Intergenerational Community Learning



Year of publication 2014
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description The paper is a sequel to an earlier project whose results were presented at previous ECER conferences (Helsinki, Berlin) which dealt with intergenerational learning in the family. This follow-up four-year project called INTERGENERATIONAL LEARNING ACROSS SOCIAL ENVIRONMENTS focuses, besides workplace and school learning also on intergenerational community learning. Our two theoretical starting points are the concept of lifelong learning and the concept of intergenerational learning, the latter of which is understood by us as "a process aiming to bring people together through purposeful, mutually beneficial activities supporting greater understanding and respect between generations which can help build community coherence" (Fischer, 2008, p. 8). It is the very environment of communities and community education, i.e. activities involving primarily various intergenerational programmes, that creates scope for non-formal and informal learning and in which people across the age continuum engage where we focus our research attention. We have categorized various community activities and arrived at three types of approaches reflecting the various themes of intergenerational programmes. The first – cultural – one focuses on diverse shared artistic and musical activities, arts workshops and learning about art through having fun. They are mainly offered by a range of cultural institutions. The second focus is social and supportive, aiming at seniors and their integration, and at families and supporting them in childcare and education. The third focus is an educational one. It includes courses such as IT fundamentals for senior people taught by students from the higher level of basic school ("Internet Connecting Generations"). As far as target groups are concerned, there are also three types of intergenerational programmes, each with a specific role of the active generation.
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