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|Active ageing in practice – seniors as interpreters and learners of cultural heritage
|The Association for Education & Ageing
|Cassar, G., & Avellino, M. (2017). Active ageing in practice – seniors as interpreters and learners of cultural heritage. International Journal of Education and Ageing, 4(1), 5-17.
|Interpretation is a medium through which a structured approach to the preparation, organisation and management of visits to cultural heritage sites can be made interesting and satisfying for visitors and inherently become learning experiences. Visits for seniors invite particular consideration. The authors propose that through the development of a structured experiential programme that is appropriate for an older audience, seniors can take on a dual role – as interpreter as well as learner. Interpretation, specifically tailor-made for seniors, delivers engagement, enjoyment and a strong sense of ownership of cultural places and environments. This paper is based on research undertaken by the authors as well as findings from the EU Grundtvig Lifelong Learning Project entitled Heritage Interpretation for Senior Audiences (HISA) which was concluded in 2015. The main objective of HISA was to study how seniors could be offered a more beneficial experience at heritage sites. Interpretation, at first, may seek to provoke curiosity in what may be an unfamiliar theme but then transforms the content into a meaningful narrative with an enriching learning encounter relevant to the visitors’ own knowledge, experience and values. When heritage centres deal with cultural content through which a senior visitor has lived, a visit may move beyond a learning visit into the arena of negotiated meanings.
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