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vocational acts, that are specifically designed for older people who are retired or are approaching retirement.
In response to the question, How many older people past 60 are enrolled in adult education classes ? only seven States could report such information. California was first with over 47,000; New York had 7,000 older registrants, while New Jersey reported 6,270; South Carolina, 940, and Massachusetts, 907. Unfortunately, 38 States reported that these data were not collected. Holden further reported that among State department representatives there appears to be enough interest and activity in the education of the aging to warrant further exploration and study. A limited number of successful and comprehensive programs are being carried out in New York, California, Florida, and Michigan. Many additional State departments have indicated an interest in developing a number of educational activities for this age group.
The National Education Association, through its divisions, departments, commissions, and committees, is in a unique position to bring great impact to bear upon the total educational world in relation to building an awareness of the problems of aging. Through its division of adult education service and through the National Association of Public School Adult Educators, a direct means of implementing programs of adult education for the aging is provided for the public school systems. The problems of aging which are directly related to education
1. The need to provide general community programs about aging.
2. The need to make provisions for continuous learning opportunities for older people.
3. The need to train volunteer and professional workers to adequately equip them to work with older people.
4. The need for additional research and documentation on aging by institutions of higher education.
5. The need for the identification and more effective utilization of the talents of older persons for community service in educational programs. The complexity of the problems of the aging as well as the diversity of their needs indicate that it is advisable for all community agencies to be involved in the development of programs for the aging. Education has a central role to play in most programs and the local school district should feel free to take primary responsibility for initiating communitywide planning. This does not mean that noneducational functions would be taken over by the school, but that initiating leadership can properly lie with the local director of adult education.
There is an urgent need to develop comprehensive programs of adult education which will assist the older adult in making the necessary adjustments for living effectively and completely in a changing society. The commitment of local, State, and Federal governments to the solution of the problems of the aged and aging will be revealed by the enactment of appropriate legislation and the degree to which such legislation provides for adequate leadership and financial support.
New York State is one of the few States which has been active in providing educational services for the aging and the aged. We
have asked Henrietta F. Rabe, supervisor, education for the aging, Bureau of Adult Education, State Education Department, University of the State of New York, to testify before this committee as an expert witness on education for the aging.
At this point, with your permission, I will let her proceed. Senator McNAMARA. Thank you. We are glad to have you here. You may proceed.
STATEMENT OF DR. HENRIETTA RABE, SUPERVISOR OF EDUCATION
FOR THE AGING, BUREAU OF ADULT EDUCATION Mrs. RABE. Senator McNamara, in New York State education for the aging is considered one facet of a broad, comprehensive program of public school adult education. Its development has been as follows:
In 1950 the New York State Education Department took cognizance of this large and fastgrowing segment of our population, namely, that of the older adult, and his many problems. It made a 6-month study of these problems—that of health, mental health, employment, retirement, housing, leisure-time needs—with one question uppermost in mind, What are the implications for education? The answers to this question provided the framework for our program of education for the aging.
First, it appeared that adult education could make a major contribution with respect to use of the excess of leisure time that all too many retired men and women seem to have. By “retired" I mean persons retired from the job as well as the aged housewife who, in widowhood, is psychologically retired and frequently lacks interests to fill the many hours of free time. It is this lack of meaningful interests in combination with a lack of social usefulness that contributes to the loneliness, unhappiness, and frustration of so many older people.
Second, through education older men and women can be helped to remain active citizens with an interest in the local, State, and national problems that keeps them in the mainstream of living; indeed, in many cases, helps them to find a new role of social usefulness in retirement living
Third, faithful to the philosophy of lifelong education, retirement could be made a time when men and women might truly have an opportunity to develop their potentialities to the fullest—something which, through lack of time or opportunity earlier in life, they were unable to do.
Fourth, some older men and women could be helped to learn skills that might be a source of supplemental retirement income; and retraining could be provided for the older worker still in his forties and fifties.
Fifth, as a means of prevention, persons in the middle years can be helped through adult education to prepare for retirement living. Sixth, there was an educational job to be done in the way
of community education to change social attitudes with respect to aging and to make people more informed about the implications of an aging population.
Lastly, lack of available leadership for the aforementioned adult education needs made it clear that the State education department would have to develop a training program for lay leaders employed by the public school to work with the aged.
It was on the basis of this that New York State began to build its program of education for the aging.
In addition to the study, the State education department in 1950 made a survey of enrollments in existing public school adult education classes, by age, and this showed that 1.5 percent of those enrolled were over 60 years of age. This represented about 7,000 persons, which is the figure used by John Holden in the publication referred to earlier by Dr. Van Orman. However, this is not a picture of the situation today. The figure represents the number of older peoples who were enrolled in the general adult education classes before New York State initiated any special program of education for the aging.
The fact that the proportion of older adults in public school classes was low in contrast to adults of other ages was the more significant in view of the excess amount of free time about which retired people frequently complain. One reason appeared to be that through long years of habit the older adult is used to being busily occupied during the day and, for the most part, to remain home at night; and secondly, an unawareness of the value of adult education, having had limited schooling and no concept of the need for continuing education. Statistics show that among today's older adults one out of every five has had 5 years of formal schooling or less. Fewer than 50 percent have completed grammar school. It was apparent to the New York State Education Department, therefore, that in order to serve a larger number of older persons, new methods would have to be used and educational content specially tailored to meet their interests and needs.
