Magazine article The Futurist

Grandparent Education

Magazine article The Futurist

Grandparent Education

Article excerpt

Grandparent Education

Growing old in a technological society may be more complicated than growing up. Because a technology-oriented culture tends to place greater value on the present than on the past, "older people are no longer regarded as experts about much of anything except aging," says Robert Strom, a professor of psychology in education at Arizona State University.

With the increasing number of older people in America, a more-democratic future should emphasize improving intergenerational dialogue, Strom writes in the Journal of Research and Development in Education.

One place where this intergenerational communication can be enhanced is in educational courses for grandparents. Strom is developing a new course at Arizona State called "Becoming a Better Grandparent." The course, which is the nation's first educational program for grandparents, according to Strom, is designed to give grandparents a better understanding of child and adolescent development.

"It seemed a contradiction to affirm the importance of grandparents while failing to offer them guidance in a time of change, to applaud their ability to learn without proposing anything in particular they should be expected to know," says Strom.

The grandparent curriculum concentrates on: . Sharing feelings and ideas with peers. . Listening to younger people. . Studying life-span personal development. . Improving family communication skills. . Focusing self-evaluation on relevant behavior. …

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