The University’s Dementia Class in a Bag resource was out and about again last week when UWS academics visited St Mary’s Primary School in Paisley as part of a research project exploring how school children learn about dementia in primary school.
The UWS academics – Dr Louise Ritchie, Dr Susan Henderson and Dr Graeme Truslove – introduced the pupils to Dementia Class in a Bag which is our school’s intergenerational, portable educational resource which facilitates awareness raising about dementia for people of all ages in a variety of healthcare and community settings. There are three workshops associated with Dementia Class in a Bag – Dementia and the Brain, the Sensory experience of dementia and Supporting a person with dementia
The University recently created a new version of the Bag which is designed for schools so that class teachers can run sessions independently of our staff and students. Much of the bag is based on experiential learning where the pupils interact with the materials in the bag with the goal of giving them an insight into what people with dementia may experience. Teachers then work with them to think about ways that they can interact and support people they may know who have dementia.
The visit to St Mary’s Primary School took place on 31 May 2018 with a Dementia Class in a Bag session being given to a primary 6 class of 30 pupils. The session was delivered by the class teacher with the UWS academics on hand to provide support and collect data for the research project.
As part of the research the academics asked the pupils to film their own experience of using the Bag using iPads which they hope will give them the child’s perspective on the learning experience and a deeper understanding of the interactions with the materials in the Bag. Dr Ritchie said:
“We were delighted to have delivered this session at St Mary’s as part of our wider research project. The response we got from the children was fantastic – they were really interested in learning about the brain and also the sensory experience of dementia.”