Instructions: Identify a senior citizen and schedule an hour to talk with him or her face to face. Be sure to tell the person that you are completing the interview as part of a class assignment and that the content of the interview is completely confidential (no names will be used). Conduct an informal interview, focusing on the participant’s developmental history.
Consider the following:
- Family history and background
- School environment and educational experience
- Employment and volunteer work
- Social relationships
- Partnerships and parenthood
- Significant life events
- Significant life transitions
- Memorable experiences
In addition to interview data, you may also obtain information from significant others, behavioral observations during the interview, and records (e.g. school reports, family albums, diaries, etc).
Part I: Document the questions you asked and the participant’s responses. This is your interview ‘transcript’ that will be turned in along with your reflective paper.
Part II: Write about 1,050 words reflecting on the interview. In your paper, include information on the following:
- What were the most notable aspects of the interview? What topics did your interviewee respond strongly to and why?
- What were the most surprising aspects of the interview? Did any of the interviewee’s responses surprise you? Explain.
- What stood out as being most important in his/her life? Describe the interviewee\’s most significant or meaningful life events.
- What life transitions did your interviewee discuss? Did he/she disclose any specific strategies for coping with difficult life transitions? Describe the interviewee’s most challenging transitions.
- Explain what you learned from this experience.
Use the literature in gerontology, wisdom and successful aging to supplement your paper and support your points.