NOTE: Submitting a Dignity Day Story is ONE of the activities related to Global Dignity Day. Please visit GlobalDignity.ca for other ways to become involved. We would love you to host a Dignity Day event for your students! Find out how.
Creating & Submitting a Dignity Day Story
Everybody has a unique dignity story about a person, event or place. As part of Global Dignity Day Canada 2013, we’re asking you to submit your dignity day story to share with students and youth across Canada and from around the world.
By sharing our stories, we hope we can better understand each other, our experiences and why it’s important to live with mutual understanding, respect and compassion for ourselves and everyone around us. Please follow the guidelines below to submit your unique story and share what dignity means to you!
Within the “Many Faces of Dignity” framework, we’re cultivating engagement and action through four main pillars, including: Arts and Media; Healthy Living and Recreation; Community Building; and Sharing Food: Celebrating Life.
Two of these lend themselves to the creation and sharing of Dignity Day stories that you can submit to be shared in a new online gallery hosted at http://www.globaldignity.ca
a) Arts & Media — ‘What Does Dignity Mean to You?’ – this is an open-ended theme for you, and
b) Community Building — ‘Have a Senior Moment with Your Kids’
Pick one or both!
WHAT DOES DIGNITY MEAN TO YOU?
Consider what dignity means to you. Can you think of any stories that come to mind? If not, do you have any pictures that you think have dignity in them? Or could you paint a picture of what dignity looks like? Put your creative energies to work through video, writing, visual arts, social media, and more.
HAVE A SENIOR MOMENT WITH YOUR KIDS!
As part of Global Dignity Day Canada 2013, we’re encouraging you to ‘Have a senior moment with your kids!’ This is one example of how to share a dignity day story. Your students can create and submit a dignity day ‘story’ to share with students and other youth across Canada and from around the world. As with any other theme you may choose, we encourage you to use many different forms of expression to tell these stories.
By sharing our stories, we demonstrate appreciation, respect and honour for the elderly members of our communities. Their lives have touched many and we want you to capture significant moments in their lives by meeting with an elderly person you know or by meeting someone you haven’t known before.
Below is a guideline to create and submit your unique dignity story in line with the theme of sharing a senior moment:
1) Meet with an elderly relative or friend. This could also be an opportunity to meet a new elderly person in your community – through a place of worship or community centre. Develop a relationship with that individual.
2) Through relationship and conversation, determine what is of significance to the senior. What was a most significant point in their life? What memory do they hold dear?
3) Capture the ‘story’ with the tools you need in order to create your chosen method – if you are writing a story, have pen and paper or a computer. If you choose to use visual arts of video, have your tools ready! (see Possible Story Formats below for suggestions).
4) Create your dignity day story in one of the formats below. Ask a friend, parent or teacher if you have questions or if you need help.
2. GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS
Submission Guidelines (for teachers, youth leaders & parents or students 18 years or older)
To submit your ‘story’, please send the following to email@example.com:
- the link (URL) to the site where you have created or uploaded your artifact (story)
- please make your email subject line reads: Global Dignity Day Story – (the name of your school or home town/province)
- In your submission email, make sure to include:
- the number of stories being submitted
- the theme of each - a) What Does Dignity Mean To You? or b) Have a Senior Moment with Your Kids!
- a primary point of contact (first and last name)
- the name of the school (organization), the city, the province,
- a phone number and an email address for possible follow-up.
All dignity day stories must be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 5:00 p.m. EST on October 10th, 2013 in order to be included in the national celebrations. If you have questions, please email: email@example.com with the subject line: Question: Global Dignity Day Story
3. POSSIBLE STORY FORMATS
These are just a few ideas on how you can work to share a story. Submit a more traditional piece or try one of the Web 2.0 tools!
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like some help getting started.
- 1-2 minute movie or a longer video memoir (max 12 minutes) – uploaded to YouTube, TeacherTube, Vimeo, etc.
- Written piece (poem, prose)
- Podcast (many tools available – I used PodOmatic )
- Six-word story (image with 6 words on it)
- Wiki page
- Blog post
- Google doc or Google presentation
- Google Earth or Maps multimedia presentation
- Bitstrips for Schools (requires paid account or licence as in Ontario)
- other! (Basically any Web 2.0 tool that allows you to create something on their site will work! As long as you are able to share the URL with us, go for it!)
