Intergenerational learning about media within the family
Learning within the family might be one of the most important fields of informal learning, in particular in early childhood. But also adults take the chance to develop their knowledge and skills – aimed or incidental – by picking up learning opportunities and learning stimuli in their families. This can be observed in the context older adults learning how to use digital media. Family members can act as pulse generators or supporters but also hinder the learning process. A central question here is which family members are addressed by the older learners when support is needed to approach digital media, and which are not assessed as helpful and therefore ignored. Data from a qualitative interviews study in Germany (in-depth-interviews with 32 adults more than 65 years old) show what criteria older adults use to choose their favorite supporters in learning and what attributes are taken into account either consciously or unconsciously. The results point to the meaning of role models within the family but also to the influence of stereotypes about age, generations and gender. The results can be related to a more general model to describe the conditions of informal learning.
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