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Death and Dying

  • Date Submitted: 06/18/2011 08:53 AM
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PSY 116 – Psychology of Death and Dying – Lecture Notes

Part One – Learning About Death, Dying and Bereavement

Chapter 1 – Education About Death, Dying, and Bereavement

I. Key Terms and Phrases
      1)   Death education – teaching and learning about any aspect of dying, death, or bereavement; education involving death-related topics
      2)   Formal education – education conducted through programs of planned and organized instruction; for example, elementary and secondary education, college and university education, professional and postgraduate education, training and in-service programs for care providers, workshops and presentations for members of support groups and for the general public
      3)   Informal education – education emerging from everyday experiences and interactions outside programs of organized instruction; for example, education accomplished through everyday exchanges within a family or other social group
      4)   Teachable moments – unanticipated events in life that offer potential for developing useful educational insights and lessons, as well as for personal growth

II. The Emergence of Death Education
    1) During the 1960s and early 1970s, death was a taboo topic in American society; research was quite limited.
    2) Pioneers like Herman Feifel, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, and Cicely Saunders encouraged attention to this topic, beginning the development of what has been called thanatology (the study of death).
    3) These beginnings were soon followed by the death awareness movement, recognizing that throughout life everyone receives messages about death, dying, and bereavement in a variety of informal and formal ways.

III. Concerns That Might Lead Someone to an Interest in Death Education
1)   Vocational concerns (e.g., teacher, nurse, hospice or funeral service worker).
      2)   Personal concerns because of an unresolved previous experience or an ongoing current experience.
      3)   Curiosity about the...

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