Sunday, June 5, 2011

Humane Education

Zoe Weil: Changing our school system can solve the world's problems.

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Zoe Weil

Zoe Weil believes that what we commonly think of as the goal of education—preparing students for jobs in our economy—is a vision "too small and outmoded for today's world." Instead, she believes we should teach students to be conscious choice makers, "a generation of solutionaries" who can cope with the challenges of our changing, imperiled world.
Co-founder and president of the Institute for Humane Education, Weil emphasizes the need for an education system that provides people with the knowledge, tools, and motivation to change our economic system, not adapt themselves to it. She created the first Master of Education and Certificate Program in Humane Education in the U.S., covering the interconnected issues of human rights, environmental preservation, and animal protection.
In this video, Weil discusses why her experiences as a humane educator have led her to believe that changing the way we teach is the key to solving the problems we face in the world today.

Video from TEDxTalks

What is Humane Education?

4 teens working on computerIMAGINE. . .

…a generation with the passion and skills to solve the most pressing challenges of our time, successfully and joyfully.

… if each of us were prepared for our unique role in creating a better world from the time we were born.

…if making humane choices were part of every aspect of our lives.

IMAGINE the world we would create.

Humane education is the key to creating such a world.

Humane education not only instills the desire and capacity to live with compassion, integrity, and wisdom, but also provides the knowledge and tools to put our values into action in meaningful, far-reaching ways.

Humane education enables us to find solutions that work for all by approaching human rights, environmental preservation, and animal protection as interconnected and integral dimensions of a healthy, just society. 

Humane education includes 4 elements:

  1. Providing accurate information about the issues of our time so that people have the information they need to understand the consequences of their decisions as citizens.
  2. Fostering curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking, so that people can evaluate information and solve problems.
  3. Instilling reverence, respect, and responsibility, so that people have the motivation to face challenges and to act with integrity.
  4. Offering positive choices that benefit oneself, other people, the animals, and the Earth, and tools for problem solving so that people are empowered to create a more humane world.

Humane education may well be the most revolutionary and effectiveeffort that we as a society can undertake to create a peaceful and just world. 

It’s time to make living ethically, sustainably, and peaceably on this planet the very purpose of education.

The World Becomes What You Teach.

Find out more about what humane educators do