Intergenerational Learning: What If Schools Were Places Where Adults and Children Learned TogetherReport as inadecuate

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This paper examines the definition and practice of intergenerational learning programs, and attempts to determine the characteristics of successful and meaningful programs of this type. The first section defines intergenerational learning and states its purpose: to bring young and old together for the purpose of learning from one another, under the assumption that the learning process never ends. The second section discusses the justifications of intergenerational learning by examining studies and existing programs. The third section examines service learning and apprenticeships as intergenerational learning models. The fourth section describes the characteristics of successful intergenerational programs and classifies them as curriculum-based, relationship-based, reciprocal relations, community-based, and authentic work. The fifth section describes the successful program processes of reflection and realistic goal setting. The sixth section examines the planning process and its importance to successful programs. The seventh section presents the report's conclusions--that intergenerational programs can be both academic and communal, intellectual and personal, and that although intergenerational learning as an end in itself will not teach as much as conventional methods, it can teach all involved that learning and development should be viewed as a constant, life-long priority. Contains 51 references. (SD)

Descriptors: Age Differences, Age Groups, Apprenticeships, Children, Community Programs, Community Services, Cooperative Learning, Educational Strategies, Elementary Secondary Education, Experiential Learning, Intergenerational Programs, Learning Activities, Mixed Age Grouping, Older Adults, Program Development, School Community Programs, Service Learning, Student Development

Author: Loewen, Jerry


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