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In addition to the show an optional interactive workshop is available for students that focuses on the issues of our times. The workshop encourages voter registration, provides information on current leading edge solutions for a progressive Democracy and presents new successful models for serving the common good.

Holistic Interdisciplinary Student Participatory Values Workshops

The purpose of these workshops will be to help students discover and articulate through their own understanding and imagination:

  • their dreams for the future,
  • what they feel heroism means,
  • the unique gifts they possess to help others, and consequently fulfill the purpose of their own lives.

The workshop also presents positive information on people and projects that are succeeding and helping to build a progressive democracy. A nation and world that is compassionate and models the values of "the good, the beautiful, and the true." A nation where all men and women are created equal.

Heroes and Heroines Workshop Outline

I. Introduction

Instead of giving young people the impression that their task is to stand a dreary watch over the ancient values, we should be telling them the grim but bracing truth that it is their task to recreate those values continuously in their own behavior, facing the dilemmas and catastrophes of their own time; a society is being continuously recreated for good or ill by its members. This will strike some as a burdensome responsibility, but it will summon others to greatness.
~John Gardner

A) Each teacher talks about his or her own Heroes and Heroines and the effect this has had upon one's own life, one's education and one's goals and aspirations.

B) Each teacher establishes the qualities of Heroism: Vision, leadership, individuality, courage, persistence, affirmation, creativity and the urge to higher interest than self interest.

C) Each teacher will then open up the class to a discussion about who their personal heroes are and why.
The discussion will be guided to only include those people who manifest the above mentioned characteristics.

II. Experiencing the Heroic

And don't you know that it's a fool who plays it cool by making his world a little colder.
~Hey, Jude – The Beatles

A) Each teacher explores the theme of what prevents us from experiencing the heroic in our lives.

1) affirmation vs negation
2) idealism vs cynicism
3) faith vs doubt
4) commitment vs apathy

And fear of criticism will be explored and the effects of criticism.

B) Abraham Maslow in the Further Reaches of Human Nature talks about the Jonah Complex which he explains as an evasion of growth and destiny, fear of one's own greatness. Maslow says "We fear our own best as well as our worst." He goes on to say "Not only are we ambivalent about our highest possibilities, we are also in conflict with these same highest possibilities in other people.
Using the concept of Leveling students will explore how this can prevent growth, joy and creativity.

C) Questions are asked of the students. (Depending on the time permitted these questions are excellent for the teacher to use as essay questions for future classroom activities.)

  1. How much of what we consider "our individuality" is actually what we are against, rather than what we stand for and affirm?
  2. Is it hypocritical to complain about how bad things are and yet do nothing to improve the situation?
  3. Seed quote: "If you are not a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem."
  4. What is responsibility? Do you perceive responsibility as a means of gaining freedom or a way of losing freedom?
  5. What is real achievement vs "status success?"
  6. Do you really love to do anything? If so, what is it about particular something that inspires you so much?
  7. Do you think you could be successful at this thing you really love? If so, how? If not, why not?
  8. What is the Will?
  9. How do we develop our Will?

Quotes on the Will by famous people are introduced. The teacher could especially use these quotes for creative writing projects.

D) Anecdotes on the lives of famous people are introduced. The purpose is to illustrate the kind of obstacles they experienced in achieving their destiny and the kinds of criticism they faced and had to overcome.

E) Students are encouraged to form partners and engage in empowering exercises with each other to viscerally understand the subconscious effects of negation versus affirmation in terms of exploring how creativity is enhanced. Concepts of the difference between the right and left sides of the neo-cortex section of the brain will be introduced as a foundation for the last section of the workshop which explores synthetic learning, that is, seeing the whole rather than just the parts.

III. Building the Common Good

Some people see things as they are and ask why, I dream things that never were and ask why not?
~George Bernard Shaw

A) Students are asked to explore the question: "If you could change the world, what would you do?"

B) Once the ideal dream is established, students are then asked to discuss their personal goals that they wish to pursue after graduation.

C) Is their any connection between your ideal for a better world of the "Common Good" and your personal career ambitions?

1) If so, how do you plan to realize your goal?
2) If not, how is it that what you envision to make the world better is not or cannot be a part of what you want to develop as a career?

D) What is service?

E) How do you think you can be of service to others?

F) What concrete steps can you now take to begin serving others?

G) Examples of people who have successfully been both dreamers and doers, will be provided.

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