A relational approach to intergenerational learning
Dr. Barbara Baschiera
PhD in Cognitive and Educational Sciences
University Ca’ Foscari of Venice
A relational approach to intergenerational learning
and co-construction of knowledge
Position of the problem
Nowadays cultural and scientific horizon considers
learning during lifespan, in any age, condition and
essential objective for every society wanting to face
new development paths, the scenario where placing
the research on educative value of the learning society,
the guide principle of change and innovation policies.
have a potential
in the education
of children and adolescents
as caregivers and educators
Technology has transformed a
static society into a dynamic one,
marginalizing old people
Which kind of tools and methodologies should be used to build an on line
intergenerational learning environment where both generations could be comanagers of communication and learning?
Which digital contents should be created to stimulate intergenerational
dialog taking into account all involved participants?
By this project we want to experiment an intergenerational relationship
accomplished by adopting narration and autobiography on blog as an
hermeneutical, epistemic and relational approach.
Through intergenerational learning, is possible to:
•a) facilitate participation of senior citizens to lifelong learning programmes
•b) decrease digital divide problems
•c) improve the role of young people as active citizens
•d) strengthen relational competences among different ages
•e) spread knowledge among adults and young people through non-formal
Teenagers (10/11 years old) - twenty
1)Young people has been involved as autobiographers to collect the life
stories of older people.
This opportunity for social inclusion of people even more fragile and
vulnerable and for the creation and strengthening of local relationships.
2) Some of the elderly has been involved as grandparent of the heart to tell
stories to younger children.
3) Some focused on maintaining contact with young people known via blog;
3) Some attended laboratories of expressive activities together with young
children, in a logic of learning and meeting together;
4) Some were involved in teaching young children manual abilities and
Why is blogging relevant to intergenerational
" I think blogging is... ...a genre that may have great value in terms of
developing all sorts of critical thinking skills and writing skills. Blogging
offers adolescents and seniors a chance to reflect on what they are
writing and thinking as they write and think it; engage readers and
audience in a sustained conversation that then leads to further writing
and thinking and synthesize disparate learning experiences and
understand their collective relationship and relevance. This just seems to
me to be closer to the way we learn outside of school, and I see those
things sorely lacking anywhere in traditional education." (Richardson
Public visibility of blogs and the facility for visitors to leave comments
means that blogs provide the opportunity for contacts to be made,
discussions to be struck up and over time communities to form.
The fact that both adolescents and seniors can author blogs as equals,
means that they can be co-constructor of knowledge
Why adopt narration and autobiography as an
hermeneutical, epistemic and relational approach?
It is very important that adolescents and seniors write and narrate more
and more about theirselves to understand the role of the writing in their
lives: it will help them really every time during their subsequent stage of
life, for resolving with success problems and for passing beyond crises.
Both adolescent and seniors can increase their reflexive comprehension
of the life and its problems, its painful or snaps events.
So, the autobiography is a very initiation and development manner of the
personal and interpersonal forming; it’s a well constructed testimony
about the individual growing; it’s an opportunity for planning and testing
experiences and adventures.
Time and space
Once a week for two years
School, senior’s centres, blogs…
The frequency and intensity of relations between the two generations have
been analyzed using quantitative and qualitative analysis.
To verify the formative impact of actions, a post test has been
administered to all those involved and data have been compared with that
of the initial test.
In the long term, we'll seek to understand whether and how the activities
have an impact on self-sufficient and not elderly people.
Types of evidence:
Audio/video records realized between the elderly and the children
The blog posts
The Learning Map
Results/products of the session:
The participation of senior citizens to social life and lifelong
learning programmes, defining new approaches to involved them
and overcome barriers of adults learning, has been facilitated.
The role of young people as active citizens and leading actors in
their educational paths has been improved.
Relational competences among subjects of different ages have
knowledge, e-skills and attitudes among adults and young people
through non-formal learning environments have been spread;
Digital competences, in order to develop the confident and
critical use of ICT, have been disseminated.
And now a brief video
The social integration across generation where the elderly are not
just seen as a negative cost but also a positive asset is the new
way of thinking able to face the challenges of our age.
Intergenerational learning can deliver experiences and memories,
new skills and attitudes, creating new relational resources able to
develop a higher civic sense and a common sense of belonging.
I suggest everybody to do this experience, training both the
generation to adopt narration and autobiography as a relational
approach to intergenerational learning.