Creating Meaningful Interactions for Young Children, Older Friends, and Nursery School Practitioners within an Intergenerational Project

Lyndon, Sandra and Moss, Helen (2022) Creating Meaningful Interactions for Young Children, Older Friends, and Nursery School Practitioners within an Intergenerational Project. Early Childhood Education Journal, 49 (5). pp. 1-10. ISSN 1082-3301

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Intergenerational practice, where children and older adults come together for shared activities, has grown in popularity in many Western countries. However, research about intergenerational practice, particularly in the UK, is limited. This paper reports on the findings from an exploratory case study about a small intergenerational project between a maintained nursery school and a residential care home for older adults with dementia in the South-East of England. The methodology was informed by a narrative dialogic approach drawing on the work of Bakhtin. Data was collected using naturalistic observations of children's weekly visits to the care home and qualitative interviews with nursery school practitioners. The analysis explores how meaningful interactions were created between the children, the older adults, and the nursery school practitioners. Our findings suggest that singing, unstructured moments, continuity, context (open spaces/flexible sessions), and objects contribute to meaningful interactions between young children and older adults. The ability to be flexible and "go with the moment" were identified as key skills for practitioners supporting children and older adults. We conclude that intergenerational projects afford benefits not just for children and older adults, but also for practitioners in the form of "emotional rewards". The importance of re-establishing intergenerational practice is recognised, as well as the ways in which barriers created by social distancing might safely be addressed through the use of outdoor spaces and digital technologies.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s10643-022-01330-5.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Young children, Intergenerational practice, Nursery school practitioners, Early childhood, Older people, Nursery school
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1139 Early childhood education
Divisions: Academic Areas > Institute of Education, Social and Life Sciences > Childhood
Related URLs:
SWORD Depositor: Publications Router Jisc
Depositing User: Publications Router Jisc
Date Deposited: 20 May 2022 14:22
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2022 13:48

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