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Education in the Media, Leadership and Activism, Learning at its Best

Solutionaries: Zoe Weil’s New TEDx Talk

I’m excited to share my new TEDxConejo talk: Solutionaries, which explores the challenges and opportunities for making choices that do the most good and least harm through our work, citizenship, and daily choices, and suggests ways to transform education at the root and embrace the power it has has to bring about a better world for all. I hope you enjoy it! If you do, please share it widely and spread the word. Many thanks!


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.


5 thoughts on “Solutionaries: Zoe Weil’s New TEDx Talk

  1. Thank you Zoe for sharing the message about the power and possibilities of education. As a teacher daily surrounded by the “pass the test” mentality of the school bureaucrats, your message reminds us all that the purpose of education IS to create a better world than the one we inherited….NOT to pass multiple choice tests while trying to live in an problem-solving world….

    Posted by AH | July 3, 2012, 11:24 am
  2. Terrific, Zoe.

    Well done. What a well-articulated and powerful message. I love how humane education so easily and gracefully transcends traditional lines of pedagogy that often come up at the co-op. There is no question that a focus on issues of justice and what we can do about it is appropriate in any educational setting, be it public school, homeschool, progressive independent school, etc. It just makes so much sense.

    In terms of bringing these issues and a sense of personal responsibility down to the youngest age levels, I find I have a lot of success when I keep the focus local, the younger the child the more local we look. Sometimes I do think that raising awareness and a sense of culpability for the clothes a five year old is wearing and the slave-like conditions in the garment industry in Asia that these clothes necessitate and perpetuate might be too much for the young child. We want them to become empowered after all, not overwhelmed, guilty and hopeless. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t encourage exploring questions of justice. I think you just have to keep it close, in our own back yard. Maybe co-opers have some examples of this locally-directed humane education they could share.

    Also I feel like once we have together raised awareness of these issues within the classroom, we then have to provide opportunities for action. Again perhaps adolescents can create these opportunities for themselves more readily, but with younger children I believe they need our guidance and modeling, at least initially. Once we have identified this or that cruel, inhumane or unsustainable practice, how can we participate in raising deeper and wider community awareness and begin to effect real change. As I know you’ve written about, Zoe, there must be this action component or once again, I feel like we risk leaving children to wallow in a mucky mire of guilt and despair.

    Posted by Paul Freedman | July 5, 2012, 9:34 am
    • Thanks so much Paul. I totally agree about younger children. In my book Above All, Be Kind: Raising a Humane Child in Challenging Times I write about just this. If we overload our children when they are too young we may pave the way for apathy and despair rather than action. I focus on the 1st of our “3 Rs” (reverence, respect, and responsibility) with young children, nurturing their wonder and awe and love for the earth, other animals, and people so that they are ready to shoulder the responsibilities of making a difference as they get older. And I agree that if we provide info about the ills of the world we have to also provide action steps and tools for problem-solving. This I articulate in all my books, in what I call the 4 elements of humane education: 1) provide accurate information about the issues of our time (in age-appropriate ways), 2) foster the 3 Cs of curiosity, creativity and critical thinking, 3) Instill the 3 Rs of reverence, respect, and responsibility and 4) Provide positive choices and the tools for problem-solving. More at; Thanks so much for watching my talk and commenting on it. If you haven’t seen my first TEDx talk, which is all about education, you can watch it here:

      Posted by Zoe Weil | July 6, 2012, 9:14 am

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