Students solving real problems.
The Solutionary Program provides educators with the tools, strategies, and resources to teach their students to examine complex, interconnected problems, identify the systems that perpetuate them, and develop solutions that do the most good and least harm for all, within the context of their subject areas.
It is an academic program that provides a framework and process for students to make a meaningful difference in their schools, communities, and the world in ways that are just, humane, and sustainable.
Through the program, students (usually working in teams) select a problem to solve, conduct research, and then develop, refine, and implement a solution through an iterative process.
A Solutionary Solution:
- reflects a deep understanding of the complexities of the problem and the underlying systems that perpetuate it.
- strives not to harm people, nonhuman animals, or the environment.
- explores multiple potential solutions and reflects innovative thinking.
- seeks to avoid unintended negative consequences.
- works to resolve the underlying systems that perpetuate the problem.
The program offers an opportunity for students to share their solutions with an authentic audience.
Who is a solutionary?
(1) n., Someone who seeks to solve problems at their roots, in ways that are good for all life;
(2) adj., A solution that produces the most good and least harm for people, animals, and planet.
The Solutionary Program engages students in, learning about, caring about, and solving complex, interconnected issues in their communities and in our world. It encourages students to view the world with wonder, respect, and empathy and embrace responsibility in order to make compassionate choices.
It gives them a voice and stake in their future, honors and nurtures their passions and concerns, and allows them to experience real-world accomplishments.
In a practical, engaging, and authentic context, students develop vital skills in areas such as compassion and empathy; effective researching, writing, and public speaking; critical and systems thinking; creative problem-solving; and action-planning.
Ideal for middle and high school learning environments, the program can be integrated into core curriculum, created as an elective, or used in an after-school or club setting.
It is complementary with other teaching methods, including project-based learning, expeditionary learning, service learning, student-centered learning, problem-based learning, and social emotional learning.
The Solutionary Program is aligned with Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) standards.
Take advantage of these resources to help your bring the Solutionary Program to your school:
- Get on our Solutionary Program mailing list—stay updated on the program’s offerings.
- Hear what other teachers have to say about the Solutionary Program.
- Start Using our free classroom resources—such as lesson plans, books, movies, Pinterest boards, and blog posts.
- Read the book—by IHE co-founder and president Zoe Weil, The World Becomes What We Teach, —the why and how-to operationalize solutions-focused education.
- Watch Zoe’s video—The World Becomes What You Teach, an inspiring talk that sets the stage for solutions-focused education.
- Get professional development support —IHE offers online graduate degrees and workshops to deepen your humane education knowledge and skills.