A Webinar to Support You!
Monday, September 16, 2013 7:00 – 7:45 PM EST
(This event is for Canadian participants. If you are outside of Canada, please check Global Dignity site.)
The Sixth Annual Global Dignity Day is scheduled for Wednesday, October 16th, 2013, and will be celebrated in over 50 countries around the world. This year we build upon the great success of last year’s event during which hundreds of thousands of youth participated across 50 countries.
What is Global Dignity Day?
Established in 2005, Global Dignity Day is linked to the 2020 process of the World Economic Forum, in which leaders from politics, business, academia, and civil society join efforts to improve the state of the world. A dignified life is defined as one where you have the opportunity to fulfill your potential, are treated with respect and have freedom of choice.
On this day, role models from across the country – including parents, educators, athletes, Senators, former and current Members of Parliament as well as international business and thought leaders – join thousands of volunteers to make the day possible. In Canada, role models will speak with youth across the country from Nunavut to British Columbia with the aim to instill a positive, inclusive and interconnected sense of value in young people that will guide them as they grow. Within this year’s theme, “the many faces of dignity”, students will be able to explore several facets of dignity.
How Can You and Your Students be Involved?
Get a great preview of this initiative at GlobalDignity.ca. The Global Dignity team wants to make it easy for you!! So you will see that there is a Facilitator’s Guide, an Express Guide (for shorter activities!) and a guide to help your students to produce and submit a Dignity Day story. It’s pretty awesome because we offer youth the opportunity to produce their Dignity Day stories by traditional means or with some cool Web 2.0 tools!
Join our Webinar to get More Info!
Now join us for a webinar to learn how to participate by:
- Submitting a Dignity Day Story
- Hosting a Dignity Day event
- Using the Dignity Day App (Yes! A brand new Social Action app!)
When: Monday, September 16, 2013 7:00 – 7:45 PM EST (Come early to check your connections – from 6:15 PM on!)
Where: Blackboard Collaborate – REGISTER HERE!
- Giovanna Mingarelli, National Chair, Global Dignity Canada
- Peter Skillen, Steering Committee, Global Dignity Canada; OTF Connects Facilitator
- Brenda Sherry, OTF Connects Facilitator
Headset: Please have a headset with microphone. (Those you use with a cell phone work fine!) If you are in a quiet room by yourself, a headset with mic may not be as necessary!
Computer: Joining the session is usually straightforward – but there can sometimes be challenges with different browsers and so on! Hint: Join us any time after 6:15 so that we can try to sort that out! Contact email@example.com with challenges!
A BIG thank you from Canada’s Global Dignity Day National Chairs & Steering Committee to the Ontario Teachers’ Federation for its generosity in hosting the webinar on its Blackboard Collaborate service!
Contact Info:firstname.lastname@example.org Peter Skillen Steering Committee, Global Dignity Canada
On Wednesday, October 16th, 2013, schools and organizations from around the world will once again celebrate Global (GD).
“…every human being has the universal right to lead a dignified life.”
What is Global Dignity?
Global Dignity (GD) (www.globaldignity.org) is an independent, international, non-political and non-partisan organization focused on empowering individuals with the concept that every human being has the universal right to lead a dignified life. Established in 2005, by HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant and Professor Pekka Himanen, GD is linked to the 2020 process of the World Economic Forum, in which leaders from politics, business, academia, and civil society join efforts to improve the state of the world.
2012 Success Story!
Last October, 9,000 students in Canada from Nunavut to British Columbia joined 350,000 students in over 50 countries to celebrate human dignity and to empower all those around us to live with mutual respect, tolerance and kindness. Culminating with a national videoconference on Parliament Hill, which linked 1,200 students from coast-to-coast, we were thrilled with the enthusiasm and support that GD received from all walks of life.
“9,000 students in Canada from Nunavut to British Columbia.”
In this respect, we had the privilege of rolling-out GD with our National Role Models (2012) who included: Founder of TakingITGlobal, Jennifer Corriero, NDP MP Niki Ashton, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, Conservative Senator Yonah Martin, Jeffrey Copenace from the Assembly of First Nations, traditional Inuit researcher, Curtis Konek, Ryan Hreljac, the Founder of Ryan’s Well and our national event’s keynote speaker, Wesley Prankard, the Founder of Northernstarfish.
