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I Am a Humane Educator: Lauren Allison

Lauren Allison, who earned her M.Ed. in Instructional Leadership with a concentration in Humane Education, teaches middle school English at a school in Porter, Indiana.

She discovered humane education while looking for options to complete her master’s. She said, “The moment I read the description of the courses and explored IHE’s website, I knew that in humane education I had found more than I even knew I was looking for.”

We asked Lauren to share a bit about her humane education work.

IHE: Share one or two of the most meaningful ways that you’re currently manifesting humane education.

LA: I teach English/Language arts, so my manifestation of humane education comes in a million little ways each day. From sharing and exploring literature with humane themes, to using a lesson on pronouns to discuss the way in which we regard animals; it is through the million little suggestions that I give each day that I am teaching my students to follow a more humane path.

IHE: Share a success story. 

LA: My successes are more of a series of small victories that build overtime throughout our school year. I make a point each week to have the students discuss short stories as a class. Our short stories and poems deal with universal themes, with questions focusing on looking at the story with a humane lens. My students are always so thoughtful about their opinions and are always willing to put themselves in the shoes of others. This ability to see through the lens of others is so needed in our world today, and I am so thankful to be able to facilitate that for my students. One of my favorite activities is always introducing “third-side” thinking into our classroom, and helping students to step back from conflicts and see their concerns from the outside looking in.

IHE: What are your future plans for your humane education work?

LA: I am hoping to help introduce humane education to other educators through work with the local university. I also hope to lead professional development within my school centered on sustainability and other student-action oriented offerings to help give students an outlet to become humane citizens of the world. (We are even looking at starting our very own Solutionary Club!)

IHE: What gives you hope for a better world for all?

LA: My students give me hope that there is a better world for all on the horizon. When I see my students’ outrage at injustices across the globe, I have hope that the next generation will call attention to the problems with the hand we have dealt them. When I see my students discuss solutions, I see in them a resilience that I am confident will lead to real and positive changes in the years to come. When I see my students’ refusal to accept things as they are, I know that they will settle for nothing less than a better world to leave behind for those that follow in their paths.