eden Alternative founder Bill Thomas. Available online at: http://ntserver2.geron.org/t/65068/395346/4452/0/

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This electronic newsletter, edited by Harry (Rick) Moody, is published by the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) and co-sponsored by the Office of Academic Affairs at AARP. The information expressed in
this newsletter was not composed by AGHE or any member of its staff. To submit items of interest or request subscription changes, contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Association for Gerontology in Higher Education 1220 L Street, NW, Suite 901, Washington, DC 20005 202.289.9806 • This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it • www.aghe.org

** Used with Permission **