What is Required?
There is no cost to take part in GD and events have been designed to range anywhere from 15 minutes, to two hours, or even a full day. What’s more, GD celebrations are flexible and easy to integrate into any classroom setting. This year’s “Many Faces of Dignity” campaign celebrates the varied and diverse interpretations of human dignity and how these forces play out in our lives. By extension, this provides students with the opportunity to explore issues like youth empowerment, anti-bullying, cultural diversity and beyond.
“GD celebrations are flexible and easy to integrate into any classroom setting.”
In the attached agenda, you will find an overview of GD, complete with learning objectives. Throughout the GD process, students will learn about the importance of dignity in their own lives and the lives of others. From there, they will learn how to express what dignity means for them and they will learn how their own dignity is mutually dependent on the dignity of others.
Students Can Make a Difference!
Overall, it is our hope that by acknowledging existing inequalities, students will see that they have the ability to impact and enrich the lives of others through their own actions and choices, thereby promoting awareness and a social consciousness during a key time in their development.
“…promote awareness and a social consciousness…”
I encourage you to consider championing this global movement and help us to transform young lives, revitalize communities in Canada’s North, and mobilize young people from around the world to act for global change.
Register Your School
and share this invitation with any individuals, groups and organizations who may be interested in supporting, volunteering or encouraging more people to participate in this important movement. Visit www.globaldignity.ca for more info. (New site will be up REAL SOON!!!!)
Thank you for supporting our youth!
- Students will learn about the importance of dignity in their own lives and the lives of others.
- Students will learn to express in their own words what dignity means for them and their lives.
- Students will learn about how their own dignity is mutually dependent on the dignity of others.
- Students will name something they are for and what they want to do during the course of the next year to strengthen the dignity of others.
Connections to Education:
Character development must be a whole school effort.
Character development supports student achievement because it: develops the whole student as an individual (as an engaged learner and as a citizen); contributes to respectful, safe, caring and inclusive school environments that are prerequisites for learning; creates learning environments that are positive and collaborative so that teachers spend less time disciplining and more time doing what they do best – namely, teaching.
The increasing diversity of Canada’s population creates an opportunity for us to determine the beliefs and principles we hold in common. When school boards engage a wide cross-section of their communities in building consensus on character attributes, they are, in essence, engaged in a process of finding common ground.
The principles and attributes of character development are universal, based in equity and transcend differences as well as other demographic factors. Empathy for others and respect for the dignity of all persons are essential characteristics of an inclusive society
Connections to 21st Century Skills:
- Learning from individuals representing diverse cultures, religions and lifestyles in a spirit of mutual respect
Communication and Collaboration
- Articulate thoughts and ideas effectively using oral, written and nonverbal communication skills in a variety of forms and contexts
- Listen effectively to decipher meaning, including knowledge, values, attitudes and intentions
- Use communication for a range of purposes (e.g. to inform, instruct, motivate and persuade)
Global Dignity Principles:
- Every human being has a right to a dignified life;
- A dignified life means the opportunity to fulfill your potential. This means having a humane level of healthcare, education;
- Dignity means having the freedom to make decisions about your life and to be treated with respect with regard to this right;
- Dignity should be the basic guiding principle behind all actions;
- Ultimately, our dignity depends upon the dignity of others.
Global Dignity Day Overview (approx. 2 hours total):
Kindly register your school by October 10th at the latest if you intend to participate.
Sincerely yours,Giovanna Mingarelli Chair, National Steering Committee
Global Dignity Day Canada
email@example.com Peter Skillen National Steering Committee Global Dignity Day Canada firstname.lastname@example.org
- Global Dignity Leaders Announce Global Dignity Day for October 16, 2013 (johnhopebryant.com)
- Dignity and Self-Worth Quote of the Day (johnhopebryant.com)
- News Regarding His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon of Norway. (VIDEOS) (royalcorrespondent.com)
“You can’t separate intellect and feelings in the work of the mind. They’re both there all the time. Real learning—attentive real learning, deep learning—is playful and frustrating and joyful and discouraging and exciting and sociable and private all at the same time, which is what makes it great.” ~ Eleanor Duckworth
Know when to memorize. Know when to mesmerize!
If we want students to learn deeply and efficiently we need to understand the role emotions play in different types of learning. We could spend much time discussing what it means to learn. In fact, Seymour Sarason has a whole book called “And What Do You Mean by Learning?”
