Improving Students' Opinion About Aging: Influence of Gerontology Curriculum in a Fourth and Fifth Grade Classroom
Lisa Tran, MS
Our nation’s population is aging and there are many misconceptions and stereotypes of older adults in our society. Many misconceptions and stereotypes are formed early during childhood. Typically, children tend to learn about aging from outside resources such as the media or books rather than having direct involvement with older adults or any type of formal education. This qualitative study examined the effect of an aging curriculum on elementary school aged student opinions about aging. A three-session program about aging was implemented with 22 fourth and fifth grade students from Saint Anthony Elementary School. The results of this directed project found that although there was not a dramatic improvement in opinions after the implementation of the curriculum, overall opinions shifted from negative to neutral, indicating that it is possible to change opinions about aging through a formal educational program. Future research should include participant reports about previous and current experiences with aging and explore optimal settings for formal education about aging.
A Web-Based Resource For Instructors Using Improvisation Techniques With Older Adults
Sherry Bloom, MS
The purpose of this project was to create a web-based resource for instructors using improvisation techniques with older adults. The goals of this project were to increase instructors’ knowledge of improvisation and to provide resources and scene ideas to help instructors in teaching a class in improvisation.
The web-based resource is currently available on-line and consists of twelve sections: home, about me, research, improvisation exercises, mild cognitive impairment exercises, scene work basics, scene examples, instructor evaluation, participant evaluation, resources, references, and contact information. The exercises and scenes were developed from the researcher’s experience in various improvisation classes. The research section was developed using information from research studies. An expert-review panel reviewed the website. An instructor evaluation was created to provide feedback for the researcher on the instructor’s experience using the website.The participant evaluation was created to obtain feedback about the experience of taking the class.
BS, San Diego State University
BS, University of Illinois