The Institute for Humane Education offers professional learning for educators who want to empower students to become changemakers. Our Solutionary Micro-credential Program (SMP) provides teachers with the knowledge and support to deeply engage students in work that is meaningful to them; improve student research, thinking, and literacy skills; foster compassion; and contribute to a healthier and more humane society.
“Amazing… a truly thoughtful, meaningful, and well-organized process and guide to engage students in authentic, real-world learning that matters and truly creates a positive impact on our world.”
-Jenny Henry, Educator, Consultant & Advocate, Colorado USA
This professional learning experience is for educators who want to:
- Bring problem-based learning to the next level by empowering students to engage in systems thinking and ethical analysis.
- Discover how to educate students to be solutionaries who apply what they learn in the classroom to solve problems in their community and world.
- Learn how to help students understand and address human rights, social justice, sustainability, animal protection, and other interconnected issues in a comprehensive way.
- Acquire the resources, frameworks, and tools to inspire your students and enable them to take meaningful action.
What you can expect to gain from the SMP:
- Cutting-edge, learning content you won’t find anywhere else
- Help to quickly integrate a powerful thinking process into classrooms
- A practical, exciting, and personally rewarding professional development experience
- Mentoring with an experienced humane educator
- Connection with fellow classroom teachers who want to educate for a sustainable, just, and humane world
Upon completion, you’ll earn a Solutionary Micro-credential, a Solutionary Badge, and optional Continuing Education Units (CEUs) through our partner, Antioch University.
2024 SMP start dates: Jan. 2, April 2, July 2, Oct. 1
How the Solutionary Micro-credential Program Works
The SMP includes three modules: CONCEPT, PROCESS, and APPLICATION. Each module takes approximately 10 hours to complete (2.5 hours per week). You will proceed through the course independently (starting on the first Tuesday of October, January, April or July) and will have opportunities to connect with others taking the course and to have coaching conversations by Zoom with your facilitator. The program is designed to be completed within three months.
Outline of SMP Modules
Module 1: Solutionary Concept
Learn about solutionary thinking and why it’s so important to educate students to be solutionaries. In this module, you will…
- Understand what solutionaries are and why they matter
- Explore the impact of personal choices and the need for systems change
- Experience a powerful activity to use with your students as well as for your own decision-making
Module 2: Solutionary Process
Go through the process yourself and learn to think and act like a solutionary. In this module, you will…
- Engage with the Solutionary Framework as if you’re one of your students
- Create a model for your students based on a problem you care about
- Deepen your critical, systems, strategic, and creative thinking
Module 3: Solutionary Application
Create your plan to bring solutionary learning to your classroom. Receive support and mentorship along the way. In this module, you will…
- Bring new and comprehensive ideas, tools, and approaches to your curriculum
- Prepare to coach students through the Solutionary Framework
- Become a solutionary educator!
The SMP is hosted on Claned, an online learning management system that encourages interaction. You will have your own learner account where you can log in and engage with course materials and your facilitator at your own pace.
Meet the SMP Facilitators
Betsy Farrell-Messenger, M.Ed., has worked in the field of education for more than 20 years. She has been a New York State certified classroom teacher, middle school advisor, K-8 STEM instructor, environmental educator, and humane educator for a farm animal sanctuary co-developing Camp Kindness. She has a master’s degree in education (pre-K through 9th grade) and earned her Graduate Certificate in Humane Education through the Institute for Humane Education (IHE). Creative, supportive, and passionate about helping teachers bring solutionary learning to students, Betsy will guide and support you through each module.
Julie Meltzer, Ph.D., has been a teacher, teacher educator, consultant, educational researcher and, most recently, a curriculum director in Maine where she was recognized as Curriculum Leader of the Year in 2019. Julie now serves as the Director of K-12 and Teacher Education for the Institute of Humane Education where she oversees the Solutionary Micro-credential program. Julie has been associated with the Institute for Humane Education for many years as a curriculum advisor, a board member, and a fan! Known for her thoughtful questions and skill as a teacher and principal coach, Julie will support you in your quest to prepare your students to become solutionaries.
Have a question about the SMP or want more information? Submit an inquiry form and we’ll be in touch shortly.
“I enrolled in the SMP as a ‘non-educator’ wanting to learn how to bring solutionary thinking to my professional work in global development and to the humane causes I am committed to in a personal capacity as well. The program equipped me with the knowledge and resources to expand my thinking in terms of how each person can effect change and do the most good and least harm to all in the process. I believe IHE’s work in educating a generation of solutionaries to create a more just, humane, and healthy world is extraordinary; this was a transformative learning experience for me.”
-Audrey M. Wood
Ready to Enroll?
For Individual Educators
You can register for our open enrollment SMP at four points throughout the year in January, April, July, and October. Select the start date that best fits your schedule and learn alongside fellow educators at your own pace. Included in your SMP experience is the opportunity to meet 1:1 with the facilitator for extra support and to participate in 1x per month group zooms where people can share questions, projects, and approaches.
We ask that you contact your school or institution to find out if they will support this professional development opportunity. Doing so will enable us to maintain free and low-cost options for the people and schools that most need them.
Individuals: $295 per personEnroll Now
For School Leaders & Teaching Teams
Want to integrate the Solutionary Framework into your existing project-based or inquiry-to-action models across content areas and/or grade levels? There is a discounted rate if multiple teachers in your school/district will implement solutionary teaching and learning. We ask that a school leader register along with their teachers. Our team will customize the online Learning Board, host Zoom meetings, and facilitate the SMP for you. To enroll as a group, please contact us and tell us more about your goals and needs.
Groups of 2-5: $250 per person (people from the same organization/school/district)
Groups of 6 or more: Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for pricing options
We are committed to ensuring that all teachers and districts that wish to participate in the SMP are able to do so. If you need financial assistance, please email Julie Meltzer at email@example.com to inquire about a scholarship.
CEUs for Teachers
Once you have completed all three modules, you can obtain 3 CEUs from our partner, Antioch University, by completing a form and paying an additional $20 fee. Let your facilitator know if you are interested in this option.
Continuing education should be inspiring. You can empower your students to become changemakers and connect with other educators who want to do the same. Enroll in our Solutionary Micro-credential program to give your students the tools they need to help build a just, humane future.
“I have learned the heart and soul of teaching from the Solutionary Micro-credential Program. It is very much ‘micro’ in content and design while being challenging at the same time. I now have the structure and framework to become an education leader for a better future.”
– Sayyid Duja, Founder & CEO, The Springs Schools Movement
Submit an Inquiry
Solutionary Micro-Credential Inquiry Form
Connect with one of our program facilitators to discuss your solutionary teaching and learning goals.
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