Lifelong learning among older professionals: How competence strategies and perceptions of professional learning affect pastors’ participationJan 30 2019
Authors: Tone Cecilie Carlsten; Dorothy Sutherland Olsen.
Journal: European Journal of Education.
One of the challenges of keeping older employees up to date and ensuring their continued involvement in the workplace is to provide them with relevant learning opportunities. This article aims to understand the usefulness of the concept of LLL for a group of older employees (50+). This is done using interviews and a document study on the Church of Norway (CofN) to understand how the concept of LLL is interpreted and acted upon by employers and older pastors. We assume that changes occurring outside the Church provoke the need for new knowledge and new ways of working. We ask how these older professionals perceive their learning opportunities and try to ascertain how the concept of LLL is helping them to tackle the ongoing changes. The article adds to the research on the interplay between competence strategies of employers and attitudes of older employees in a well‐established profession. Results of our study show that new strategies open up for greater participation. However, older pastors’ greatest motivation for learning seems to be their ordination vows, which include a commitment to continued learning through personal studies. This influences the kind of activities in which they participate, their expectations concerning the recognition of their learning and their views on the Church as a learning organisation. We conclude that older pastors do benefit from LLL initiatives in the workplace, but they also benefit from belonging to a profession with a conscious commitment to learning.