Image courtesy of Shermee via Creative Commons.
Where do our schools fall short in providing a humane education? Where would you make changes if you could take over the curriculum?
Humane education is neither a required subject nor routinely infused into the existing curricula in schools. I think that both should happen. I think we should have solutionary courses, clubs, and teams, with students learning about both local and global challenges, and bringing their critical and creative thinking abilities to bear on solving problems. At the Institute for Humane Education we believe that quality humane education covers four elements which include:
1) Providing accurate information about the challenges of our time
2) Fostering the 3 Cs of curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking
3) Instilling the 3 Rs of reverence, respect and responsibility
4) Offering positive choices and the tools for problem-solving.
These elements could easily be incorporated into our existing subjects, and they can also comprise the backbone for solutionary courses. We could have overarching topics addressed through the curriculum. One year it might be food and water; another year energy and transportation; another year buildings and structures; another year protection and conflict resolutions, and so on.
We cannot survive without all of these things, and yet our current systems that provide these necessities are often destructive, inefficient, unjust, and inhumane. Imagine if school were a place to explore how we could improve such systems and our children would grow up using their enormous creativity and enthusiasm toward such great ends.
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