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Intergenerational Learning and Social Inclusion: Measuring the Impact in Five European countries

24.4% of the European citizens still risk social exclusion. According to recent figures the rate of social exclusion differs per country and per target group. Based on recent societal developments (like the increase in youth unemployment and ageing population), it seems necessary to ensure that the increasing number of older people in Europe can actively be involved in European society, in addition to supporting youngsters in order to increase their social inclusion. Although several studies showed that education can increase social inclusion among learners, evidence is still lacking on whether intergenerational learning for youngsters and older people can increase social inclusion for these both groups. Generations Using Training for Social inclusion (GUTS) is a European project measuring the impact of intergenerational learning on social inclusion. One of the main goals of the GUTS project was to combine the strengths of older people and youngsters so that they can learn from each other and increase their skills in order to face daily problems in society. In line with the Europe 2020 Strategy GUTS aimed to decrease social exclusion via intergenerational learning projects. Ten learning areas (LA) were organized in five countries, namely: Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Latvia and The Netherlands. The results indicate that the intergenerational learning areas of the GUTS project stimulated the experienced increase in social inclusion of learners of both generations and that elements of the learning environment seem to influence this increase. More research is needed to explore the specific influence of these elements on both target groups older people and youngsters.

Tinie Kardol, PhD is Professor of Active Ageing at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium (mjmkardol@hotmail.com).

Alina Vlădut, PhD is Lecturer at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Craiova, Romania (vladut_alina2005@yahoo.com).

Sorin Avrim is Teaching Assistant at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Craiova, Romania (avram_ sorin@central.ucv.ro).

The paper was written through the collaboration of the group of authors: Liesbeth De Donder, Vrije Universiteit Brussel; Radu Constantinescu, University of Craiova; Titela Vilceanu, University of Craiova; Dorien Brosens, Vrije Universiteit Brussel; Maurice De Greef, Vrije Universiteit Brussel; Daniela Grignoli, University of Molise; Margherita di Paolo, University of Molise; Regy van den Brand, Vughterstede Dis Kusters, Vughterstede; Dieter Zisenis, bbb Büro for berufl iche Bildungsplanung R. Klein & Partner GbR; Rosemarie Klein, bbb Büro for berufl iche Bildungsplanung R. Klein & Partner GbR; Anamarija Tkalcec, CESI Center for Education and Research; Sanja Cesar, CESI Center for Education and Research; Liesbeth Goossens, CVO Antwerpen; Koen Daenen, CVO Antwerpen; Ilze Buligina, Talakizglitibas biedriba; Biruta Sloka, University of Latvia; Petra Herre, Evangelisches Erwachsenenbildungswerk Nordrhein. Th is paper is part of the GUTS-project, co-funded by the European Commission’s Erasmus+ program. Th is publication [communication] refl ects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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ISSN 0354–5415
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Tinie Kardol
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