Learning by listing: A content analysis of students perceptions of older adults and grandparents
Views of specific older adults may differ substantially from views of older adults in general, and such views may influence preconceived notions of aging that students bring into the classroom. Using an in-class activity, the authors tested the hypothesis that grandparents, about whom we know more individuated information, would be characterized by different, and more positive, descriptors than older adults. Following verbal prompts, undergraduates (N = 98) listed terms describing older adults and grandparents. Conventional and directed content analysis with a multistage coding scheme was employed. Results revealed that descriptors were primarily negative (e.g., sick) and emphasized physical characteristics (e.g., wrinkly) for older adults but were more positive (e.g., sweet) and highlighted personality characteristics (e.g., kind) for grandparents. Although mentioned less often for grandparents, health-related and physical characteristics were predominantly negative for both groups. This word-listing exercise highlighted heterogeneity in views of older adults and underscored the value of studying gerontology.
Content analysis, introductory courses, pedagogical tool, student perspectives
Hoogland, Aasha I., and Charles E. Hoogland. "Learning by listing: A content analysis of students’ perceptions of older adults and grandparents." Gerontology & geriatrics education 39, no. 1 (2018): 61-74.
Gerontology and Geriatrics Education