Topic 1 Creative arts as a mean promoting intergenerational learning experiences

This video is produced by STORY COMP, a European-funded project, and underlies the significance of storytelling.

  • Stories usually create connections, as they stimulate emotions and thoughts in a way that the listener connects not only with the story, but also with the storyteller (WHO, 2022).
  • But what storytelling is?


According to the Cambridge Dictionary storytelling is the act of writing, telling or reading stories.

  • There is no doubt that storytelling fosters creativity and is “the foundation of health, peace-building and vision” (Metzger, 2010).
  • Storytelling creates the space to connect traditions in a funny, and rewarding manner. It gives space to anyone to share something that already has: the stories, the wisdom, the visual skills, or even their capacity to imagine.
  • This is the reason why storytelling is a commonly used practice of intergenerational learning.
  • Beyond the positive implications on intergenerational relationships, storytelling has been found to have a physiological impact too.
  • Studies show that storytelling not only lowers cortisol levels, a hormone caused by stress, but it also increases oxytocin levels. Oxytocin is often seen as the love hormone and has been closely linked with social bonding (Brockington et al. 2021).
  • Thus, storytelling is vital for people’s ability to connect with one another in an efficient and meaningful way. Sharing lived stories and connecting intergenerationally seem to make people resilient, empathetic, and happy, as it helps them to find meaning.

This video captures an intergenerational activity, developed as a journey, in Ireland that resulted in learning about the Irish art of storytelling, traditional sheep farming, and exploring the unique landscape of County Clare (EIL Intercultural Learning 2012).

  • Through art one can creatively and imaginatively express their lived experience. Ideas, feelings, insights are thoroughly communicated through colours, photos, movements, words and sounds.
  • Creative arts benefit :

Individuals, by enhancing physical fitness, emotional resilience, mental health and confidence. Creativity, that is emerged through creative arts, boosts curiosity and intellectual excitement, two necessary conditions for learning.

But also groups: At the collective level, creativity through creative arts helps to promote social engagement, community identity and cohesion, stimulates social growth and supports the good functioning of democratic societies (Lucas et al. 2020).

  • However, only few programs, promoting creative arts as a mean of intergenerational learning, have already been developed, and their necessity should be shifted toward adult educators who will apply those methodologies in the field.

This video captures a 3-month project between residents at Extendicare Lakefield and families from the home-schooling community, which promoted intergenerational creation, learning and playing, through puppetry.

  LATA 65 is an initiative developed by WOOL – Covilhã Urban Art in partnership with Cowork Lisboa. When local artists realized how easily urban arts reached elder residents in local performance areas decided to involve them in cooperation activities, most unusual for them. Since then, LATA 65 has been growing and reaches groups of older people in different cities and countries.