Led by Professor Yi-Hsin Hsu as the Principal Investigator, Taipei Medical University worked with a group of elementary schools to improve students’ understanding of aging and dementia. Asking the students to compile a book on the life stories of their grandparents, the program enhanced the grandparent-grandchild relationship while promoting neuroscience and disseminating current scientific knowledge on dementia, a major neurological brain disease.
Through the partnerships with Ruifang Elementary School and Yifang Elementary School in New Taipei City and Zhongxiao Elementary School in Taipei City, over 200 students and their families participated. A total of 50 students were selected to present their outstanding work at TMU in May 2021.
Principal Chuan-Chuan Lu of Ruifang Elementary School pointed out that the life story book project was very meaningful. In the writing of the storybook, the dialogue with grandparents has enhanced family interaction and deepened relationships.
Dean Li-Juing Wu of the College of Education at the National Taipei University of Education, who participated in the review, said that history is not only found in textbooks; it is also the living history spoken from the mouths of grandparents, and this type of historical exploration is warm and can be touching.
Professor Hsu and associate professor Yang have been teaching the humanities course in TMU since 2014. The course integrated assignment “Life book writing for our grandparents (LB4OG)” where young people write storybooks on the life story of their elders so that the students can develop a deeper understanding of a future aging society. Over the past seven years, 400 books of family history have been created by college students. The publication of innovative assignment was accepted by the international medical education journal, Medical Education (Impact Factor 4.570, Ranking 4.8%).
This project aims to train a group of seed teachers to promote popular medical science and will continue to be jointly rolled out in more schools in the future. It is hoped that these partner elementary schools will integrate this activity into their future curriculum, facilitating the continuous dissemination of medical popular science and health knowledge.