Intergenerational mentoring is very important for learning whether between teacher and student or elder educator teacher and student. This fact has been obscured because societal change has become almost entirely associated with technological change.
In the past when the rate of technological change was much slower a new generation faced many of the same challenges as the previous generation and so it made sense to apprentice with an elder etc.
But as technological change accelerated the previous generation was left behind and the new generation looked to its own members for support and mentoring in handling the circumstances created by the new technology.
This makes sense if we are talking about technology. But when we are talking about our social/emotional development that has not changed as much as technology makes it appear. In fact what has not changed at all in terms of positive social/emotional development for an individual is the need we have to be able to handle change and increase our capacity to learn while feeling assurance there is some sense of continuity in our growth and identity. This assurance is the primary benefit of being mentored by an elder as we realize the common ground under growth changes and the variety of ways we all handle these changes.
In our Peer to Peer program retired educators mentor the Peer Leaders and the Peer Leaders mentor the younger students.