Intergenerational learning (IGL) is a form of informal learning, which is related to questions of cultural and local identity, socialization and social cohesion. The massive aging of European citizens and immigration have altogether created an increasing need for improving ways of sharing cultural and occupational tacit knowledge.
According to ENIL, active and planned measures for enhancing intergenerational learning as a resource are needed outside the natural familial context of intergenerational learning. For example in non-governmental organizations and non-formal learning environments. This creates the context for our project. Our primary target groups are teachers, facilitators and instructors in the field of liberal and non-formal adult education.
The transnational level is needed for creating a relevant knowledge base for our more precise aspect, exploring intergenerational learning within diverse groups representing cultural and linguistic minorities as well as majority population of particular country. Here minority is defined as an irregular group of citizens representing non-dominant cultural and linguistic practices. The reasoning of this minority/majority point of view is in our objective to study intergenerational learning in its actual real-life context, by working with intergenerational pilot groups in different countries.
Pilot groups are working as a platform for investigating the different processes of IGL, providing up-to-date information on diverse experiences and testing methods. The emphasis of the project’s study is to find similarities among minorities and majorities and the enrichening potential between people, instead of differences. Essential concept is identity – how can intergenerational learning be used as an active resource for individuals in the process of creating meanings and identity? Can common European values be identified and transferred within intergenerational learning? How citizen competences can be built by intergenerational interaction and learning?
More essential than strict separation from the majorities are the subjective and sociocultural experiences of minorities, because the project is based on enhancing social cohesion. Social cohesion is seen here, according to OECD, as a larger societal objective, where social inclusion is one of three key values beside social capital and social mobility. Trust between citizens is the key element in social cohesion. Intergenerational learning functions here as a tool of creating trust. It is expanding ways of seeing the world and other, unknown people, and plaiting together generations’ experiences of life and especially the common future. Important in intergenerational learning is also to increase generational awareness, and at best, learning can develop into intergenerational creativity.
Behind the project’s objectives are also questions the project is looking answers for. What is the meaning of IGL as a constructor of identity, agency and culture, and supporting social cohesion and trust? How is it similar within majority and minority groups? What motivates people to engage in intergenerational learning? What are the key criteria for effective intergenerational learning to transfer in national policy? The hypothesis is, that learning in intergenerational context can promote cultural and values’ exchange, and enhance social cohesion between generations.
The project’s objectives and the practical actions to meet them are described here. Furthermore, the mentioned practical actions lead to producing the Intellectual Outputs.
- Enhancing the importance of intergenerational activity in learning, education and society
- Producing and gathering up-to-date data about the role of IGL in different countries in pilots
- Communicating externally about the project effectively
- Establish opportunities for intergenerational learning in order to support social cohesion
- Creating concrete preconditions and possibilities for local IGL in pilot
- Studying intergenerational learning in different sociocultural contexts in pilots and in intergenerational centers
- Creating an applicable model of an intergenerational center by observation and local researchSharing information and methods for everyone working in the field of adult educationThe project’s objectives and the practical actions to meet them are described here. Furthermore, the mentioned practical actions lead to producing the Intellectual Outputs.
- Training teachers, facilitators and educators to identify and use IGL as a resource in education
- Creating competences for mentioned target groups as a concrete course
- Producing and sharing know-how and methods used in the project.