The venerable aphorism "an old dog cannot learn new tricks" implies that the elderly rarely learn anything new-in particular, scientific knowledge. On the basis of "learning by doing," the present study emphasized knowledge application (KA) as elderly subjects collaborated on the design of a toy flying saucer (UFO). Three types of KA were identified by questioning the work: Type 1-knowing neither how nor why; Type 2-knowing how, but not why; and, Type 3-knowing how and why. The results indicated that female elderly subjects more often exhibited Type 1 of KA compared with male elderly. The evidence supported a KA of Type 3 for those who had a science background, as they performed better than those without a science background. However, even those without a science background were able to produce science toys if they worked cooperatively, particularly when they could learn from others who had a science background.
ASJC Scopus subject areas