The Legacies Project’s educational benefit is threefold. Student members are drawn toward historical narratives given life by the very people who lived them. Teachers are empowered by The Legacies Project’s unique scholastic toolkit. This experience may also lead to raised consciousness among students when it comes to the burgeoning field of elder care.
As classes go, The Legacies Project is very attractive—students may go off-campus, receive practical training in the popular medium of digital video, and have the chance to see their material online or on broadcast television—and maybe even receive high school or college credit to boot.
Legacies is as attractive to teachers as it is to students. The listening skills involved in interviewing, the comprehension needed to catalog and data tag the video, and the decision-making needed to boil down hours of footage into a video presentation for class, fosters deep and profound learning for students. Events that previously seemed remote to them, come alive through the stories of community elders.
Many gerontology programs are closing for a lack of students—at the very time when career opportunities in elder care are starting to explode. Legacies helps to address this important problem by serving as a career awareness experience for young people—students who participate in Legacies report radically different impressions of elders and elder communities from the negative preconceptions they had going in.