What is a Living Classroom?
The Living Classroom is an inter-professional approach, whereby a post-secondary education program is delivered within the context of a long-term care (LTC) home, with team members consisting of faculty, students, LTC teams, residents and families, who engage with each other within a culture of interactive learning. The Living Classroom extends the educational and workforce capacity of both post-secondary educators and LTC homes, to meet increasing and changing workforce needs for personal support workers (PSWs).
The Living Classroom model is a partnership between Conestoga College, Schlegel Villages and the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging.
This guide provides information and tools for other LTC homes and post-secondary educators (e.g., community colleges) who have an interest in collaborating to create shared learning environments for PSW education and workforce development. Our experience demonstrates that the Living Classroom environment produces strong graduates interested in and capable of contributing to LTC, and engaged LTC teams and post-secondary faculty committed to life-long learning and continuous improvement. As well, older adults and their families become part of a team atmosphere, where they enjoy enhanced quality of care and services as a result of the Living Classroom shared learning experiences.
The authors and contributors to this guide hope that other post-secondary educators and LTC organizations will be inspired to become part of this new innovative, educational and workforce development strategy. This model extends the capacity of current approaches to post-secondary education and placement relationships by increasing options for collaborative work to meet increasing and changing workforce needs.
The Living Classroom Implementation Guide can be downloaded here!
Please contact Chelsea White (email@example.com or 519-904-0660 ext. 4116) at the RIA and Schlegel CLRI for more information.