Without getting into it too deeply, we could probably agree that we want students to acquire some knowledge, skills and attitudes. So how should kids ‘get that knowledge’? A constructivist approach would suggest that kids need to assimilate information into existing schema or indeed construct new schema to accommodate new information and ideas. Lev Vygotsky might add that this happens best in a social setting.
Should Students Memorize Content?
Other approaches would involve getting students to memorize content or procedural knowledge. While I believe there are times when this is quite appropriate, rote memorization continues to be an overused strategy that is often implemented without a deep understanding of its nuances. It becomes “memorization of decontextualized facts” rather than “active construction of new schema.”
These days, there is a very vocal anti-memorization movement! We hear about collaboration, project-based learning, student agency, constructionism, and passion. All of which I support. I’ve been a fan of passion-based learning since I started teaching in 1970. Somehow it just seemed a matter of ethics and the culture of the day. Kids should love learning and love school. It was after all, the “love, peace and happiness” era.
Passion Constitutes More than Engagement
Passion-based learning has gained more ground recently. Why? Apart from the anti-memorization sentiments, the main rationale seems to be focused on engagement and motivation. Students are more likely to learn if they are captivated, motivated and engaged with the curriculum or projects in hand. We could unpack types and levels of engagement, but I’m sure we’d all agree on this: if the child is deeply engaged in a task there is greater likelihood that she will attend to it better and build requisite understandings and new schema that serve to increase the base of content and process knowledge desired.
But passion isn’t just about the motivational aspect. It’s deeper than engagement.
There are cognitive processes in the brain that are “turned on” by emotion – be that passion, anger, anxiety or other emotions.
Emotions Impact Cognition
Here’s a sampling of thoughts from some great voices:
Eleanor Duckworth suggests that “…you can’t separate intellect and feelings in the work of the mind. They’re both there all the time. Real learning—attentive real learning, deep learning—is playful and frustrating and joyful and discouraging and exciting and sociable and private all at the same time, which is what makes it great” (in Teaching by Heart: The Foxfire Interviews, Sara Day Hatton, 2005, p. 21).
Paulo Freire, the great Brazilian educator, often suggested that we must teach with both our hearts and our minds, while Lev Vygotsky recognized the limitations of trying to explain ‘superior thinking processes’ without addressing the effects of emotion.
Nellie J. Zambrana-Ortiz in Pedagogy in (E)Motion suggests that “emotions color our ideas, move the reason, and stretch cognition.” She says, “Emotions are related to body as well as mind. There is no cognition without emotions, or emotions outside the limits of a cognitive experience, and progressive explanations of human learning and development must take into consideration the fusion of both.”
It’s real now that “science” says so
Why is it not a widely accepted fact that emotions impact cognition and why is it not central to our educational systems? My guess is that all the psychologists, philosophers and educators who have spoken about the centrality of emotions in learning haven’t been considered ‘real scientists’ by our western societies. We tend to like ‘hard’ science.
Well, now we are getting some ‘hard science’ as a result of breakthroughs in neuroscience research.
Antonio Damasio, a great neuroscientist, has researched this phenomenon extensively in recent years and has discovered that emotions are absolutely necessary in the decision-making process. He describes them as the “engine of the limbic system” – our “emotional brain.”
Priscilla Vail in her article “The Role of Emotions in Learning,” says ‘Emotion is an on/off switch for learning…the emotional brain, the limbic system, has the power to open or close access to learning, memory, and the ability to make connections.’
When students are passionately engaged in their learning – when they are mesmerized by their learning environment or activities – there are myriad responses in their brains making connections and building schema that simply would not occur without that passion or emotion.
Much of what we ask kids to “memorize” has little emotional charge to it. Emotions can significantly alter the creation and recall of memories. People are better at remembering information that is emotionally charged – rather than information that is neutral or flat.
So when you are designing learning environments, remember that mesmerization trumps memorization!
There are many studies that describe the ‘bystander’ effect and the ‘good Samaritan’ effect. This research basically suggests that when you are in a crowd, there is a ‘diffusion of responsibility’. There is a well-documented ‘lack of individual responsibility’. It seems that you don’t take action for a variety of reasons. People expect someone else to step up and take action. They may be hesitant to interfere or be bossy and so not take control. People might not want to get involved and so are happy to dissolve into the crowd whereas, if that person was on their own, s/he might step-up because there is a need for someone to do so!
