PSYC 108 class incorporates Making into the curriculum

Sierra College’s PSYC 108 Psychology of Death and Dying (3 credits) class, designed and taught by Dr. Kim Bateman, Executive Dean at the Tahoe Truckee Campus, is engaging students in a textile art project supported by Sierra Makerspaces team members Louisa and Steve Hunter, and Naima Josephine. The project was prototyped in spring 2018 to update the curriculum, and a small lab with sewing machines and textile supplies was created on the campus.

The 25 students enrolled in the Fall class include six young men.  About half of the class are Latino/a and ages range from 16 to 60.  Students are learning basic computer software, scan and print images on to fabric, use sewing machines to fabricate and decorate their piece, and incorporate other artifacts into the piece (such as a fishing pole for a banner rod).

At the first class project lab event, Dr. Bateman, noted, “Naima did a beautiful job instructing our students yesterday. She was methodical, gracious, and patient. And the students LOVED it!  It really was that moment when all the work comes to fruition— when you say—WOW, it is worth it.  One young man of Latino descent was so excited he could barely sit still (and Naima had to keep reminding him to be gentle, and stop pushing all the buttons for a minute). Two re-entry students (who both tend toward the cynical side) were in complete engagement and joy, and so excited about their projects. I believe everyone learned a lot.  Thank you Naima!”

Class Details

Description: An investigation of beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors associated with death, dying, and bereavement. Terminal illness, suicide, euthanasia, last rites, legal aspects, death anxiety, cross cultural beliefs and various philosophical views on the phenomenon of death are explored.

Student Outcomes: Upon successful completion of this course, a student will be able to:

  • Evaluate the importance of death education and major aspects of the death and dying process
  • Assess how attitudes toward death have changed over time
  • Evaluate how current interest in death, dying and caring is affecting contemporary society
  • Demonstrate understanding of and identify the resources for people dealing with terminal illness
  • Demonstrate understanding different models of the death and dying process

Memorial Textile Art Project – Students will design and complete a sewing project in the textiles lab at Sierra College. The piece may be a tribute to anything that you grieve, i.e. a person, pet, geographic location, sense of self, etc. We have several textile experts who will personally mentor you through this process. No prior sewing experience is necessary.

Assignment- Storientation- Present your textile art and tell your story about the process and product.



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