Read “What School Is Actually For” (to read this article visit: http://www.nais.org/publications/ismagazinearticle.cfm?Itemnumber=156237&sn.ItemNumber=145956) and revisit your approach to teaching pertinent critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
How do we help our students understand the world and its conflicts? Can our students determine and implement solutions that are peaceful and long-standing? One approach is through humane education as described below and through the Institute of Humane Education (http://humaneeducation.org/sections/view/education).
As presented on the website for IHE:
“Humane education not only instills the desire and capacity to live with compassion, integrity, and wisdom, but also provides the knowledge and tools to put our values into action in meaningful, far-reaching ways. Humane education enables us to find solutions that work for all by approaching human rights, environmental preservation, and animal protection as interconnected and integral dimensions of a healthy, just society.
Humane education includes 4 elements:
Providing accurate information (so we have the knowledge to face challenges);
Fostering the 3C’s: curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking (so we have the tools to meet challenges);
Instilling the 3R’s: reverence, respect, and responsibility (so we have the motivation to confront challenges);
Offering positive choices and tools for problem solving (so we will be able to solve challenges).
IHE recognizes that the key to creating a peaceful, sustainable, and humane world rests with citizens – young and old alike – understanding the pressing issues facing humans, animals, and the planet; having excellent critical and creative thinking capacities for solving problems; realizing the responsibility we each have for making a difference in our own lives and in the lives of others whom our decisions affect; and being inspired to make choices and career decisions that are positive for all. This is Humane Education – addressing all the challenges of our time through relevant, inspired teaching, and creating an aware, empowered, healthy citizenry.
IHE explores schooling itself, examining the kinds of educational approaches that prepare the next generation to be productive, contributing, joyful members of a peaceful society and that foster teaching which is ever more positive and successful for students, teachers, and the world.
Humane Education can be integrated directly and seamlessly into the existing school curricula, adding more meaning and relevancy to language arts, math, science, social studies, and the arts. It can also stand alone as its own subject, taught in courses at all levels, including college, graduate programs, and adult education. Humane Education can be offered in many other creative ways as well, through filmmaking, visual arts, music, socially conscious businesses, summer camps, religious education, personal growth classes, government, and much more. The ways that Humane Education can be integrated into society are limited only by the imagination of its practitioners.”