Want to motivate learners?
OPTEACH is a resource designed for educators who want to engage anyone in learning about ageing! As educators, we’ve found it can be challenging to motivate students to learn about ageing. One strategy, that seems to help, is directly involving ‘experts in ageing’ (i.e. older people themselves) in the learning experience. Such ‘experts’ have experienced the challenges and joys of life and navigated their own path. OPTEACH is designed to help you harness that experience, to provide rich learning experiences that meet the needs of the learners and your organisation.
Is OPTEACH relevant to me?
OPTEACH can be helpful to anyone who teaches others about ageing, or prepares them to work with older people. This website contains many resources to support educators to involve older people as ‘experts’ in educating the next generation of healthcare professionals and aged care workers. It includes support materials for educators in various settings (universities, TAFEs, RTOs, clinical settings) to partner with older people as collaborators in the education process. We encourage all OPTEACHers to include older people from diverse cultures, carers and volunteers to share their wealth of knowledge and lived experience.
What skills do OPTEACHers need?
This website highlights the skills and knowledge that educators need to plan and conduct effective OPTEACH education sessions. For example, OPTEACHers need to:
- undertake considerable ‘groundwork’ before any planning takes place
- be mindful of their responsibilities to the learners, the older person, their organisation and the wider community
- initiate and facilitate the interactions between the learners and the older people
- look for ways to use anything that happens or is said as a learning opportunity, and
- maintain a sense of humour!
Explore the Educators’ pathway to see whether OPTEACH could work for you and your organisation.
How can this website help me become an OPTEACHer?
Here you will find various resources (checklists, templates, sample policies, etc) arranged in ‘pathways’ through the OPTEACH process for educators and older people. The resources are based on our experience as educators, plus the insights and perspectives of people we interviewed. Although becoming an OPTEACHer is rewarding, it is not a ‘quick fix’ and it requires significant planning. We trust the range of resources will help you learn about OPTEACH and make the most of the approach, while avoiding common pitfalls.
How can I connect with other OPTEACHers?
As more educators learn about this educational approach, the community of OPTEACHers will grow! Please help us to support others by sending your stories and experiences to the Share your Story page and email us with any questions or suggestions, or if you would like to be informed of upcoming events.