Resources for Educators
Sexual education in schools began in 1919, with a resultant drop in unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted disease. Today, there are drills for lockdowns and earthquakes, yet nothing about death and dying, a practice arguably more prevalent and a part of life than sex. Our schools are an entire century behind recognizing the importance of and developing death education. Death-Ed aims to normalize and prepare our youth and families for this essential survival skill.
Recent Article in NY Times: First, Sex Ed. Then Death Ed.
Recently, my colleague Jessica Nutik Zitter and I had the opportunity to teach a Death Ed course to a ninth-grade class at the Head-Royce School, a private, progressive (and brave) school in Oakland. Here is the story of what unfolded.
In the summer of 2016, IDEO created a challenge asking for submissions to answer the question: How might we reimagine the end-of-life experience for ourselves and our loved ones? My colleague Jessica Nutik Zitter and I submitted our idea to teach Death Ed in the schools. Here is our submission, which was eventually selected as one of the top 10 among the 64 submitted.
The idea for DeathEd arose from a brainstorming session between myself and my colleague just a short time before the submission deadline for the OpenIDEO challenge. Here is the story of how that came about. My thanks to Adwoa Gyimah-Brempong for sharing the story.
Read the other submissions for the OpenIDEO challenge which explored ways to support and inspire people from all socioeconomic levels to plan for the end of our life while simultaneously living life fully through our final exhale.