Humane Education in Action: Discovering Life Lessons From Refugees

From our friends at Learning Matters TV we learned about the work of high school language arts teacher Lauren Fardig, who has started teaching a 5-week course in which her students learn important life lessons by studying the lives and challenges of refugees (especially those from the Iraqi War). Students explore questions like "What is a refugee?" and "How many refugees are in the world?"; they investigate the lives of actual refugees; they engage in activities such as a role-play to decide what things in their lives are really wants, and which needs, and what is most important to them; they write poems about the refugees they've learned about; and, they connect these stories to their own lives. Watch this 8-minute report about them from PBS News Hour:

As teacher Lauren Fardig emphasizes, it can be challenging for young people to extend their empathy beyond their own immediate circle, so a curriculum like this gives students an opportunity to broaden their circle of concern and to nurture an awareness, compassion, and sense of justice and empowerment that overcomes geographic distances of any size.

~ Marsha

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