Lifelong Education for Aging Productively (LEAP) in Singapore
Title: Lifelong Education for Aging Productively (LEAP) in Singapore
Funded by: Ministry of Education (MOE) Academic Research Fund (AcRF) Tier 2
PI: A/P Feng Qiushi, Department of Sociology and CFPR Deputy Director, NUS
Co-PIs: Prof Wei-Jun Jean Yeung, Provost's Chair Professor, Sociology Department, NUS, A/P Liu Haoming, Economics Department, NUS and Assistant Prof Feng Lei, Psychological Medicine Department, NUS
Collaborator(s): Dr. Teck Kiang Tan, Research Fellow, the NUS Institute for Applied Learning Sciences & Educational Technology (ALSET)
Project duration: Aug 2020 to July 2023
The rapid population aging in Singapore calls for innovative solutions to enhance the human capital of a population to ensure the nation’s economic growth and social development. This project aims to illustrate the potential of a developmental strategy for the greying Singapore that concentrates on the promotion of productive aging through encouraging lifelong learning, social participation, and economic activeness among older adults. The project will be managed centrally by the NUS Centre for Family and Population Research (CFPR) in collaboration with the NUS Institute for Applied Learning Sciences & Educational Technology (ALSET).
Productive aging is a theoretically-innovative and policy-implicative notion for Singapore. Different from the traditional paradigms of aging research, such as healthy, active and successful aging, productive aging represents a nascent direction, which emphasises engagement in productive activities in later years. These activities include paid working, care giving, and volunteering etc., among which learning and skill development are essential components. By highlighting the contributing roles of older adults to family, community, and society, productive aging goes beyond the ego-centred perspectives of the other aging models with a clear emphasis on the mutual-beneficial relationship among the aged and the society.
Our multidisciplinary team has recently published a series of papers in a high-impact international journal, which examined productive aging in a number of Asian societies, and developed an ecological and life-course framework to study this important matter. Now we aim to investigate the practice of productive aging amongst Singapore older adults particularly through the lifelong learning and skill development, identify factors and interventions that enable and enhance their ability to continue to be productive members of family, community and society, and examine how the recent changes of aging policies caused changes in lifelong learning and productive engagement. In this project, we will pay particular attention to those who have to maintain economic activities in old ages due to inadequate financial resources.