Transformative learning in midlife: a study of the transformative learning of Hong Kong men taking up long distance running in midlife

Wong, Po Ki Joseph (2015) Transformative learning in midlife: a study of the transformative learning of Hong Kong men taking up long distance running in midlife. EdD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Long distance running has become increasingly popular in Hong Kong and some middle-aged men take up running in midlife. This research studies the transformative learning that occurs when they practise long distance running in midlife and how it contributes to midlife transition.

At the beginning of the study, four hypotheses were developed based on researcher’s observations and literature review. Thirteen middle-aged Hong Kong male runners were then interviewed in a semi-structured way. Thirty-four themes were identified from the data and analysed. The hypotheses were evaluated and arguments of this thesis were then developed.

It is then found that long distance running mirrors some real life situations of middle-aged men, triggers transformative learning, and provides the setting for them to reflect on and practise the transformed beliefs and values. When running and the associated transformation address the initial concerns of the middle-aged men, and they are able to resolve difficulties in running with proper methods and find ways to enjoy running, long distance running becomes part of their lives. Long distance running is then a high leverage activity which addresses other midlife concerns and contributes to other life aspects and midlife transition. Moreover, those who were good at sports as teenagers and did not exercise regularly in mid-adulthood are found to benefit more easily from taking up long distance running in midlife.

This study extends the application of transformative learning theory to understand and facilitate midlife transition and shows that a single routine activity, like long distance running, can be a multi-function activity in the transformative learning process and a high leverage activity for midlife transition that contributes to multiple life aspects.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (EdD)
Supervisors: Holford, J.
Keywords: Long-distance running, China, Hong Kong, transformative learning, Middle-aged persons, conduct of life
Subjects: L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC1001 Types of education, including humanistic, vocational, professional
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Education
Item ID: 30602
Depositing User: Wong, Po
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 13:13
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2016 15:27

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