"I Don't Want to Be A Cute, Little, Old Lady!"
A Phenomenological Analysis of the Experience of Older Female Faculty Members
The purpose of this pilot study was to understand the experience of aging for older female faculty members in higher education.
Linking Lives: Improving Intergenerational Relations
By implementing a service-learning experience in an introductory gerontology course, this project explored intergenerational service-learning as a potential way to address current issues in intergenerational relationships, specifically by improving attitudes toward aging and older adults. It found positive outcomes for the younger and older adult participants. Students exhibited more positive or balanced views of aging and older adults, and felt that the experience contributed to their education. Residents in an assisted living community enjoyed the interactions with the students and expressed that the experience contributed to their lives. While the study had several limitations, it provided numerous significant suggestions for future service-learning initiatives. Intergenerational service-learning has a promising future as a contact intervention and as a pedagogical practice. Although further research is needed, it has been shown to contribute to students’ learning and educational experience, positively impact their attitudes toward aging and older adults, and add to older adults’ quality of life. As society prepares for the significant cultural and societal changes that the aging population will bring, it is essential that intergenerational relationships are encouraged, supported, and utilized in order to fulfill psychological, social, and cultural needs. Intergenerational service- learning can potentially improve intergenerational relations while resulting in other positive outcomes, such as promoting meaningful learning experiences and meeting community needs.