02 SES 11 C, Educational Leave, Intergenerational Learning and Social Capital
Parallel Paper Session
The European Union’s (EU) population structure is becoming increasingly older. An increase in life expectancy across the EU during the last century led to an increased longevity. In addition, the EU has experienced falling fertility rates since the 1970s. (cf. EU 2011: 7). These demographic changes will lead to significant challenges for European societies, families and individuals. For example, all aging populations have to face challenges of ensuring participation of older people in society and encouraging dialogues between older and younger generations. According to these developments and challenges, the EU has designated the year 2012 as the “European year of active Aging and intergenerational solidarity”.
Due to these developments, intergenerational programmes have been developed in institutionalised teaching and learning contexts like schools (cf. MacBain 1996; Marquard et al. 2008) and adult education (cf. Franz 2010, Franz et al. 2009). Additionally, programmes have been conceptualised in the context of community building concepts (cf. Cumming-Potvin/MacCallum 2010) and service learning programmes (cf. Zucchero 2008, 2010). This growing field of intergenerational practice might contribute towards promoting processes of active aging and the development of intergenerational solidarity. In the current situation there is little research on the influence of intergenerational programmes to these processes. From the existing research concerning intergenerational programmes it is known, that
- participation in intergenerational programmes leads to an alternation of attitudes and a decrease of stereotypes towards the other generation (cf. Gorelik et al. 2001; Knapp et al 2000; Martin et al. 2010 ),
- these alternations are dependent on professional pedagogical facilitators of intergenerational learning programmes (cf. Walsh Piercy 2010), and
- that different types of intergenerational learning arrangements meet the needs of different intergenerational groups as participants (cf. Franz 2010).
Currently it is uncertain, how intergenerational programmes contribute on active aging processes and the development of intergenerational solidarity. Against that background, the presentation will follow the research question what kind of impacts older participants describe concerning their participation in intergenerational learning programmes. Therefore, an empirical data base from a completed research study will be reanalysed (see methodology). The descriptions of the older participant will be interpreted and discussed by using two different theoretical frameworks. On the one hand, the results will be interpreted against the background of interdisciplinary theories of aging (cf. Bengt et al. 2009). On the other hand, the results will be discussed by using theoretical concepts of intergenerational ambivalence (Luscher 2011) to reflect the participants' comments on intergenerational solidarity.
Vern L. Bengtson, V. L./Gans, D./Putney,N./Silverstein, M. (ed.) (2009): Handbook of Theories of Aging, Second Edition. New York Cumming-Potvin, W. M./MacCallum, J. A. (2010): Intergenerational Practice; Mentoring snd Social Capital for Twenty-First Century Communities of Practice. In: McGill Journal of Education, Volume 45, No. 2, p. 305-324. EU – European Union (2011): Active ageing and solidarity between generations 2012 edition. A statistical portrait of the European Union 2012. Gorelik, Y./Damron-Rodriguez, J./Funderburk, B./Solomon, D. H. (2000): Undergraduate Interest in Aging: Is it Affected by Contact with Older Adults? In: Educational Gerontology. An international Journal, Volume 26, No.7, p. 623-638. Knapp, J. L./Stubblefield, P.J.D. (2000): Changing Students´Perceptions of Aging: The Impact of an intergenerational Service Learning Course. In: Educational Gerontology. An international Journal, Volume 26, No.7, p. 611-623. Lüscher, K. (2011): Ambivalence: A “Sensitizing Construct” for the Study and Practice of Intergenerational Relationships. In: Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, No. 9, p. 191–206. MacBain, D. E. (1996): Intergenerational Education Programs. Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation. Indiana: Bloomington Marquard, M./Schabacker-Bock, M./Stadelhofer, C. (2008): Alt und Jung im Lernaustausch. Eine Arbeitshilfe für intergenerationelle Lernprojekte, Weinheim/München: Juventa. Martin, K./Springate, I./Atkinson M. (2010): Intergenerational Practice: Outcomes and Effectivness (LGA Research report) Slough NFER. Mayring, P. (2000). Qualitative Content Analysis [28 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 1(2), Art. 20, http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0002204. Walsh Piercy, K. (2010): The Complement of Research and Theory in Practice: Contact Theory in Nonfamilial Intergenerational Programs. In: The Gerontologist, Volume 51, No 1, p. 112-121. Zucchero, R. A. (2010): A Co-mentoring ProjectAn Intergenerational Service-Learning Experiences. In: Educational Gerontology, Jahrgang 37, Volume 8, p. 687-702. Zucchero, R. A. (2008): The Co-mentoring Project: Overview and Outcomes. In: InSight: A Journal of Scholary Teaching. Volume 3, p. 47-57.
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