Critical educational gerontology: what has it got to offer social work with older people?

Article


Hafford-Letchfield, T. 2014. Critical educational gerontology: what has it got to offer social work with older people? European Journal of Social Work. 17 (3), pp. 433-446. https://doi.org/10.1080/13691457.2014.885881
TypeArticle
TitleCritical educational gerontology: what has it got to offer social work with older people?
AuthorsHafford-Letchfield, T.
Abstract

Critical educational gerontology argues for a moral goal of learning in later life to develop alternative visions for democratic social change whereby older people are empowered to resist and overcome various forms of discrimination. If the development of critical consciousness within the older people's social movement is an important precursor to critical action where the self is a key site of politicisation, different approaches will need to be developed and fostered within social work with older people. Adopting a learning and educational approach within practice could facilitate a more liberating approach to achieving sustainable support and emphasise self-directed support. Embedding older people's experiences within a critical paradigm recognises the political nature of educational interventions in later life. This paper argues that learning offers a collective and negotiated enterprise with which empowerment could be promoted and older people given more control over their lives in accordance with the core aims of social work. It examines the potential contribution of critical educational gerontology to social work with older people with reference to practice examples and aims to stimulate debate about what is needed to further embed this approach within different models of practice.

KeywordsEducational gerontology, critical consciousness, social work, older people, self-directed support
PublisherRoutledge
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Work
ISSN1369-1457
Publication dates
Print27 May 2014
Online12 Feb 2014
Publication process dates
Deposited20 Feb 2014
Output statusPublished
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/13691457.2014.885881
LanguageEnglish
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