Aging Literacies:
Training and Development Challenges for Faculty

Angela Crow

Not Old Farts: Erasing Stereotypes

Stereotyping, and how it might affect success in a faculty workshop environment, is the scope of Chapter 3. After considering the literature on “youth-centered denial strategies” of aging in Western cultures (p. 49), Crow reflects on the need to know the results of training situations wherein trainees are treated like novices and conversely those in which they are respected as experts, regardless of their level of new literacy knowledge or the trainers’ own aging status. Crow’s focus resides within the larger setting of workplace attitudes, and in a section on “research that suggests solutions” she delivers a number of insights concerning acceptance of and departure from “the identity category of ‘old’” (p. 57), which she opines may be connected with an individual’s self-esteem. The chapter culminates in a lively segment on “navigating mortality.” Among the points made here are that in a training and development environment planners should aim to create circumstances where individuals are connected to others; participants who feel pressured to learn but simultaneously inept at new technologies are less likely to succeed; and rather than placing faculty in a position of having to discard literacies that they value, new literacies ought not to be experienced as “destabilizing our worldviews” (p. 60). To conclude Crow calls for research on “positive priming [that] may be useful for shaping learning situations” (p. 60).