Positively aging: Choices and changes creating interdisciplinary middle school teaching materials using examples from geriatrics and gerontology

Michael J. Lichtenstein, Carolyn Marshall, Linda Pruski, Cheryl Blalock, Shuko Lee, Douglas Murphy, Susan Hilsenbeck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Positively Aging is an educational partnership developed between the Aging Research and Education Center (AREC) at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) and the Northside Independent School District (NISD) in San Antonio, Texas. For the past six years, the scientists of the AREC have collaborated with middle school educators from NISD to produce instructional materials that work toward achieving the National Institutes of Health (NIH) goals to (a) improve the quality of math and science education in public schools, and (b) promote an understanding of behaviors that increase the risk of disease. Positively Aging has three long-term goals: (1) to provide effective teaching materials for math and science curricula based on examples from the gerontologic sciences; (2) to help students learn to make critical, life-determining decisions for extending and enhancing their lives; and (3) to help students develop a sensitivity to the needs and concerns of the aging population. In its current form, Positively Aging consists of 12 interdisciplinary units with 276 teaching activities and lessons. Using qualitative and quantitative methods, the Positively Aging teaching materials are currently being evaluated under a Science Education Partnership Award from the National Center for Research Resources. Preliminary data suggest that middle school students experience a shift toward a more positive outlook on aging after using the teaching materials. This article describes the background, evolution, structure, and current evaluation strategies for the Positively Aging teaching materials and program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)555-569
Number of pages15
JournalEducational Gerontology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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