The Power of Positive Peer Pressure

by Marsha Rakestraw A 2012 survey of teen volunteers revealed that the main reason teens volunteer is because their friends are doing it. As social animals we pay attention to what those around us are doing; and because we like to feel part of the “in” crowd, we’re often willing to conform so that we’re…

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Ending the Violence With Meaningful Solutions

I am a humane educator, a person dedicated to creating a more just, peaceful, and sustainable world through education. This past week’s killings of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and five Dallas police officers underscore the necessity of educating a generation of solutionaries who have the capacity and the will to prevent such violence from continuing…

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Widening Our Circle of Compassion: An Interview With Animal Rights Photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur

Jo-Anne McArthur’s love of animals began when she was a child. She says, “The neighbour had a backyard dog who didn’t live a very exciting life so I would take him for walks, despite his enormous size and my small stature.” In her 20’s, Jo-Anne realized that she could combine her empathy with her photography…

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book cover

Zoe Weil’s New Book Calls for An Education Revolution

How can we create a just, healthy, and humane world? What is the path to developing sustainable energy, food, transportation, production, and other systems? What’s the best strategy to end poverty and ensure that everyone has equal rights? How can we slow the rate of extinction and restore ecosystems? How can we learn to resolve…

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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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Resources: Dead Zone header

A Solutionary Unit

What Do the Primary Causes of Death in the US Have to Do With the Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico? What are the biggest killers of people in the U.S. today? What is the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico? How can these two seemingly disparate problems possibly be connected? This unit…

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