The Infoday on Intergenerational Learning titled “Learning From Generation to Generation” was held with success and remarkable participation at the Municipal Art Gallery of Larissa – GI Katsigras Museum, on 29 November 2018. The event was co-organized by the DAISSy research group of Hellenic Open University, the Municipal Art Gallery of Larissa, the “Hippocrates in Larissa” Association and the Larissa Deputy Mayor of Social Policy, as part of the “Larissa learning city” initiative. The staff of the Public Relations Department and the Larissa Branch of HOU had an important contribution to the success of the Infoday.
The main objective of the event was to present the results of the European project TOY+: Together Old and Young, which was implemented as a Strategic Partnership under the Erasmus + program, with the participation of DAISSy as the partner responsible for the development of the relevant Massive Open Online Course (MOOC).
At the beginning of the Infoday, the Deputy Mayor of Social Policy, Mr. Dimitris Deligiannis, the Regional Director of Education of Thessaly, Mrs. Eleni Anastasopoulou, and the Vice-President of the Municipal Art Gallery of Larissa, Mrs. Anni Psarra, addressed welcome speeches.
Initially, Mr. Achilleas Kameas, Professor of Hellenic Open University, presented the content and results of the TOY+ project, as well as the research activities of the DAISSy group and the projects in which the group participates. Mrs. Vicky Maratou, DAISSy researcher, presented the MOOC entitled “Together Old and Young: An Intergenerational Approach” and the TOY for Quality initiative. The online course provides knowledge and skills about implementing intergenerational practice with young children and the elderly.
Next, actions and practices of intergenerational learning between the elderly and children, which have been or will be held in Larissa, were presented. Extensive reference was made to the possibility of implementing intergenerational learning actions within Museums such as the Folklore Historical Museum, the Diachroniko Museum, the Municipal Art Gallery, and the Museum of National Resistance of Larissa.
More specifically, Mrs. Fani Kalokerinou, Director of the Folklore Historical Museum of Larissa, stated that museums are one of the most prominent establishments for social learning where creative ideas, feelings and relationships between people and between people and objects find space for expression and development. Intergenerational learning is a mutually beneficial process for all participants that contributes to the transfer of knowledge and experience from the older to younger generations of visitors. The Folklore Historical Museum of Larissa implements a variety of intergenerational learning actions, promoting the mutual development of an educational relationship between the different generations and fostering the cultivation of social cohesion and the minimization of the generation gap.
The head of the National Resistance Museum of Larissa, Mrs. Anna Iakovidou, referred to some intergenerational activities that took place in the Museum, such as the interview given by Lazaros Arsenis to the students of the 1st Elassona Lyceum and the guided tours organized by the Friends of the Society National Resistance Museum for Primary, Secondary and High School students.
The teacher, Mrs. Kalliopi Perri, referred to the period when the 26th Primary School of Larissa “adopted” the Diachroniko Museum of the city. The students discovered the wealth of the museum and presented it to their parents in their own, special way. The harmonious combination of the musical expression of school students with the techniques of theatrical play and artistic creation led to an interesting tour of all the museum’s premises.
The teacher, Mrs. Crystallia Makatou, talked about intergenerational learning at the Municipal Art Gallery – GI Museum. Katsigras, a place of informal and experiential learning. The direction of the museum includes actions involving various age groups and events that revive tradition.
The president of the club “The Hippocrates in Larissa” association, Mr. Rizos Haliambalias, presented an action of the association at the Diachroniko Museum of Larissa, where children narrated, interpreted and interacted with the timeless exhibits of the museum through speech, movement and music. Visitors watched the children’s presentations by following a specific route inside the museum.
Mrs. Chrysa Hatziavraam, on behalf of the Larissa Public Central Library, spoke about the various intergenerational actions implemented in the Library, such as readings and narratives of folk tales, familiarization of children with older customs and traditional games, sharing knowledge and experiences of children with parents and / or their grandparents, adult literacy with computers, a program focused on intergenerational relationships aimed at self-awareness, better communication and improvement of children’s relationships s with the elderly.
The pedagogical officer of the network of Centers for the Creative Engagement of Children of the Municipality of Larissa, Mrs. Lina Moussioni, referred to the program “Young and Large in Time Machine”, which is a pilot project in the context of exploring the possibilities of intergenerational connection to the network of Centers for the Creative Engagement of Children of the Municipality of Larissa. Its goal is to engage in a program of creative activities, aimed at children ages 5 to 12 years, the experience and knowledge of the elderly through regular meetings and collaborative activities.
The archaeologist-social anthropologist Mrs. Konstantina Kontsa presented examples of the recording of the oral history and intergenerational approach having as common axis the city and its people and referred to the “Oral History Workshop” to be implemented in the Center for Engagement of the Elderly of the Municipality of Larissa within the framework of the “Citizens’ University”.
In conclusion, the Infoday has been a major success, attracting more than 80 participants, and has also gained considerable visibility in local press and media. The participants had the opportunity to exchange ideas and practices about intergenerational learning, to discuss the benefits of the actions and the obstacles they face, and to create synergies to address them. The Infoday concluded with a short tour of the exhibits of the Municipal Art Gallery of Larissa, which hosts the collection of G. I Katsigras and is one of the most important galleries in the country.