Teaching for a Positive Future

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Humane Education website at http://humaneeducation.org/online-courses/teaching-for-a-positive-future/


OCTPF-iconTeaching for a Positive Future is our six-week online course for classroom teachers who want to inspire their students to become leaders and changemakers—for creating a healthy, peaceful, and sustainable world.

From thoughtful and inspiring course exercises, to the dynamic conversations with fellow participants, to mentoring from you course instructor—you’ll find the support and motivation you need to teach valuable critical and creative thinking skills about our global challenges. You learn how to help students nurture connection and embrace responsibility so that they can become solutionaries for a better world.

During the course, you’ll have the opportunity to:

  • increase your own knowledge of humane education topics and explore issues that may be somewhat new to you.
  • gain ideas and strategies for bringing the humane education lens to your life and work.
  • design lessons to incorporate humane education into your teaching and bring humane education issues to your students in creative ways that help inspire positive action in your school, community, and beyond.
  • connect with other humane educators passionate about bringing the humane/solutionary lens to their classrooms and communities.
  • create a new humane education lesson, project or other way of teaching.

Is Teaching for a Positive Future Right for Me?

The two key criteria that make a Teaching for a Positive Future course right for you are:
  • you regularly create curricula
  • you regularly work with one or more classes of “students” (of whatever age)
If your situation doesn’t fit these two criteria, and you want to bring humane education to a non-classroom setting (e.g., to your work place, as a writer, as an activist, etc.), check out our course Humane Education for Changemakers.

Course Dates

Oct. 6 – Nov. 14, 2014



Individual registration for this course is $150.

We also offer a special rate of $125 for IHE Graduate Program alumni, and a group rate of $125 per person for two or more educators registering from the same school or organization.

Members of APHE (the Association for Professional Humane Educators) receive a special discount of 25 percent off the individual course fee. Inquire at info@humaneeducation.org

A limited number of scholarships is available. Inquire at info@humaneeducation.org.


Cancellation Policy

We will refund your registration, minus a $25 administration fee, if you cancel more than seven days before the course session begins. IHE is unable to grant refunds for cancellations after that date.

Transfer Policy

If you find you cannot participate in the session of the course for which you have registered, you have until the Friday of the first week of the course session to let us know and transfer to another scheduled session of the course or to one of IHE’s other online courses. After that time, we cannot offer you a transfer. The transfer must be made to a course that is scheduled within nine months of the current course session, and there is a limit of one transfer per course. There is an additional $20 course book fee if you transfer to a different online course.

For more information, email us at info@HumaneEducation.org.

Meet Your Instructors

Marsha RakestrawMarsha Rakestraw

I come from a long line of educators, and even though I had no intention of becoming a teacher, I discovered that teaching is in my blood. Throughout my professional evolution, you can see the commonalities: helping people learn new knowledge and skills and connecting them with their needs and interests; inspiring others to positive action. And learning—always learning. Again and again I return to teaching and learning and the power they hold to empower and free others.

Marsha Rakestraw is the director of online courses and education resources at the Institute for Humane Education (IHE) and a member of the online course faculty. She has taught at the pre-K through graduate levels, and her experience includes teaching high school language arts, working as a school media specialist and more than a decade as a youth librarian. She has taught each of IHE’s online courses, has created or revised several courses, and regularly leads humane education workshops in her community.

Marsha has a B.F.A. in dance, a B.A. in English and an M.L.S. from Emporia State University. She received her certificate in humane education from IHE in 2005 and has been on the IHE staff since 2007.

She lives in a co-housing community Portland, Ore., with her beloved husband and swimming-obsessed dog.


Alexis GreerAlexis (Lexie) Greer

I found out about IHE a few years ago while cutting a quote out of a magazine from Zoe Weil’s book Most Good, Least Harm:

“Living your epitaph may be the most important ingredient for inner peace and serenity.  When you actively align your choices with your life’s purpose and goals, you live more honestly, more courageously, and with greater integrity, and these virtues bring with them a powerful kind of freedom.
The quote filled me with optimism and a sense of grounding at a time when I was trying to decide which direction to take my career.  After reading Most Good, Least Harm and learning more about IHE I knew I had found the direction I needed to pursue to help me fulfill a deeper calling.

I am very excited and humbled to be a part of this group of educators as we travel this path together.  I am looking forward to working with and learning from all of you!

Lexie Greer holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and will complete her Master of Education in Humane Education from the Institute of Humane Education and Valparaiso University this summer.  Lexie is a veteran teacher with 11 years of classroom experience.  While in the classroom, she has also worked as a Reading Recovery teacher, ESL and literacy curriculum advisor, grade-level team leader, and literacy teacher leader trained through Teachers College.  Lexie has also worked as a literacy consultant creating and implementing yearlong professional staff development workshops.

Lexie currently lives in Shepherdstown, WV with her husband and two dogs.  She strives daily to make a practice of reading and writing, hiking with her dogs, trail running, studying yoga and meditation, and drinking green smoothies.