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Leadership and Activism, Learning at its Best, Philosophical Meanderings

The Hope That Lies at the Root of Humane Education

I wanted to share a recent post I wrote for, an online community for people passionate about creating a better world. Here’s an excerpt from The Hope That Lies at the Root of Humane Education:

As Joan Baez put it, “Action is the antidote to despair.” So when I feel hopeless, I harness my fading will toward action once again. And when I do, when I teach and watch my students become energized, enlivened, engaged and enthusiastic, my hope returns. I feed the part of myself that is starving for renewed faith, and I feed those students eager (and sometimes even desperate) for meaning, purpose and relevancy in their education. And that is when I know that a humane, healthy and just world is possible: as long as we refuse to give in to despair, but instead work just as tenaciously when hopelessness takes root as we do when we are hopeful.

Read the complete post.

For a humane world,

Zoe Weil, President, Institute for Humane Education
Author of Most Good, Least Harm, Above All, Be Kind, and The Power and Promise of Humane Education
My TEDx talk: “The World Becomes What You Teach

Image courtesy of DieselDemon via Creative Commons.

About 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.


3 thoughts on “The Hope That Lies at the Root of Humane Education

  1. Couldn’t agree more. When we rekindle hope in ourselves and the students we serve, then true magic can manifest.

    Posted by Jamie Steckart | June 16, 2011, 3:13 pm
  2. I am often encouraged by work like yours, Zoe, and Kirsten’s that restores educators’ hopes and encourages them to take action in making school matter more – in more human, humane ways.

    What kinds of school cultures have you seen that sustain restoration? How does a community build a school that recharges from within? Who has succeeded at this in public schools?

    All the best,

    Posted by Chad Sansing | June 16, 2011, 8:27 pm
  3. These days I hear about individual schools (often public charter) – High Tech High, the Big Picture Schools, Chris Lehmann’s school in Philly – that make headlines, and I know there must be many other schools out there I just don’t know about, but I know many teachers who work within schools where they say that the teachers are great and the admin is supportive and despite NCLB, there is a good school atmosphere for learning. What I find so interesting is that there are private school models that seem to consistently work so much better (e.g. Waldorf), yet few public schools have embraced these other approaches (though I heard years ago about a public Waldorf school in San Francisco). I hope Kristen weighs in on this great question Chad.

    Posted by Zoe Weil | June 17, 2011, 7:38 am

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