heart

Caring When Caring Hurts

by Shannon Finch I admit it, I am sensitive. As a child, people thought my sensitivity was cute. As I got older, my sensitivity often exasperated my family. People teased; it wasn’t malicious, but it was patronizing and hurtful. I started to think that sensitive people were weak, whiny, and self-indulgent. Sensitive is defined as…

Read more »
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…

Read more »
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…

Read more »
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…

Read more »
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…

Read more »
sharing

12 Children’s Picture Books About Sharing

One of the first lessons we’re taught as young children is about the importance of sharing. Yet examine our actions as adults—the ways we treat each other, nonhuman animals, and the earth—and it may seem like we’ve forgotten how vital sharing is. An important part of raising compassionate, conscientious citizens is introducing humane values such…

Read more »
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…

Read more »
kids

8 Videos Exploring Empathy

by Marsha Rakestraw Empathy is a key component of humane education, and something our society is increasingly recognizing as essential to our well-being and that of the world. Studies show that we’re innately wired to be empathetic. When we’re able to put ourselves in the place of another, and to imagine the kind of world…

Read more »

13 Children’s Picture Books Whose Characters Have Special Needs

Occasionally the media focuses on those with particular challenges, such as animals with special needs and people whose likenesses – in the form of unique mannequins – shed light on the meaning of “perfect.” But the truth is, positive depictions in the public sphere of people and nonhuman animals who have special needs are not…

Read more »
an androgynous model posing with a tree

5 Short Videos for Teaching Students About What It Means to Be Transgender

by Marsha Rakestraw In a recent memo, the Trump administration has argued for US government agencies to adopt an “explicit and uniform definition” of gender that would “define sex as either male or female, unchangeable, and determined by the genitals a person is born with.” As the New York Times reports, this proposed definition would…

Read more »