Primary school pupils interview older people about the history of war in their neighbourhood

TOY publication: how intergenerational learning projects can preserve and transform cultural heritage

April 20, 2018 |

This week we welcomed with pride the publication of the chapter ‘Intergenerational Learning: A Tool for Building and Transforming Cultural Heritage’ that the TOY team Margaret, Giulia and Jessica wrote for the Oxford Handbook of Public Heritage Theory and Practice.

Normally we associate the term ‘public heritage’ with architecture, archeology and museums, however it is now an interdisciplinary field where humanities and social sciences converge. In this book the editors speak about “public heritage” as a way of bringing together these emerging interconnected practices.

The last section of the book – Heritage, Memory and Well-being – challanges the familiar slogans and often empty clichés about the value of cultural heritage to the individual and to society. New insights into the influence of cultural heritage on society have been recently provided by advances in behavioral psychology, collective memory, and intergenerational learning. And it is in this framework that our TOY team explains the benefits of intergenerational learning about heritage, for both the elderly and the young.

In their chapter they discuss the benefits of intergenerational learning projects for both individuals and communities, as well as the ability of such projects to foster social integration and acceptance in diverse communities. Creating possibilities for older adults and young children to learn together and benefit from each others’ company, is not only a tool to bring together different generational groups, but it can create bridges between members of different communities and cultures. It can, in the end, function as a tool for cross-cultural communication. The chapter makes a strong case for the integration of intergenerational learning projects within societies – especially migrant communities – to preserve and transform cultural heritage and build intercultural communities, for the benefit of all.

Image by Aoi Care 

Reading with Mr. Bob!

March 12, 2018 | Jennifer Nolan

Before arrivals even begin, the children who participate in early day activities are abuzz, knowing that today is Wednesday and Wednesday means Mr. Bob is coming. Mr. Bob, or Robert Kleinfelder is one of number of older adults from the local retirement community who are senior volunteers in Seton Montessori School, Illinois, United States. Read Head of School, Jennifer Nolan’s blog about the experience here. >> Read more

Sustainable Skills Cafés: Older residents demonstrate traditional skills to young children

February 28, 2018 | Diane Boyd

Diane Boyd, Senior Lecturer in Early Years at Liverpool John Moore’s University has been an advocate for education for sustainability in early childhood for many years.  In this blog post she describes an exciting new initiative she has started in Liverpool –intergenerational Sustainable Skills Cafés.  >> Read more

Japanese Delegation visit Innovative Italian Intergenerational Learning Summer Camp

January 29, 2018 | Silvia Porta

La Crèche in Merate, Italy have been running their intergenerational summer camp since the beginning of the TOY Project. News of this innovative Intergenerational Learning (IGL) initiative has spread far afield. Recently, they hosted a delegation from Japan. Silvia Porta, from La Crèche, writes about the experience in this blog. >> Read more

Primary school pupils interview older people about the history of war in their neighbourhood

January 9, 2018 | Minka Bos

Getting to know someone’s personal experience of an historical event by meeting them can be a richer learning experience than reading about the event in a book.  >> Read more