Volume 17 Number 3 March 10, 2016

Exploring Aging Attitudes Through a Puppet Making Research Study

Susan R. Whiteland
Arkansas State University, USA

Citation: Whiteland, S. R. (2016). Exploring aging attitudes through a puppet making research study. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 17(3). Retrieved from http://www.ijea.org/v17n3/.


Intergenerational programs often reduce ageism and stereotypical thinking. This author uses a mixed methods case study to investigate how attitudes may change when older adults and children participate in an intergenerational art project. The research question, “Is there a positive correlation in children’s attitudes toward older adults and aging after interacting together in an engaging intergenerational art activity” is explored. Context for the study is in an elementary classroom. Gifted and talented students partner with volunteering older adults from the community to create hand puppets, write scripts and dramatize personal stories dealing with the big idea of communication. Statistical analysis using t-tests did not show significant change in students’ attitudes, yet there was evidence that students constructed new meaning toward their understanding of aging and older adults.

Visual Abstract

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