blurry crowd of people walking on the street

5 Minute Changemaker: Pretend You Know (and Care About) Everyone

by Marsha Rakestraw The other day, as I was driving home from the dog park, I was following an SUV that stopped in the midst of a turn to let a pedestrian cross the street. Apparently the pedestrian and the people in the SUV knew each other, as they waved heartily and spoke briefly to…

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cultivating compassion

Practices for Cultivating Compassionate Communication Skills

by Marsha Rakestraw Sometimes I have a dream in which I run door-to-door in my neighborhood. I bang on the door until someone answers, and then I grab them by the shirt and scream at them to stop doing things that hurt other beings and to start being compassionate RIGHT NOW! Fortunately, I have better…

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kids in classroom

5 Minute Changemaker: Speak the Good in Others

by Marsha Rakestraw My 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Leddy, had us students do something that I have never forgotten. She called it a “car wash.” Every week one of us would be the “car,” and the other students would form two lines in front of the car. Zigzagging from one side to the other, the…

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karen patterson

I Am a Humane Educator: Karen Patterson

IHE M.Ed. graduate Karen Patterson works as the director of humane education for the Humane Society of Huron Valley in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she built their humane education program from scratch. Karen spent 10 years as an elementary classroom teacher, where she incorporated humane education into her classroom lessons and activities. She and her…

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Caroline Crane

I Am a Humane Educator: Caroline Crane

IHE M.Ed. graduate Caroline Crane grew up near Detroit, Michigan. She earned her undergraduate degree and became certified to teach elementary education. She then worked for several years as a vet tech for the Humane Society of Huron Valley. And since 1994 Caroline has been the vice president of education for the Humane Society of…

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war & peace

Children’s Picture Books About War and Peace

by Marsha Rakestraw Some children have known war their entire lives. As journalist and peace teacher, Colman McCarthy says, “Why are we violent, but not illiterate? Because we are taught to read.” We teach children science, math and competition, but not peace. We offer them lessons on good character and anti-bullying, but often don’t model…

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class

I Am a Humane Educator: Felice Clyne-Davis

Felice Clyne-Davis, a fifth grade gifted and talented teacher in New York City, has been a public school teacher for 24 years. Felice regularly infuses humane education into her teaching. She says: “I am proud that students in my class throughout the years have flourished as critical thinkers, readers, writers, creative problem solvers, and observers…

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I Am a Humane Educator: Gypsy Wulff

Teaching has been a part of Gypsy Wulff’s life for almost four decades. An alum of IHE’s online courses, Gypsy, who lives in Fremantle, Western Australia, has worked in primary schools, trained teachers, and has taught adults with physical and intellectual disabilities. She became a music teacher 16 years ago and continues to enjoy working…

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parent hugging child

5 Strategies to Help Raise Caring Kids

by Marsha Rakestraw We want our children to be kind and to grow up as caring adults. According to a survey, more than 96% of parents say that moral character is “very important, if not essential.” But how often does that happen, especially when 81% of children surveyed think that happiness or achievement is their…

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people and animals

16 Children’s Picture Books About People Helping Animals

by Marsha Rakestraw Modeling a message of compassion for others is a vital part of creating a better world for all. Children’s picture books are a valuable means of sharing with younger children examples of people helping those in need, and of inspiring them to think critically about what it means to be a good…

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