Independent and creative: Learning from Finnish retirement and art activities for the future of Southeast Asia’s retirement

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
Degree programme
Nordic Visual Studies and Art Education
58 + 9
This thesis investigates how art activities help Finnish retirees cope through their transitional period and retirement. The concept of lifelong learning and education as human rights has been an important factor why non-formal educational centers are available for adults in Finland. This concept was explored thoroughly in the study. The findings on the main question is followed by a subsequent question of what the future retirees in Southeast Asian countries could learn from Finnish retirees’ experience with art learning. The research extends to dwell on the issues and the situation regarding retirement and aging in Southeast Asia. This is an important matter to look into as Southeast Asia has the higher projection of senior booming in the future. The study utilized the interview method that was conducted in four Finnish retirees. This method allows a better understanding of the power of art from a personal point of view. Data was formulated by using personal experiences from the retirees by investigating their life aspects: life background, personal experience during the transitional time on retirement, experiences in art class and Finnish way of retiring. Thematic analysis method was used to analyze data to understand the patterns and themes used for answering the research questions. By combining interview data and literature review, it is concluded that the formulating traits that make Finnish retirement good are: independency and autonomy of life, adult art education center, and society’s support for promoting active life and lifelong learning. There is finding evidence that in learning arts, some people can learn values and new purpose in life. The dissertation proposes that the future of the retirement phase in Southeast Asia is Finnish’s Adult Education Center. The use of this model has a greater chance to be adapted in the region provided that society’s awareness of lifelong learning as human rights should be improved and promoted.
Tavin, Kevin
Thesis advisor
Kallio-Tavin, Mira
retirement, adult education centers, lifelong learning, aging Asia, interview, Southeast Asia