Alison Brown


This study aimed to assess if a module on an undergraduate degree programme had challenged students’ perspectives on ageing and older adults.  Courses on gerontology are on the increase within the UK to support increasingly ageing populations, with agendas to promote ethical care and to challenge the incidence of elderly abuse.  Research consistently reports society’s often negative attitudes towards older people, with this in mind a module on a gerontology programme at a North West of England University focused on developing a range of activities whereby students enrolled on the programme would be able to challenge their existing attitudes towards older adults.  Interviews were undertaken with 3 students to explore if attitude change had occurred within a framework of social psychological definitions of attitudes and transformative learning.  3 main themes emerged from the interviews, these were: 1. The relationship between beliefs on the development of attitudes, 2.  Attitude change challenging morality and 3. Transformation and motivation to act.  One of the student’s sharing also led to the creation of an attitude time-line which plotted the students changing attitudes over time.  The findings of the study have informed future teaching practice and may support methods that support critical reflection and transformative attitude change in other disciplines within higher education.