Tips Tuesday: The World As It Could Be
August 14th 2012
the first days are the hardest days, don't you worry any more,
'cause when life looks like easy street, there is danger at your door.
Think this through with me, let me know your mind,
Wo, oh, what I want to know, is are you kind?
-Uncle John's Band, The Grateful Dead
Since 1983, the Rex Foundation has served as the philanthropic face of the legendary touring jam-band known as the Grateful Dead. In 2006, the Rex Foundation's work grew to include a series of educational initiatives that use the creative arts to deepen learning about Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The result was The World As It Could Be Human Rights Education Program a curriculum and professional development resource for educators that provides the tools and techniques to creatively introduce issues of human rights into Bay Area high schools.
While the students who take part in the program, likely have little to no memory of the Grateful Dead, their creative work speaks to a long tradition of freedom loving and passionately honest collective expression. The curriculum builds upon on the similarities between children's creative arts and human rights activism, developing a powerful pedagogy based on movement, community, performance, voice, and visual art. Akin to what World Savvy has seen in its Media & Arts Program, The World As It Could Be Human Rights Education Program is premised on the fact that creative arts encourage students to emotionally connect with classroom content by allowing them to identify personal relevance in the material that encourages their learning and curiosity.
The Rex Foundation provides some incredibly wonderful resources online for educators, including the full curriculum, individual lesson plans, and resources to supplement coursework. To get a taste of the incredibly thoughtful, intelligent, and provocative work this curriculum inspires, check out their video archive of performances which includes this particularly powerful gem.