girl power

14 Picture Books About Women Changemakers

by Marsha Rakestraw There is no shortage of examples of how sexism continues to pervade our society. One recent example is this video of women actors reading casting call character descriptions (most of which are pretty demeaning) for female characters. Numerous studies show how much gender imbalance continues to exist in business, politics, pop culture,…

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What Solutionary Learning Can Look Like: 4 Stories

Transforming our educational system won’t be easy, but I believe that it is the most important and strategic path toward creating more just, peaceful, and sustainable societies populated by healthy, happy, successful people. Because the world inevitably becomes what we teach, it’s up to each of us – whether we are teachers, school administrators, parents,…

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We Must Develop Truly Solutionary Solutions

If you conduct a web search for “kid heroes” you’ll discover wonderful children doing great things. It is inspiring to read their stories, learn about their generosity, and know that kindness and compassion flourish. Yet you’ll likely discover that many of these children are involved in efforts that do not seek to change the systems…

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Why You Should Use These Images to Inspire Climate Change Action

by Marsha Rakestraw While images of polar bears clinging to bits of ice or of widespread deforestation might motivate those of us who are biophiliacs, many people find them uninspiring. Images can influence and galvanize us, but it matters what those images depict. When it comes to climate action, photos of polar bears and protesters…

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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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people forming a peace sign on the beach

Resources for Teaching and Learning About War and Peace

by Marsha Rakestraw War and peace have long accompanied human civilization. And while, as some argue, we may be living in less violent times overall, the news is largely saturated with stories of violence and war. And as much as we say that we want peace, when mass violence occurs — such as it has…

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4 Video Resources for Exploring Race, Racism, Stereotypes, and Microaggressions

by Marsha Rakestraw Talking about race, racism, and institutional oppression can be challenging, especially when many white people are feeling defensive, uncomfortable, and confused. Videos, including those using humor, can be a great tool for introducing tough-to-talk-about conversations, and a meaningful catalyst for exploring what can be subtle, complex issues. Here are four resources that…

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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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Close up of eye with face painted as the world

14 Children’s Picture Books About Solutionaries

Sharing stories of people who have made a positive difference in the world is a powerful way to inspire youth to become their best selves and to realize their role as committed citizens and compassionate changemakers. Children’s picture books are a great tool for doing so. Here are 14 children’s picture books about solutionaries. 1. …

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Why We Need Humane Education: 35.8 Million Slaves

In some of our professional development at the Institute for Humane Education, participants learn about modern slavery. What they discover often shocks and horrifies them. Many people in developed countries remain unaware of slavery as a contemporary challenge, assuming that such practices ended in the 19th century. And often those who know about modern slavery…

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