Intergenerational learning occurs everywhere and learning really is all around us.
Most people think about learning as starting in Kindergarten and ending in High School, University or at Trade School. It really is time for learning to be recognised as lifelong, lifewide and lifedeep. Learning occurs formally and informally, and continues for our entire lifetime.
We learn organically, from the people around us and our daily experiences in life. When you open your eyes and actively look for instances of lifelong and lifewide learning, you can see it happening everywhere. Intergenerational learning is one of the most overlooked and undervalued methods of learning, yet, it occurs all the time in our own lives.
My husband was in desperate need of a new mobile phone as his was just so outdated and the reception was really bad. He is not one to embrace new technology and tends to hold onto things like phones and laptops once he has them. Finally, I had had enough, and bought him a new Pixel 2 mobile phone. Well, though he was excited, it is new and an Android and he really didn’t know how to use it.
While out for dinner our 22 year old son, my husband was keen to show his new toy. It was interesting to sit back and watch the situation evolve. Our son took great pleasure in showing his father all the different features and how to use his phone, and doing so with great patience and some humour. Who better to learn about new technology than from a young adult who has grown up with a phone in his hand – a great example of lifelong learning.
Another example also showed itself recently.
Our son-in-law recently built a deck at the back of his house with no building skills at all. He and our daughter have become friends with a retired man down the road, who was a carpenter. Over a number of weekends, the older gentleman would visit and explain and demonstrate, each step of the processes involved in building the deck and my son-in-law then did the actual work.
It was great company for the neighbour, he felt useful and was able to share his knowledge – another example of intergenerational and lifelong learning.
Think about who you have talked to recently and the information or conversations you have shared.
If you look around there are examples of life-long learning happening everywhere.
Please share your own experiences of intergenerational learning by commenting below or submitting via the feedback box on the homepage.