Intergenerational learning: An evaluation of an emerging pedagogy
Corrigan, Trudy (2012) Intergenerational learning: An evaluation of an emerging pedagogy. Doctor of Education thesis, Dublin City University.
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The DCU Intergenerational Learning Project (DCU ILP) began in 2008, as an emerging pedagogy that facilitates knowledge transfer and understanding between generations. Yet, to date little in-depth research has been undertaken evaluating the specific needs or contextualizing the benefits of lifelong learning for senior people in Ireland. In particular, no in-depth research has been undertaken evaluating the needs of senior people in the broader teaching, learning and research opportunities at third level. There was also a notable lack of a coherent theoretical framework.
Intergenerational Learning initiatives are often perceived as peripheral to any substantial learning in Higher Education. This overlooks the potential engagement of senior and younger learners together in an intergenerational learning context. The tacit knowledge, expertise, wisdom and lived experiences of senior people is rarely transferred or handed down to third level students.
The aim of this project is to address this issue by employing an innovative approach by using both third level and older learners who adapt the dual and equitable role of both tutors and students together. This aim was achieved by 1) researching the benefits of intergenerational learning as part of third level teaching, learning and research; by investigating the benefits of mentoring skills; and the benefits of having access to the lived experience and perspectives of older people. And 2) by the development of a framework, to place intergenerational learning in the context of relevant political and educational theories; and by evaluating the benefits of Intergenerational Learning as an emerging pedagogy at third level.
The objective of this project was to create a teaching, learning and research ‘space’ where senior students had the opportunity to meet with and learn from Dublin City University (DCU) students. The vision for this ‘space’ was to appreciate and value the transfer of knowledge, creativity, wisdom, expertise and insight between senior and DCU students.
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