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A qualitative case study of senior centre planning practice : toward an integrated view of program planning

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Title: A qualitative case study of senior centre planning practice : toward an integrated view of program planning
Author: Hewson, Jennifer Ann Warren
Degree Doctor of Philosophy - PhD
Program Educational Studies
Copyright Date: 1998
Subject Keywords Older people -- Recreation -- Planning; Older people -- Societies and clubs
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to generate an understanding of the process of program planning in a senior centre. Of particular interest was the extent to which technical, contextual, and social-political dimensions of planning were represented in the planning practice of programmers. Indepth interviews were conducted with four programmers who were responsible for planning programs at one Lower Mainland, British Columbia senior centre from April 1996 to April 1997. Observations of programming meetings and documents pertaining to program planning supplemented interview data. This exploration revealed that all three dimensions of planning were evident in the programmers' practice. When planning programs, the programmers completed four technical stages: generating ideas, selecting ideas, developing programs, and organizing details. Daily planning activities revolved around these stages and their related tasks. The way in which programs were developed at this centre was also a highly contextualized process. The programmers were influenced by a variety of contextual factors internal and external to the centre which shaped the structure, process, timing, and organization of planning as well as the selection and development of programs. When examining planning as a social-political process of negotiation, it was evident that planning practice was characterized by power relationships, interests, and negotiation. While negotiating interests was one form of action in which the planners engaged, it was not the dominant form of planning activity. Planning practice at this centre was best depicted as a highly contextualized technical process which entailed information gathering, criteria-based decision making, negotiating interests, and recording program details. The way in which planning occurred at this centre implies that technical, contextual, and social-political dimensions are interrelated and that the interplay between the technical and social-political dimensions is influenced by contextual factors. While much of the planning literature has focused on a single dimension, this exploration of practice suggests that an integrated way of thinking about planning is needed which acknowledges varying degrees to which technical, contextual, and social-political dimensions may be emphasized depending on the planning environment.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/9481
Series/Report no. UBC Retrospective Theses Digitization Project [http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/retro_theses/]

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