The purpose of the current proposal is to a) highlight the importance of service learning opportunities outside the classroom setting, and b) examine how students in a Families in Later Life class changed their attitudes toward the elderly after interacting with them outside the classroom setting. Last semester, students in the class were required to work with the elderly at an assisted living home. The goal of this service learning project was to understand the residents better by interacting with them. When they evaluated their interactions with the elderly, there were noticeable positive changes in their attitudes and perspectives toward the elderly. However, it was not systematically examined whether students’ attitudes toward the elderly were significantly changed. Hence, this semester, pre- and post-tests of students’ attitudes toward the elderly are being conducted. Currently, the pre-test has been conducted and the post-test will take place when students complete the service learning project in April.
Service learning, Service learning with the elderly, Students' perceptions of the elderly