Death Education – an argument for death education presented by Kathy Kortes-Miller

Death Education – an argument for death education presented by Kathy Kortes-Miller

Life & Death Matters Post

Kathy Kortes-Miller from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay presented “Situating Death in Education”. Kathy provides a strong argument for the question “Why include death education in the schools?”

Kathy kept the group spell bound and I think she had us all wanting MORE! I was proud to be Canadian just to listen to her. She articulated ideas that many of us are familiar with, but she added updates, included great quotes, thoughts and perspectives, and then touched on a few challenges. Her visual presentation was excellent, and the companion handout summarized the presentation.

Kathy articulated well the vehicle of education as a “force for change… the medium by which information is communicated and understanding enhanced…. Education directly influences attitudes and values and can assist in defining, strengthening or modifying them.”

Kathy said, “We are not free to choose whether anyone will learn about death, though we have some choice about how they will learn.” She suggests that death education specifically “will not prevent death as a normative life event but rather it will work to prevent some of the negative side effects of not understanding dying and death…. Perceiving death education as primary prevention allows for opportunities to begin engaging in the important discussions around the meaning of death and the quality of life which guide our living until we die.”

Kathy also discussed another one of my passions – the need to provide better support to the PSWs who provide 80% of patient/resident care in long term care in Ontario!

Thanks and Great Work Kathy!


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Courtney Murrell is a PSW who works in hospice palliative care.

When she is not at work, she is spending time with her family, going on hikes or writing. Courtney is a lifelong learner and loves to share her passion for writing as a wellness practice.

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