Learning with Older Adults through Intergenerational Service Learning in Physical Education Teacher Education
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AuthorRuiz-Montero, Pedro Jesús; Chiva-Bartoll, Óscar; Salvador García, Celina; González García, Cristian
Service-learningPhysical education teacher educationOlder adultsInitial teacher training
Ruiz-Montero, P. J., Chiva-Bartoll, O., Salvador-García, C., & González-García, C. (2020). Learning with Older Adults through Intergenerational Service Learning in Physical Education Teacher Education. Sustainability, 12(3), 1127.
SponsorshipThis research was funded by (1) UJI- A2019-01”, (2) University of Granada, Plan FIDO 2018, Quality and Innovation Unit, project nº572, and (3), Scholarship to CGG, Initiation in Research by Vice-Rector´s O ce for Scientific Policy and Research, UGR.
(1) Background: The population of older adults is growing faster but most of them experience physical, psychological, and social limitations. Higher education should reflect these concerns by providing students appropriate skills to support a sustainable society and putting the acquired theoretical knowledge into practice. Intergenerational Service Learning (SL) is an educational approach capable of contributing to these requirements. The goal of the study was to analyze the effects of an intergenerational SL program from the complementary perspective of the different agents involved. (2) Methods: The study used hermeneutic phenomenological methodology, widely used in educational research. A total of 23 (three female) Physical Education Teacher Education students (PETEs) and 20 older adults (three male) participated. Reflective journals were used for PETEs and semi-structured group interviews for older adults. (3) Results: The following categories emerged from PETEs: social sensitivity and disconfirmation of negative stereotypes, academic and professional learnings, satisfaction and personal growth, and desire for social justice. From older adults, four complementary categories emerged: disconfirmation of negative stereotypes, improvement of physical function, satisfaction and desire of continuity, and social interaction. (4) Conclusions: Intergenerational SL offers important social and educational inputs by deconstructing negative stereotypes and providing positive experiences to both PETEs and older adults.