“We do not learn from experience … we learn from reflecting on experience.”
– John Dewey –
Two approaches that may prove useful for art-based activities may be design thinking process and visual thinking strategies.
DESIGN THINKING PROCESS:
Originating as a business strategy to increase Problem Solving skills, it can be a useful technique to design together with participants the best path to develop intergenerational learning activities. It can also be very helpful in promoting creative thinking, divergent thinking and teamwork. The model proposed by Stanford’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design involves five stages: 1-Empathize: research your users’ needs; 2-Define: state your users’ needs and problems; 3-Ideate: challenge assumptions and create ideas; 4-Prototype: start to create solutions; 5-Test: try your solutions out.
VISUAL THINKING STRATEGIES:
Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) is a learning method developed in the United States since the 1980s.
This system consists of a group discussion led by a facilitator about a work of art. A process that is activated by three basic questions: “What is happening in this image?; What are the visual elements that can prove it?; What else can we see?”.
From this reasoning, a form of learning can, therefore, be triggered that is useful for the development of certain specific skills such as critical thinking (resulting in the overcoming of prejudices) and the ability to work in teams.
EXAMPLE OF SIMPLE ART-BASED ACTIVITY:
This is a simple activity in which participants sketch scenes of activities involving some sort of interaction between people of different age groups. Participants will think “intergenerationally” and reveal their experience and imagination on paper.