Project schools
Summary of the project

The project explored and compared lifestyles of the older generation in different societies. The learning experiences promoted generations to be more aware and developed a deeper understanding of one another. By researching, the partners were able to share, exchange and analyze the similarities and differences between the involved countries. To enable this project to be successful communication with local authorities was important and stronger ties were made with them.

The objectives of the project were to improve the understanding between the different generations in the participating European countries, to learn more about the living conditions of the elder generation and to develop a closer relation between the older and younger generation.

In the course of the project we discovered that most European societies face the same problem of a growing 60+ generation which becomes more and more important. On the other hand traditional families have become fewer and fewer and the generations have less contact. Additionally we found out that in all participating countries the seniors face a decreasing loss of respect, family ties become less tight. Therefore we had a closer look at the widening gap between the generations.

Our first step was to get in contact with local institutions for senior citizens but also have a closer look at the senior members in individual families . Very important in our work was the close cooperation between school and families but also between schools and the participating organisations. By visiting them, and talking with the elderly many of our students developed a closer personal relation to some of the inhabitants, understood the situation of the elderly better and learned to respect the seniors.

We also decided to do different acitivities every month in each country and to exchange regular monthly reports between the participants. This was very helpful as in this way there was a continuous evaluation of the project work. Additionally we set the dates of our regular meetings right at the beginning of the project to ensure a constant stream of information between all participants but also a continuous evaluation of our project work.

Nevertheless we didn't do the same activities in all our cities but adapted them to the local situation and the different national traditions. It was the beginning of an exchange of ideas but also a continuous learning about the different cultures and traditions. Thus during the whole course of the project there was a continuous stream of ideas and information which was an important aspect of our work together. And it was astonishing to see how creative the partners were, producing a wide variety of activities over the two years.

Another very important experience for the students were the interviews they made in the course of the project. By talking with their grandparents and interviewing the elderly they learned a lot about the past lives of these people, sometimes a life full of tragedies, which led to a better understanding and a greater respect for the older generation. It became clear for many of the students that every individual history was influenced by the European history of the last 100 years. All these people had to suffer two world wars which had a great impact on their lives. Some of them had to leave their homes twice and now are happy to live in a peaceful united Europe.

We also discovered that many of the families are spread all over Europe. Additionally it became clear that in last decades a growing mobility caused by the economic situation in the different countries is becoming an important aspect of life in Europe which also leads to less tight family ties.

Another aspect of our project was to compare the living conditions and the positions in society which the elderly have in the different countries. We found out that there are some great differences between the different countries but in general the traditional families where all the generations live together have become fewer in the last couple of years.

Another experience our students made was that in the course of their life many of the elderly never stopped learning as society is always changing. Especially in the interviews the seniors expressed the need of learning all the time in life.

The most important parts of our project were the regular activities with the seniors. Exchanging the reports about our activities led to frequent stream of ideas between the partners. Thus we learnt a lot from each other and the best result of this project is that all participating schools will go on with their activities with seniors in the local environments.
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