Date of Award


Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science / Bachelor of Teaching (Honours) BSc/BTch (Hons)


Education & Science



First Advisor

Professor Lyn Adams




The present study addressed the potential for using retirees as volunteers in schools. The main advantages for using retirees in the classroom are to bring the generations together and to improve student learning.

The fastest growing segment of our population is retirees. Retired people represent a great resource because they have knowledge, experience, and time availability. Regrettably, older people generally have had little involvement in the education of young people, although volunteer retirees have much to offer schools. The use of retirees in the classroom benefits students, teachers, and the volunteer retirees.

The residents of Avondale Retirement Village were surveyed, and five of these were interviewed. The teachers of Avondale High School were surveyed, to determine their perceptions of a volunteer program for retirees. By synthesising the survey results with the literature review, a model with eight interrelated elements for utilising retirees in the school was proposed. The eight elements were: start with careful planning, which includes a needs assessment; recruit volunteers through a variety of means such as partnerships with senior citizens organizations, school outreach programs, advertisements, and asking friends; include a screening process to inform retirees of the school's expectations and match retirees to suitable tasks by giving them a choice of responsibilities; run an orientation program to introduce all of the participants in the volunteer program; conduct ongoing program evaluation to measure the success of the program and offer suggestions for future improvements; keep volunteer motivation high by providing recognition to the volunteer and by giving the volunteer appropriate tasks; have a volunteer co-ordinator who is responsible for the volunteers and the volunteer program; and offer in-service training to teachers and retirees.

It was concluded that running a volunteer program was an excellent idea, and that retirees were suitable and willing to be involved. Recommendations were made that future studies be conducted to trial this study's proposed eight-element model, to evaluate the effectiveness of a school outreach program, and to compare the quality of life of volunteering retirees and non-volunteering retirees.


Used by permission: the author

A print copy of this thesis is held in the Avondale College Library (SC Theses 371.19 C87).

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