Centenary psychology students visit with community elders

SHREVEPORT, LA — Centenary students in the psychology course Human Growth and Development visited with community elders this morning to fulfill a unique class requirement: students listened to the life experiences of their elders and then will relate these experiences to their coursework in a future assignment.

example image alternative text

"Experience is the best teacher," said Norman Z. Fisher, former minister of music at First Presbyterian Church. "None of us knows everything."

As part of the assignment, each student made a list of questions to ask the community members. Groups of three students and one elder visited for the first half of the class period. Elders then switched groups for the second half of the class.

Each student will write a paper connecting the life experiences shared by elders with life stage topics covered in their psychology course.

"Students learn to make connections between the textbook and the real world experiences of the folks they meet," said Dr. Amy Hammond, Assistant Professor in Psychology. "More importantly, and undoubtedly more enduringly, the students learn that getting old can be a lot more fun and a whole lot less scary than they've been led to believe."

Community members who are over the age of 80 and willing to talk about life experiences with small groups of students can contact Hammond by email (ahammond@centenary.edu) or by phone (318-841-7267) to take part in this event in the future.