A collaboration between Nazareth College and St. John’s in Rochester has just won the Sigma Phi Omega Service Project Award for innovation in undergraduate education.
David Steitz, PhD, teaches an upper level psychology course called “Issues in Aging”. On most campuses this would simply be a class of young adults, taught by a middle-aged professor. But this course has added a new dimension. The 22 undergraduate students hold their class at St. John’s Meadows, our independent living campus, and 13 elders from the Meadows attend the weekly class as well. This idea was supported by a local consortium of academia and local business leaders, in order to create connections between elders, students and business organizations.
The course description states that “elders have gained wisdom through their life-long experience. They continue to learn, grow and provide insight to future generations.” One of the elders, Aaron Braveman, relates that “we not only have the opportunity to share our views on aging issues, but we also get the perspective of the Nazareth students.” Professor Steitz adds, “The St. John’s class has been an amazing experience. The seniors have a special enthusiasm and openness.
They clearly have things to say and they want to be heard. People are comfortable. It is the perfect environment. This is what teaching is all about.” It’s also a far cry from the views expressed in the recent post, “The Weight”…