Death Education in the Writing Classroom

1st Edition

Jeffrey Berman

Routledge
Published May 15, 2012
Reference - 254 Pages
ISBN 9780895034281 - CAT# Y316773
Series: Death, Value and Meaning Series

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Summary

Death is often encountered in English courses—Hamlet’s death, celebrity death, death from the terrorist attacks on 9/11—but students rarely have the opportunity to write about their own experiences with death. In Death Education in the Writing Classroom, Jeffrey Berman shows how college students can write safely about dying, death, and bereavement. The book is based on an undergraduate course on love and loss that Berman taught at the University at Albany in 2008. Part 1, “Diaries,” is organized around Berman’s diary entries written immediately after each class. These entries provide a week-by-week glimpse of class discussions, highlighting his students’ writings and their developing bonds with classmates and teacher. Part 2, "Breakthroughs," focuses on several students’ important educational and psychological discoveries in their understanding of love and loss. The student writings touch on many aspects of death education, including disenfranchised grief. The book explores how students write about not only mourning and loss but also depression, cutting, and abortion—topics that occupy the ambiguous border of death-in-life.

Death Education in the Writing Classroom is the first book to demonstrate how love and loss can be taught in a college writing class—and the first to describe the week-by-week changes in students’ cognitive and affective responses to death. This interdisciplinary book will be of interest to writing teachers, students, clinicians, and bereavement counselors.

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