ERIC Number: ED478947
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Reference Count: N/A
Intergenerational Learning and Social Capital. ERIC Digest.
The concept of social capital refers to the resources of networks, norms or shared values, and trust to which individuals have access as community members. A reason to consider intergenerational learning in the context of social capital is awareness of unequal access to positive social capital and the risk that social exclusion and disadvantage will result in negative social capital. Although not usually tied explicitly to a social capital framework, a frequent rationale for intergenerational programming is its effectiveness in reducing stereotypes of young and old and improving mutual understanding and trust. Attitudinal changes are a worthy goal, yet some suggest making them the primary justification and outcome of programs trivializes intergenerational interaction and ignores the larger social purpose--the learning inherent in effective intergenerational activities. Outcomes of intergenerational learning are that youth learn employability skills and the value of service, develop self-esteem, and build their stock of social capital for future life and work; elders benefit from social and mental stimulation, the opportunity to support the youth, and reduction of stereotypes about aging and dementia. Other projects demonstrate links between human capital and social capital; creation of new social networks among teachers, elders, and children; measurable impact of older adult tutors on students' reading performance, attitudes about reading, self confidence, and motivation to read. (Contains 12 references.) (YLB)
Descriptors: Adult Education, Age Differences, Attitude Change, Demonstration Programs, Educational Benefits, Employment Potential, Human Capital, Intergenerational Programs, Mixed Age Grouping, Older Adults, Self Esteem, Social Capital, Social Development, Social Networks, Socialization
For full text: http://www.ericacve.org/pubs.asp.
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education, Columbus, OH.