Name: Kurt Schmidt
Home: Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
Graduated from the Institute for Humane Education (IHE): M.Ed. 2011
Current Job/Position/Role: Sessional Instructor of Mathematics, Mi’kmaq-Maliseet Institute, University of New Brunswick
What led you to the path of humane education?
I was searching for the right graduate program in education, and IHE’s vision and values stuck out as the most balanced, insightful and compelling among the programs I considered. Humane education was exactly the right fit for me at exactly the right time!
How has your humane education experience with IHE affected/influenced you?
My humane education experience with IHE has helped me to develop, clarify, and challenge some of my fundamental convictions and assumptions. It has helped me to more effectively question and discern my own lifestyle choices as well as those of the larger communities to which I belong — family, friendship groups, school, neighborhood, city, nation, and planet. Above all, it has helped me to consider the deep purpose of education and to integrate my own learning and teaching with that purpose.
Describe your current humane education work.
On the professional side, I am working to introduce humane education principles and elements to my employer, the Faculty of Education at the University of New Brunswick, as well as to the aboriginal university students at UNB alongside whom I am privileged to learn in my mathematics courses. In a more informal volunteer context, I am working to inject some humane education vision and energy into the activities of Fredkid (a family-focused non-profit in my home city) and specifically its Learning Series Committee.
How has your work been making an impact?
This is difficult to measure; I simply hope and trust that my students, colleagues and friends experience me as a skillful, creative, and compassionate educator who is constantly striving to live, learn, and love more excellently!
Share a success story or two.
A very exciting recent success happened when Zoe Weil brought her one-woman show — “My Ongoing Problems with Kindness: Confessions of MOGO Girl” — to New Brunswick for its international debut performance in April 2012. Zoe caused a lot of positive stir here in Fredericton, both through her show, as well as through the MOGO workshop that she led on the following day. Our local community was so pleased and privileged to have the pioneer of humane education visit us in person and infect us with her enthusiasm and vision!
What are your thoughts about the power of humane education to positively transform the world?
To my mind there is no question that humane education is a key to positive transformation of individuals and cultures. The clarity and intentionality of the elements of humane education cannot help but inspire solutionaries to change their world for the better. Humane education is a gift I am grateful to have received and proud to pass along to members of future generations — it is a legacy worth leaving!
What would you say to others interested in IHE’s graduate programs?
Do it! The curriculum is carefully designed and delivered, the support and mentorship are outstanding, and the benefits are undeniable. You won’t regret launching a relationship with IHE!