Thus, daytime classes are now being offered as well as night classes and special activities for persons over 60 years of age. These are held during the day, for the most part, frequently with cooperation from voluntary agencies, and in combination with recreation. It is through this approach that new doors are being opened to large numbers of older men and women through a rich variety of adult education. It is on this basis that New York State now provides specially designed education for the aging in 108 different communities. Through these special classes as well as through the general adult education classes, it is estimated that the public schools are reaching and serving about 25,000 older men and women in New York State.
We realize, of course, that we have a very long way to go before a majority of the older population sees the value of some form of adult education and takes advantage of existing opportunities; but whatever success we may have achieved to date may be attributed to the fact that (1) in the State of New York adult education is considered an integral part of the public school system, (2) the State education department, through its bureau of adult education, gives assistance and encouragement to local boards of education to provide adult education and to develop comprehensive programs (and no program is truly comprehensive unless it gives consideration to the needs of the aging), and (3) public school adult education is State-aided. This latter, we believe, has done a great deal to encourage schools to add adult education to their operations.
In view of the fact that in only a very small number of States are the schools providing any form of education for the aging, and in view,
further, of the unique role which the school can play by virtue of its presence and position in every size community, I would recommend the following for consideration by your committee:
1. The U.S. Office of Education continues to do all in its power to encourage State departments of education throughout the country to establish divisions of adult education adequately staffed to promote the extension of adult education as the third level of public school education. Education for the aging will flourish best when part of a more comprehensive program of public school adult education is provided at the local level.
2. Public school education for the aging be strengthened through active support by the U.S. Office of Education, the National Education Association, the National Association of Public School Adult Educators, and the Adult Education Association of the U.S.A.
3. Some form of Federal aid be appropriated to encourage the public schools to offer education for the aging in those States where no State aid presently is available for adult education and to help in those States in which it is.
Senator McNamara, I appreciate very much this opportunity to share with you the thinking of the New York State Education Department with respect to our program of education for older men and women, and some of my own thinking with respect to this important development in adult education.
Senator McÑAMARA. You have indicated that through your experience you developed specialized subjects. What are the most popular of these classes, in your experience ?
Dr. RABE. I think for the most part avocational type activities that help the men and women to develop new retirement interests are perhaps the most popular.
Senator McNAMARA. That is interesting.
Dr. RABE. Of course, they are very much interested in public affairs discussion groups, and 'I would place along with that the tremendous
, interest that all of our groups have in community service projects.
For the first time in their lives, many of these older men and women are able now, as a part of a group, to render service to the community that they never felt able to do as individuals earlier in life.
Senator MCNAMARA. Dr. Van Orman, from the figures that you gave us about States that have been fairly active in these areas, you indicate that there are probably about 38 States which do very little or nothing in this area of education for senior citizens.
Dr. Van ORMAN. That is correct. I think you will find a fairly high positive relationship between States granting financial support from the State level and the prevalance of general adult education classes or special adult education classes for the older citizen.
Senator McNAMARA. Do you think this is a field where the Federal Government might lend some assistance? Do you have any definite recommendation?
Dr. VAN ORMAN. My personal feeling in this area is that unless the Federal Government provides stimulatory assistance, the expectations for future development are somewhat limited.
Senator McNAMARA. Do you think, as far as the retirees among NEA teachers are concerned, that you probably have about as great a problem as any group of retirees? It seems that the so-called pension program was set up in the very old days, as they say, and many of the teachers who are retirees now are getting surprisingly low pay
ments on the insurance that they paid or the payments that they made in premiums over the years.
I think this is one of the things that I run into that is a real part of our problem.
You did not make any reference to that because you are stressing the educational phase but I think you, as a group, have in many of the larger cities, organizations of these retired teachers or educational employees. Is there a national organization?
Dr. VAN ORMAN. Yes; there is a department of the NEA, which is the National Association of Retired Teachers. They have a membership of about 77,000. They are very active. They have sponsored at least nine tours to Europe for their group. They have a home in California, a retirement home, and they have been very active in working on retirement insurance.
I do not know whether Dr. Morgan is familiar with this or not. Perhaps Dr. Morgan could speak to this. I am sure he is a member of this group:
. Senator McNAMARA. Doctor, do you have something to say as to this special group?
Dr. MORGAN. I am a life member of it, and I addressed their meeting out in St. Louis some weeks ago. They are doing one of the finest pieces of work that is being done anywhere in America. They are helping these teachers to solve their problems. They have an insurance program similar to that of the retired civil service employees, and they are sponsoring travel and educational projects.
I think there is more potential leadership in the Association of Retired Teachers than anywhere else, because they are accustomed to leadership
The problem you mentioned is very serious, Mr. Chairman. There are teachers in this country who have given their lives to public service whose retirement is less than $50 a month.
Senator McNAMARA. It is only recently that they have the opportunity to be covered by social security, is that right?
Dr. MORGAN. It varies widely. Some States have very good teacher retirements that are independent from social security. Some have a combination. Some depend entirely upon social security, but in many of the States the teachers who retired before they could get these benefits have almost nothing to live on.
Senator McNAMARA. Thank you very much.
I am sure you would be interested in listening to this testimony, especially that of the American Library Association.
Dr. VAN ORMAN. Fine. I would like to conclude by expressing our appreciation for the work of the committee. I feel that the educational world is concerned and ready and able to assist the committee in this project.
I would like to file with the subcommittee bulletin No. 8 entitled "Retirement, a Second Career."
Senator MCNAMARA. We will include those in the record at this point. Will you see that the reporter gets copies of them? Thank you very much. Dr. RABE. Thank you, Senator McNamara. Senator McNAMARA. Mr. Henry Carter, president of the National Conference of Forty Plus Clubs.