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  • Karen M. Wyatt

Bringing the Classroom to Death's Door with Charles Mentken and students

Learn how this innovative elective class introduced death and dying to a group of high school students.

Thursday February 22, 2018

10 am Pacific/1 pm Eastern

Dial-in Number: (425) 440-5010

Code: 882570#

One of the most difficult issues we face in changing the way we care for the dying in our society is the general lack of education about death and dying. What if every high school student could take a class to help them understand death--how might that change everything? My guests today are 3 students who took just such a class, an elective course called "Death and the Meaning of LIfe," and the teacher who facilitated that learning experience, Charles Mentken. Lauren McShane, Sarah McGee, and Ardara Chinook will tell us about the class, what it was like to talk about death every day, and how it has already changed their lives.

In this interview you will learn:

Why and how this class was created

The structure of the curriculum for the class

What inspired each student to take the class

How the class changed the students' feelings about death and dying

Tips for creating a similar class in other schools

Lessons learned from this inaugural experience teaching high school students about death

Charles Mentken is the Director of Northpoint Expeditionary Learning Academy, a 9-12 charter high school in Prescott AZ. Northpoint is a project based high school that engages students in authentic, relevant, learning. They do this through semester long learning expeditions where they study contemporary social issues. Charles is one of the founding teachers of Northpoint, which began twelve years ago and he has 14 years of teaching experience in the high school classroom.

NOTE: End-of-Life University was honored to be a sponsor for the "Death and the Meaning of Life" elective as part of our 2018 initiative to promote Death Education for Everyone!

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