Globalizing Gerontology and Geriatrics Education: Learning from Each Other
Every nation around the world is experiencing the aging of its population. By the year 2020, two-thirds of the older people in the world will live in developing nations. Global aging is a revolutionary phenomenon that has implications for all aspect of life. Thoughtful consideration of societal responses to the challenges and opportunities of an aging population requires decision-makers, planners and designers, service providers, political leaders, and citizens who are educated about aging. The increasing number of participants in professional aging conferences who are from countries other than the U.S. attests to this growing interest in aging around the world.
The Association for Gerontology in Higher Education is uniquely positioned to facilitate collaborations and partnerships to meet the global need for education and training about aging. AGHE’s mission, existing infrastructure and resources, and growing involvement in international efforts combine to enhance its capability to develop resources for colleges, universities, and government agencies around the world who are seeking to build or improve gerontology and geriatrics programs. AGHE’s International Initiatives Task Force is considering a range of activities to meet the need collaborations around the world. Some of the efforts that will be undertaken under this “Globalizing Gerontology Education” initiative include:
• Forming strategic alliances with representatives from other countries who have already expressed interest in higher education about aging, including Japan, Kenya, Nigeria, Spain, Germany, Jamaica, and England. These alliances could be the basis of mentoring, consulting, or exchange programs.
• Revising existing resource materials, as appropriate, such as syllabi sets and other publications (Standards and Guidelines; Outcomes, Program of Merit, etc) for use in other cultures.
• Writing a “state of the art” paper that summarizes major efforts, resources, and needs in gerontology and geriatrics education around the world.
• Establishing internet connections and web links to facilitate communication across national boundaries. AGHE could consider a special web page for international gerontology program development.
• Establishing consulting teams who have combined expertise in gerontology program development, international experience and/or perspective, and significant familiarity with other cultures.
• Consider a U.S./North America initiative to enhance global perspectives within courses and curriculum.
• Building partnerships with existing international organizations or national organizations with a global focus.
Click here for a list of this committee's members