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This research acknowledges the ability of children to be active in their own learning and could promote opportunities for life-long and life-wide learning by offering school-based Intergenerational Learning Programmes. The main aim of this study was to develop a pilot intergenerational lesson with children, aged 10 to 12 years old, to enable the educational transfer of knowledge and skills from children to their grandparents or other older people in a school setting. Using the Irish Primary School‘s SPHE Curriculum as a source, the project-based research was informed, firstly, by the theories of Piaget, Vygotsky and Rogoff, and secondly, by the perspectives of the co-researchers through the use of interpretive methodology. The primary intention was to enable the children to have their voices heard, learn new skills and benefit from the confidence the process could offer them by their active participation in Educational Action Research. A mixed-method approach was employed with qualitative data, obtained from focus groups, and quantitative data collection, facilitated by a web-based questionnaire to allow for transferability.
The researcher posits that this study has contributed to the enhancement of skills and self-esteem of the co-researchers, as evidenced by the information obtained from the assessment of learning and project evaluation, undertaken by the children. The findings of this study indicate that there is support among children, grandparents and other older people for the development of an IG pilot lesson from a child‘s perspective and agency. This project-based initiative has developed a process, which unlike many IG projects to date, has significant involvement of children and has focused on active learning in the context of relationships.
The pilot lesson and website are currently a work in progress and will benefit from the on-going process of Educational Action Research. Any suggestions which enhance the skills and self-esteem of children and contribute to opportunities for life-long learning for older people are welcome through the designated pilot website www.handshakeie.weebly.com.
King, Ken (2013) Study of the Potential of Educational Transfer from Grandchild to Grandparent, from the Child‟s Perspective and Agency, in a School Environment. Masters Dissertation, Dublin Institute of Technology.