Citation Mannion G (2016) Intergenerational Education and Learning: We Are In A New Place. In: Punch S, Vanderbeck R, Skelton T (ed.). Family, Intergenerationality and Peer-Group Relations. Geographies of Children and Young People, 5, London: Springer, pp. 1-21.
Abstract This chapter reviews and synthesizes contemporary theorizations and empirical research on intergenerational education and learning. Fast-changing contexts (such as aging populations, migration, and environmental crises), international policy, and interdisciplinary research all suggest intergenerational education is in a new and exciting “ place.” At the center of much of the contemporary literature is the idea that contact between generations can and does lead to intergenerational learning for participants. However, this review suggests three emerging and necessary orientations for theory, policy, and practice in support of intergenerational education and learning: (1) the need to shift from looking at program inputs and outputs in a unigenerational manner toward an appreciation of how the processes of intergenerational learning and practice are relationally and reciprocally experienced and impactful across generations; (2) the need to shift from looking at intergenerational learning within families to harnessing the untapped potential for extra-familial places of intergenerational encounters as contexts of learning; and (3) the need to widen the purposes of intergenerational programs: these will include improved relations between the generations but should also include improved ecosocial wellbeing. Taken together, these three shifts are suggestive of a need for a place-responsive understanding of intergenerational education and learning.