Experiential learning or participatory learning is a pedagogical approach that focuses on learning through experience; it stands against ‘rote learning’. This alternative to the more traditional learning approaches is based on the work of intellectual giants John Dewey,  Jean Piaget and Kurt Lewin. Their work provides a theoretical base for active participation in the learning process in which students engage in hands-on learning activities. In contrast, traditional learning very much involves an experienced teacher transmitting ‘expert knowledge’ to the learner.

It is pretty much universally accepted that people learn differently; although, there may be some disagreement about the different learning styles that exist. Experiential learning very much accommodates all types of learning styles. Another great advantage of active learning is that it can contribute significantly to the development of teamworking and interpersonal tools.

At Caremark Thanet, Canterbury and Dover, much of our training is experience-based. We believe that this is a powerful approach to learning that makes learning much more interesting and encourages people to engage with their learning. Active engagement with learning encourages people to reflect and apply their learning to real world situations.

On Wednesday 13 March we went along to a Jobs fair Kent University in Canterbury. We took along some of our experiential learning equipment: goggles that simulate different ocular conditions and gloves that by an electrical impulse simulate the tremors that someone living with Parkinson’s disease may experience.

The photograph in this article shows some of the students who visited us trying out the gloves. This is far removed from a passive experience. It encourages people to ask questions, think critically and look for solutions to the challenges that the experience highlights.

Our training involves a number of other simulation experiences. In particular, we have our “welcome to my world experience room”. In this room, candidates experience what it is like to live with dementia and carry out everyday tasks.

The use of this type of immersive training offers an insight into the conditions candidates encounter in their work. These experiences allow candidates to experience physically and emotionally the challenges their clients face. The experiences help create a profound understanding and empathy, crucial for providing compassionate and effective care. It bridges the gap between knowing about a condition and understanding its impact on an individual’s daily life.

We are very proud of our training. All our care assistants undertake an initial two weeks induction and training programme that covers significantly more than the mandatory Care Certificate. We encourage our care assistants to engage in further training and think about specialising in an aspect of care.

We are always keen to speak with people who want to work in care. Experience is great; however, we offer comprehensive training for people looking to start a career in care.

Contact us now if you are interested in a career with us in Thanet, Canterbury or Dover:

Thanet: 01843 235910

Canterbury: 01227 808330

Dover: 01304 892448


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