Innovative arts-based learning programs for people with dementia and other lifelong learners
Kathleen Downie is an MA in Adult Education and Community Development specializing in learning across the life course. She co-founded the Creative Arts Program (CAP) at the Hospital for Sick Children (Division of Endocrinology) in 1995. This innovative arts-in-health program continues to use a model of collaborative inquiry, engaging professional artists and children alike in creative work that is dynamic and expressive.
Arising from this extensive work Kathleen has developed a learning framework for adults with dementia that is similarly based in shared inquiry and reciprocity. The Reciprocal Teacher-Learner Model (Downie and Polo) draws on shared mutual experience to facilitate rich learning processes.
Over the past 8 years Kathleen has facilitated painting workshops for the Alzheimer’s Society of Toronto (Senior People's Resources in North Toronto (SPRINT), Providence Health, St. Clair West Senior's Services, The Bitove Wellness Academy and The Don Mills Family Health Practice). She regularly facilitates visual arts workshops for Briton House and Ravera Care Homes, and provides in-service training for recreation staff (SageCare). Other projects of special interest include the creation of the Living Garden Quilt at Baycrest (2013), and more recently guest lecturing at George Brown College (Gerontology Activation Coordinator Program).
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