Project ID938
DescriptionThe idea of bringing together a group of U3Agers and school Sixth Formers came from a report of activities in Seaford U3A. They had run a discussion group which had the rule that neither parents nor school staff were to be present. Two grammar schools in Salisbury warmed to the idea and for two years about ten U3Agers and ten teenagers have met after school to hold a forum, a mix of ideas and opinions on matters of topical, ethical or political interest. The Salisbury young adults come from the history and politics class in their first year of sixth form. Subjects tackled this academic year have included President Clinton, the legalising of cannabis, the politics of smoking, reform of the House of Lords, the state of matrimony, homosexuality and the future of the church. Both age groups have discovered their prejudice about each other. Assumptions have been seen to be unfounded. Not all U3Agers want to restore capital punishment and not all teenagers want to smoke tobacco or cannabis. This forum is a real learning experience.
TypeU3A-led research (not an SLP)
U3ASalisbury U3A
Organization/partnerSalisbury Grammar Schools
Year started1999
Source of referenceSources No.4  May 1999
OutputNone known
NotesThe programme for the fortnightly meetings is worked out at the first session. One of each age group takes it in turn to open the subject for about five minutes. The U3A group leader acts as chairman, encouraging all to join in the conversation and stimulating a fresh approach when red herrings appear or tongues get stuck. By leaving out the parent age group there seems to be freedom to express opinions and to debate issues frankly, without any embarrassment or discourtesy. Is it because the 60 and 70 year olds are leaving the world stage and the 16 and 17 year olds have not yet stepped on to it?