University of Coimbra (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN19 Proceedings
Publication year: 2019
Pages: 5879-5883
ISBN: 978-84-09-12031-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2019.1417
Conference name: 11th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2019
Location: Palma, Spain
Contemporary societies imply ‘intergenerational relations’ (Corsten, 1999). It happens that relationships between generations are anchored to the argument that “generations exist as specific collective identities” (Corsten, 1999). According to Mannheim (1952), media environments should be considered “generational contexts”. The author argues that different age-based groups similarly experience media. Therefore, Mannheim (1952) considered that generation changes enhance the concept of ‘generation situation’.

“Generational inter-learning processes can be of great relevance to increase different generations relations with the digital” (Amaral & Brites, 2019, p. 5109). Digital contributes to increasing interaction and ties between generations (Brites, Amaral, Patrício, & Pereira, 2018; Bolin & Skogerbø, 2013).

World Health Organization defines active ageing as “the process of optimising health, participation and safety opportunities to improve quality of life as people age" (2002, p.12). The new paradigm of ‘active ageing’ proposes a reclassification of old age, promoting positive conceptions and an extension of the social and economic participation of the elderly (Daniel, Caetano, Monteiro & Amaral, 2016).

The current European sociodemographic context highlights this reality. In response to this demographic trend, there is an urgent need for political, educational, and social programs that will foster preventive and proactive measures that may benefit from the fact that the future elderly population has higher levels of literacy and information (Rodrigues, 2018).

School and media share a democratic responsibility that enables them to intervene in these social issues. School Radio can be a tool to foster intergenerational inclusion and dialogue. Last February, in connection with the celebration of World Radio Day, UNESCO promoted a series of initiatives around the idea that radio is indeed the driving force for stimulating social and intergenerational dialogue, social change and the engagement of the young. The exchange of experiences, knowledge, feelings and emotions between generations can act as a catalyst for contexts of shared learning and annihilation of stereotypes, in an atmosphere of cooperation and acceptance of the ‘other’.
According to the International Consortium for Intergenerational Programs and the American National Council on Ageing, intergenerational programs provide numerous benefits and can rely on radio as a privileged medium for disseminating educational programs linked to the social function of the environment (Kaplun, 1978). These programs promote the discussion of current issues, cognitive and linguistic improvement, fight against sedentarism and disinformation, and help to reinforce self-esteem through intergenerational empowerment.

The purpose of this paper is to discuss intergenerational programs associated with radio in the Iberian, Anglo-Saxon and North American contexts. The preliminary results indicate that the existing programs promote active and healthy aging, bring generations closer, increase participation in matters related to local communities and foster debate on global and multicultural issues. These projects expose the reversal of social roles, develop critical and creative thinking, active citizenship, and the literacy of both the younger and the older, in a socially sustainable worldview.
Intergenerational programs, active ageing, radio.