Children's attitudes and classroom interaction in an intergenerational education program

Charlotte Chorn Dunham, Dominick Casadonte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

This research reports findings from an intergenerational science program, Project Serve, which placed senior volunteers in elementary and junior high science classrooms to assist teachers and augment instruction. Items from the Children's View of Aging survey (Newman, 1997; Newman & Faux, 1997) were administered before and after the project with two goals. The first goal was to determine the effect of the project on children's attitudes toward aging and the elderly. We found that even though the program was not specifically designed for attitude change, there was a significant difference in positive attitudes toward aging in the experimental group. The second goal was to see how those attitudes were related to intention to seek out older volunteers for help. We found that the most important predictors of students' intentions to ask for help from senior volunteers were specific attitudes about the adults in the classroom rather than more general attitudes toward the aged. Implications for future programs include the need to introduce the volunteer to the class before the beginning of an intergenerational project in order to let children know the volunteer's qualifications and reasons for wanting to help.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-464
Number of pages12
JournalEducational Gerontology
Volume35
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2009

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