I just finished reading a book by Zoe Weil called The World Becomes What You Teach. Zoe Weil is director of the Institute for Humane Education. Both the title of the book and of the institute drew may interest.
Weil’s suggestions seem perfect for this moment when caregivers are trying to engage their children in learning and teachers are trying to find ways students can lean while they are at home. She writes, “Most of us learn best when we understand and embrace the meaning and purpose behind what we are studying. It is enjoyable and deeply engaging to solve problems we care about, to create, learn, and think. And it is joy inducing to be of real service to others.”
At the same time, the world has many problems that need solving.
For this reason, Weil suggests we guide our children to become solutionaries. The Institute’s website defines this a solutionary as “a person who is able to identify inhumane and unsustainable systems and then develop solutions that are healthy and just, for people, animals, and the environment.”
Weil writes that the foundational understandings of schools and homes encouraging students to become solutionaries are:
*A humane, just, and healthy world is possible.
*We are inextricably connected, ecologically and societally.
*We are all responsible.
*Solutions are depended upon accurate information and multiple perspectives.
*Solutions emerge from strategic and creative thinking.
*An ideal solution does not harm people, animals, or the ecosystems that sustain life.
*An ideal solution addresses root problems.
Weil’s books and the website offer many starting points, but perhaps the simplest are the 4 questions I posted on the Thinking Thursday Facebook post for April 16th: What challenges in the world most concern me? What do I love to do? What am I good at? What do I need to learn?
Humane education can start any of us on a learning that can last a lifetime.
You can find the April 16th Thinking Thursday blog post at this link on the Forestry Outreach Center’s website
You can hear ZoeWeil’s TED talk: The World Become What We Teach, at this link: