The Implementation and Effectiveness of Intergenerational Learning during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Evidence from China
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many grandparents in China have spent more time with their grandchildren than they used to. When their adult children returned to work after a period of lockdown, many grandparents extended their roles from taking care of household tasks and looking after their grandchildren's basic needs to supervising their online learning and providing academic support. It has been a precious opportunity for both the children and their grandparents to get to know each other better and to learn from each other. During this challenging period of home learning, a Chinese initiative called the "Shaping Students' Vacation Life Project" (SSVLP), which is led by the Shanghai Municipal Institute for Lifelong Education (SMILE) of East China Normal University (ECNU), conducted a two-month project that investigated intergenerational learning between grandparents and grandchildren (IL-GP&GC) across seven primary schools located in six areas of China. They explored topics such as pandemic prevention, health and fitness, traditional culture and information literacy. Following this, the co-authors of this article conducted an interpretive inquiry to explore how the participating primary schools implemented the IL-GP&GC project, and to understand its impact. Based on in-depth interviews with 11 teachers and 7 families (including 7 grandchildren aged 7-13, and their 7 grandparents aged 60-68), four main findings emerged: (1) both generations gained more health knowledge, life skills and values; (2) the older generation changed their learning perspective and behaviours; (3) the younger generation understood their grandparents more and cultivated the concept of lifelong learning; and (4) the relationships between grandparents and grandchildren became closer.
China, Distance-Schooling, Familiensituation, International, Kinder- und Jugendalter allgemein, Qualitative Studie
Lyu, Keyi, Xu, Ying, Cheng, Hao, Li, Jiacheng (2020). The Implementation and Effectiveness of Intergenerational Learning during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Evidence from China, International Review of Education, 66, 5-6, 833–855.