California WIC's Participant Centered Education (PCE): Overview
Participant Centered Education
PCE places the participant at the center of the education process. Rather than focusing on problems, risks, or unhealthy behaviors, this approach focuses on participants’ capabilities and strengths regarding their nutrition, health, and referral needs. PCE requires educators to work collaboratively with participants, to elicit and support their motivation to change, and to respect participants as the ones who ultimately decide if and when they will learn and/or make a change.
California WIC PCE has drawn heavily from the fields of Motivational Interviewing, based on William Miller’s and Stephen Rollnick’s work, and Dialogue Education, based on Jane Vella’s work. Both fields, in turn, have been greatly influenced by Carl Rogers’ humanistic psychology, James Prochaska’s Stages of Change model, Malcolm Knowles’ and Paola Friere’s approach to Adult Learning, and Kurt Lewin’s concepts of social psychology.
PCE is a key component of California WIC’s initiative to offer Platinum Services to our participants by placing the WIC family at the center of everything we do, and focusing on the strengths of WIC participants, WIC employees, and the community. PCE principles and techniques have been used by local agencies for over ten years, and California WIC has accumulated ample evidence demonstrating the efficacy of this educational approach.
The model below is a graphic representation of the principles, techniques, and steps essential to California WIC PCE, for both individual and group education. Principles are represented in the violet band, techniques are described in the green band, and steps which form the structure of an education session are represented in the five blue circles. The model also describes PCE’s supportive role in providing California WIC Participant Centered Services.