Monday, November 25, 2013

Removing the Guilt of Excessive Calories...and reforming research tasks

'Tis the season to spend money, eat too much, shortchange our sleep, and remember our abundant blessings.  As I contemplate which flavor pie to bake, I am reminded that people are still recovering from Super Cyclone Haiyan and living in shelters.  With 2.5 people in need of food or assistance, I am compelled to I plan to cook. Here are three links to relief organizations taking donations: 

There are many other worthy organizations, but before making a donation, insure that they have their books audited for accountability.  When disaster strikes, it shouldn't matter which religion is delivering relief--as long as aid arrives.  These organizations have helped out in  areas within the continental US who have also met with recent devastation.    

It struck me that we often  are researching "facts" and disaster preparedness, but rarely embed a "response."  As students all around America study disasters, we should strive to embed a humanitarian element of response.   As we teach kids the Inquiry Cycle and they approach the last phase of "reflection"  I wonder how many of these kids have  a self-centered view of the research task.    Would it be possible to turn the research task into a research and respond, rather than a fact-fetching report gathering task where the kids are just reporting on the travesty? 

Rather than having our kids create  personal disaster plans for avoiding damage from superstorms, could we concentrate on building better relief plans?  Could knowledge products  include media plans for to help with disaster relief-- rather than PSA's about what we should do to get ready for a cyclone which will never hit [our area such as the Adirondacks of NYS]. Could we have students calculate damage and reconstruction costs and prepare FEMA presentations for weak links they found?   Now those are "real world" issues which need to be solved.   

So to assuage my guilt of consuming too many calories, I have made a donation. I wish I could do more, but at least I've done a little part.  

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