Intergenerational Learning in Action: A Case Study on a Pre-School in Taiwan
Abstract: Taiwan is currently faced with an aging society and at the same time having one of the lowest birth-rate in the world. Besides the decreased in the number of students due to low birth-rate, the rapidly aging population has also brought forth some serious problems. Furthermore, within an aging society, extra burden are placed on taking care of the older adults, while having lesser time to take care of the young children. With this in mind, the current study shall present the findings of an intergenerational learning class within a pre-school in Taiwan. The concept of intergenerational learning is to have both the older adults and young children learn together. A total of 10 children ages 4 and 5 learns together with 5 older adult females ages 65 to 80. Various activities are designed to promote effective interaction and learning. Semi-structured interviews with older adults and parents are accomplished. Results show that within the teaching and learning process, the older adults and young children are able to positively affect one another. The children are able to learn how to respect the older adults, while the latter are able to become actively involved in teaching, adding meaning to their everyday life.