Evaluation of third age learning in Hong Kong: Why and how?

Siu Ling Maureen TAM

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Facing the challenges of a fast-growing ageing population – amidst the worldwide trends of declining birth rates and longer lifespans – the Hong Kong government has since two decades ago developed and implemented policies and plans for senior adults in Hong Kong to engage in third age learning, both formally and informally. This paper first argues for a critical need to evaluate the efficacy, adequacy and value of the policy and provision of third age learning in Hong Kong. It then discusses the choice between the functionalist approach and the critical educational gerontology (CEG) approach for a critical evaluation of the content and purpose of education for older adults. In this paper, CEG is conceived to be more comprehensive and robust than the functionalist approach that focuses primarily on learning for self-fulfillment and adjustment to older age. More broadly though, CEG views third age learning from a sociopolitical perspective and takes into account the empowering and liberating nature of learning for and by senior adults. Copyright © 2018 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)724-731
JournalEducational Gerontology
Issue number11
Early online dateDec 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018


Tam, M. (2018). Evaluation of third age learning in Hong Kong: Why and how? Educational Gerontology, 44(11), 724-731. doi: 10.1080/03601277.2018.1555208


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