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zoeweil

I'm the co-founder and President of the Institute for Humane Education (IHE). IHE works to create a world in which we all live humanely, sustainably, and peaceably. We do this by training people to be humane educators who teach about the pressing issues of our time and inspire people to work for change while making healthy, humane, and restorative choices in their daily lives. We also work to advance the field of humane education, and to provide tools and inspiration to people everywhere so that they can live examined, meaningful lives. I'm also a writer. So far I've written six books and several articles.
zoeweil has written 63 posts for Cooperative Catalyst

Reflections on Waiting for Superman: Pouring Knowledge Into Children’s Brains ≠ Good Education

The movie, Waiting for Superman, finally came to rural Maine, and I so I finally got to see it. There is so much in it that is so important and so true. For example: It is a travesty that so many of our children are not learning the basics and are not verbally, mathematically or … Continue reading

My TED Talk: The World Becomes What You Teach

I’m delighted to share my TEDxDirigo talk, The World Becomes What You Teach: If you enjoy it and think it’s valuable, please share it with others so that together we can educate a generation of solutionaries. I welcome your comments as well. Zoe Weil, President of the  Institute for Humane Education

Phil Zimbardo’s Secret Power of Time and What It Means for Our Kids

Take a look at this RSA Animate video of Phil Zimbardo’s The Secret Power of Time. As I watched this, I wondered what it would take for all of us to have a healthy balance of past, present, and future orientation so that we would all be able to learn from and appreciate our pasts, … Continue reading

What Would Motivate Our Kids?

In another great RSA Animate YouTube film, Daniel Pink shares what really motivates us. It’s not what we think. After watching this video, I wondered what schools might do with this information. Currently, our schools use grades and privileges to both motivate and punish students. High grades and special privileges are supposed motivators, and poor … Continue reading

Ken Robinson’s New Talk on Education Paradigms

Take a look at Ken Robinson’s new talk on education paradigms through RSA Animate: Ken Robinson is so brilliant about identifying the systemic problems in education that perpetuate and escalate ennui, lack of creativity, and the failure of wisdom to take root (that Barry Schwartz discusses in his recent TED talk). What are the solutions … Continue reading

Barry Schwartz on Practical Wisdom and How We Need This in Schools

I’m a big fan of Barry Schwartz, and his recent TED talk on our loss of wisdom just adds to my appreciation of him and his work. Take a look: Many of the issues he addresses in his short talk – teaching to tests, imprisoning people for non-violent acts – are ones I’ve written about … Continue reading

The Problem With Our Newest Educational Manifesto

Take a look at this Educational Manifesto, created by a group of educational reformers and leaders and published in The Washington Post. As an educational reformer myself, I read this manifesto with great interest. There were parts I agreed with strongly. Such as this: “It’s time for all of the adults — superintendents, educators, elected … Continue reading

Let’s Have All Students Evaluate Their Teachers

In college, students finally get to evaluate their professors, but until then, there are few venues for a student to provide feedback on the teaching they receive. But long before college, students’ feedback would be useful, if we only sought it out. Unfortunately, there have been scant opportunities for students, even in high school, to … Continue reading

To All People, But Especially Educators: Please Think Critically

About 17 years ago, I went to see a chiropractor who came highly recommended to help alleviate back pain I’d been experiencing. I was surprised when the chiropractor chose to use “applied kinesiology” with me rather than traditional spinal manipulation. I had never heard of applied kinesiology and was open to anything that might help … Continue reading

Ethics Without Indoctrination

In an essay entitled “Ethics Without Indoctrination” in a now 20-year-old issue of Educational Leadership, Richard W. Paul writes: “If we bring ethics into the curriculum – and we should – we must take pains to ensure that we do so in a morally unobjectionable manner. This requires us to distinguish clearly between espousing the … Continue reading

An Open Letter to Educators

Take a look at this YouTube video from Dan Brown: “An Open Letter to Educators”: Dan dropped out of college because, as he said, “my schooling was interfering with my education.” As he describes a typical college class and makes a passionate and positive plea for real education for the 21st century, do you find … Continue reading

If School is a Race to Nowhere, Where’s the Somewhere We Should Be Racing Toward?

I recently watched a screening of the film Race to Nowhere, about how the pressure on our children in school is making them so stressed out that they become sick and depressed and cheat with abandon. It’s a powerful film — one that every parent and teacher should watch. It’s also an interesting counterpoint to … Continue reading

Teaching for America? Teaching for the World

Tom Friedman’s op-ed in The New York Times, “Teaching for America,” is yet another cry for major reform of our education system, but this time with a twist: for the sake of national security. As Friedman writes: “When I came to Washington in 1988, the cold war was ending and the hot beat was national … Continue reading

We Need to Move Beyond Cookie-Cutter Schooling & Embrace Diversity in How We Educate Our Children

Although my mother knows that I read The New York Times online, if she sees an article of interest in her print copy, she cuts it out and sends it to me. Recently, she sent me an article about Brother Brian Carty, founder of the De La Salle Academy, a private middle school for the … Continue reading

Thinking in School?

In a recent Huffington Post essay, Eric Maisel presents an argument for adding thinking to school . His idea is simple. Carve out 45 minutes each day for students to ponder big (age-appropriate) questions, write down their thoughts, and present them if they wish. I like this idea, and I would take it further. Readers … Continue reading

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