What is Humane Education?

Humane Education is a field of study and an approach to teaching that draws connections between human rights, animal protection, and environmental sustainability. The goal of humane education is to prepare people to be compassionate, dedicated solutionaries, able to identify unjust, inhumane, and unsustainable systems and create solutions that enable people, animals, and nature to thrive.

Humane education:

  • Is based on the premise that if we reimagine the root system that underlies all other societal systems —schooling—we can prepare future generations to find answers to the challenges we face.
  • Helps people put core values of kindness, empathy, generosity, responsibility, and integrity into practice in a complex, globalized world in which our daily choices affect humans, nonhuman animals, and ecosystems across the planet.
  • Cultivates critical, systems, strategic, and creative thinking so that issues are perceived in all their complexity, and answers to persistent challenges are addressed holistically.
  • Is itself humane: engaging, inspiring, meaningful, and relevant to students’ lives and futures.

Humane education is the best hope for a sustainable, just, and peaceful world!

Take a look at this 1-minute video for a vision of what humane education can achieve:

What can humane educators do as a career,
and in what arenas do they work?

There are many ways to be a humane educator and bring social justice, animal protection, and environmental sustainability issues to others. Humane education offers an intersectional lens which can be applied to any field. While teachers and college professors can incorporate humane education into classrooms, curricula, and schools, there are other arenas for practicing humane education as well including:

  • Through the arts, filmmaking, and technology
  • Policymaking
  • Advocacy and activism
  • Outreach education for non-profit organizations and companies 
  • Through healthcare and social service initiatives
  • Curriculum design, professional development, educational leadership, school start-ups
  • Public speaking 
  • Pioneering new initiatives as a social entrepreneur
  • Community outreach and organizing
  • Programs and offerings for youth outside of school systems
  • Adult education
  • Coaching

To help people become humane educators, the Institute for Humane Education offers: