Are You Ready to Build a Living Classroom?
Who Is This Guide For?
The Living Classroom Implementation Guide provides information and tools for long-term care (LTC) homes and post-secondary educators (PSE) who have an interest in collaborating to create shared learning environments for personal support worker (PSW) education and development.
This guide reflects the experiences of Schlegel Villages and Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, in developing, implementing and evaluating their first Living Classroom at the Village of Riverside Glen (Guelph, Ontario) in 2009 and a second Living Classroom at the Village at University Gates (Waterloo, Ontario) in 2015, in partnership with the Research Institute for Aging.
Our experience demonstrates that the LC environment produces strong graduates interested in and capable of contributing to LTC, and engaged LTC teams and PSE 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 LC shared learning experiences.
The authors and contributors to this guide (see Acknowledgements) hope that other PSE and LTC organizations will be inspired to become part of this innovative educational and workforce development strategy. This model extends the capacity of current approaches to PSE and placement relationships by increasing options for collaborative work to meet increasing and changing workforce needs.
What’s in the Guide?
The Implementation Guide introduces 10 building blocks for a successful Living Classroom:
Explore the Potential for the Living Classroom
1) Agree on the Living Classroom Definition
2) Determine Operational Viability
3) Identify Win-Win Opportunities and Develop Shared Values
Develop the Foundations for the Living Classroom
4) Formalize the Collaboration
5) Commit to the Physical Space for the Living Classroom
6) Create Standard Operating Protocols and Formal Agreements
Implement the Living Classroom
7) Identify and Connect PSE Faculty and LTC Teams
8) Integrate Curriculum and LTC Activities
9) Define Communication and Coordination Mechanisms
Promote and Sustain the Living Classroom
10) Promote and Sustain/Expand the Value