Intergenerational Strategies for Promoting Lifelong Learning and Education

  • Matthew Kaplan
  • Mariano Sanchez
  • Jaco Hoffman
Part of the Perspectives on Sustainable Growth book series (POSG)


This chapter highlights the relational nature of learning and especially notes that through education, intended intergenerational practices have great potential to foster sustainable relationships in society. Examples of international intergenerational programs focused on lifelong learning and education in countries as different as Germany, India, Spain, United Kingdom, Uruguay, and U.S. are presented as pathways to combat the following three main threats to sustainable societies: cultural discontinuity, lack of trust, and the increasing challenges to living in diverse contexts. Special attention is paid to the move from multi-generational learning and education contexts to intended intergenerational endeavors at all levels. Purposeful efforts are made to facilitate interaction between generations to enhance learning and education. The traditional paradox in evidence is that most of our school systems consist of age-segregated classrooms while a community of teachers, families and students from different generations are living side by side. This phenomenon is highlighted. In order to illustrate how this paradox may be solved, we present a few cases of international intergenerational initiatives carried out in educational settings where generations meet purposefully to teach and learn together across the lifespan.


Intergenerational programs and practices Intergenerational engagement Intergenerational relationships Intergenerational sustainability Work-family balance Lifelong learning Civic engagement Intergenerational communities 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew Kaplan
    • 1
  • Mariano Sanchez
    • 2
  • Jaco Hoffman
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology and EducationThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  2. 2.Faculty of Political Science and SociologyUniversity of GranadaGranadaSpain
  3. 3.Optentia Research Focus Area, Ageing and Generational Dynamics in Africa (AGenDA)North-West UniversityVanderbijlparkSouth Africa
  4. 4.Oxford Institute of Population AgeingUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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