IHE grad Betsy Messenger and a bunny

I Am a Humane Educator: Betsy Farrell-Messenger

Betsy Farrell-Messenger, IHE certificate graduate, sees the possibilities for the growth of kindness and responsibility. She has been teaching for 21 years. Her focus is the natural sciences, with an emphasis on environmental issues and the connections to humans and animals. Currently Betsy lives in New York and serves her school as a 6th grade…

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Cassandra Sheffman

I Am a Humane Educator: Cassandra Scheffman

by Marsha Rakestraw IHE M.Ed. graduate Cassandra Scheffman was raised with a love of animals and the natural world. She has worked in the environmental nonprofit sector, taught high school and as an environmental educator, and now works as the associate director of adult programs at the First Unitarian Church of Portland in Oregon. Cassandra…

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Ivy Mandy Liat

I Am a Humane Educator: Ivy, Mandy, and Liat

Last year Ivy and Liat, students at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, connected with Mandy Schmidt, an IHE M.Ed. student, to develop a humane education summer camp for students in Hefei, China. Ivy (Chang) He, is an international student from Heifei, and founded the group Humaneness 101. Liat Yael Kastner is studying environmental studies and…

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rainforest in the classroom

Why We Need Humane Education: Students Need to Be Solutionaries

by Amanda Schmidt In 1995 when I was eight years old, we moved from Palmdale, California, across the country to Buffalo, New York, where I still currently live. Some of my best memories are from living in California. My early experiences there laid the foundation that has led me to humane education. Palmdale is a…

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MOGO page

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…

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school garden

8 Resources for Greening Your Schoolyard

by Marsha Rakestraw You only have to watch kids in a garden or park to know that we humans have a special connection with the natural world. Studies have shown that we benefit physically, emotionally, and mentally (including academically) from our interactions with nature. Yet except for a hemmed-in tree here or there, or a…

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beauty in nature

10 Reasons to Take Your Students Outside (& the Research to Back It Up)

A lot of teachers want to offer their students experiences in the natural world, but because of strictures on curriculum, the prevalence of standardized tests, and other challenges, encounters with nature can fall into the category of “nice but not necessary.” But we know from a plethora of research that we humans desperately need that…

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