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Learning from Experience Stories

Authors: Lisa van Adrichem, Julia van Altena, Lynn Baggerman, Laila Benhaddou, Floor de Boer, Laura de Vreeden.
Educational institution: The Hague University of Applied Sciences
Client: Vilans (national knowledge organization for long-term care)
Problem definition: At the moment, the experience stories and the insights and learning opportunities that emerge from this are not yet optimally implemented in the ultimate care for families with a seriously ill child.

Research question

How can students, parents, and professionals (such as educators or nurses) learn together from stories of experience?

End product

The aim was to develop interactive meetings to allow parents, professionals and students to learn from stories of experience. For this research, the wonder lab method (devised by the Danish philosopher Finn Hansen) was specifically chosen, in which participants 'go through' various rounds of conversation with the help of a moderator. The book 'Dichtbij' by Paula van Driesten was used as a starting point during the discussion rounds. This book is about life as a parent of a seriously ill child. By means of the close-reading method, participants went deeper into what the text means and what the writer wants to convey to the reader.


The students' research shows that the meetings contribute to the telling of experiences related to loss or grief. The open conversations allowed participants to find depth in each other's stories. Sharing experiences, reflections and tips is valuable for parents. Wonderlabs can be used to let professionals learn from experience stories and are therefore also effective for processing or gaining new insights into events in families. This method thus contributes to the expertise on how to deal with practical experiences as a professional.

The client speaks

“In addition to bundling and sharing the experiences, we will also see whether we can make a detailed product based on the insights and methods described here. We want to follow up on this in order to gain more experience with the working methods. It would also be nice if we could make a bridge to MBO education. We are not done yet, but we hope to have found a working method that helps with active learning from experiential stories.”

– Tamara Streng, knowledge management consultant at Vilans (national knowledge organization for long-term care)