So how does this ‘bystander effect’ relate to students working in teams in a classroom?
As I said in a previous post, Gavriel Salomon suggests that teams do not always function well. Perhaps when you think of kids collaborating on a project, you might see all the kids in any one group negotiating every decision and producing one artifact together. This is often a challenge as you well know. There are many teamwork issues that arise. Gavriel Salomon speaks of the ‘free-rider’ or ‘loafer’ effect where a team member leaves it to others to complete the task. Consider the ‘sucker effect’ whereby a more active member of the team is taken for a free ride by other members. Or think about ‘status sensitivity’ where high-ability or very active members take charge and rule the roost in spite of the others. Others have talked about ‘ganging up on the task’ whereby all team members just divide up the task to get it done as quickly as possible! These are all very common.
What do you do?
So, I am wondering how you design your classrooms, and more specifically, your team-based projects to accommodate these phenomena.
How do you support and encourage individual agency?
What tips and techniques do you have to help others to deal with this ‘loafer effect’?
What might you do at the ‘classroom culture’ level to address this?
Do you teach kids about the impact of crowds on individual behaviour?
The Ontario Public School Boards’ Association has produced this excellent document A Vision for Learning and Teaching in a Digital Age. It is a call to the government of Ontario and to the Ontario Ministry of Education to take a strong leadership position to move the province forward in integrating the technological, and more importantly, the learning and teaching skills necessary for success in this era.
I don’t plan to editorialize here. (Imagine that!) Rather, I want to provide you with just a taste of the opening pages of the vision.
“This paper, authored by trustees and educators across the spectrum of Ontario’s public school boards, seeks to align and consolidate current dialogue to support the Ministry of Education in building a progressive and sustainable provincial vision for learning and teaching in a digital age.”
- Requires a purposeful cultural shift in our education system that focuses on engaging and inspiring our students, that fosters creative and innovative minds and embraces the enabling role of technology in expanding how, when and where learning takes place.
- Is founded on the principles of equity of access and equity of opportunity
- Acknowledges that schools are more than a collection of buildings – they represent a system of learning and a culture where learning and teaching reciprocally drive the use of technology
- Seeks to lay the foundations for creativity and innovation and, through student learning and engagement, shape the future
- Recognizes that we exist in an international environment requiring a global set of competencies and responsible, ethical social practices
- Is centred within a provincial curriculum that reflects these values, aspirations and practices.
Our Vision Rests On the Pillars of:
- Authentic Student Engagement
- Inspiring and Inspired Teachers
- Skills for a Digital Age
- Responsible Digital Citizenship
ITS FOUNDATION IS EQUITY.
Comments from some reviewers:
“A Vision for Learning and Teaching in a Digital Age is a well-considered approach to how and why our education system should embrace technological innovation as an important part of educational strategy for the province of Ontario.”
Martyn Beckett, Council of Directors of Education
“This Vision speaks to me about where we need to go, with student learning and engagement at the forefront, as it should be.”
Brenda Sherry, Technology Coach, Upper Grand District School Board
“An impressive initiative that promotes the value of co-construction of knowledge – kids taking charge of their own learning.”
Peter Skillen, Manager, Professional Learning, YMCA of Greater Toronto
“A Vision that values equity of access, inquiry-based learning, teachers and students as co-learners – an impressive synthesis.”
Royan Lee, Grade 7 teacher, York Region District School Board
The focus on the teacher as a constant learner is one of the best ways to foster the love of learning in our students.”
Jamie Reaburn Weir, Secondary Teacher (English), Waterloo Region District School Board
”“Technology plays a huge role in our day-to-day lives in the 21st century, and it also needs to have an increased role in the classroom. The use of interactive tools allows students to learn at their own pace, enhances their experience and promotes deeper engagement.”
Hirad Zafari, President, Ontario Student Trustees’ Association
TED Talks When is the last time you did absolutely nothing for 10 whole minutes? Not texting, talking or even thinking?
When I was twenty, I became a practitioner of Transcendental Meditation — it is a practice I love – but have not maintained over the years. It used to be seen, in our western society, as pretty flaky – but now that it is being embraced by our western neuroscientists, it might gain some traction. It is time.
See on www.ted.com