Topic 1 Bringing different generations together in learning activities

The exchange of knowledge and skills between people of different ages is not new. But bringing different generations together in successful learning activities, the following aspects need to be considered:

  • whether the activity really helps to break down barriers between generations.
  • motivations of the groups involved; older people are willing to pass on skills and knowledge, yet do the young people are ready to receive that knowledge?
  • how can young people be motivated to learn from the older generation? How can they be convinced that knowledge could be used for their own benefit and benefit of the community?
  • be sensitive to people’s backgrounds and prior experiences and perceptions
  • what would be the outcome of the programme? Is it beneficial to all generations that participate?
  • the content and settings should be appealing to both older and younger participants. Having knowledge about participants will give a better idea of what they will be happy to take part in.
  • intergenerational learning tends to work best outside traditional classrooms and group-based learning. The learning location should be comfortable for all groups involved.
  • flexibility is extremely important throughout the activities. If an activity becomes too challenging or causes boredom among participants, changes should be made during the activity to increase positive engagement.
  • how to evaluate the success of the intergenerational learning programme/activities? Evaluating the programme also provides an opportunity to identify challenges to intergenerational learning, and helps in planning future programmes.
  • how to celebrate success and the new relationships and how to sustain the relationships?

Video: Intergenerational learning programmes