Is Compassion the New Black? Teaching Kindness Could Be All the Rage In Your Child's School
Zoe Weil is the author of several books on humane education, including
Above All, Be Kind, a book for parents, and Claude and Medea: The
Hellburn Dogs, a book for children age 9 and up, which will be
available this month online at lanternbooks.com. Zoe (rhymes with Joe,
not Joey,) is co-founder and president of the International Institute
for Humane Education, located in Surry, Maine (www.iihed.org). The
Rail recently corresponded with Zoe by email about humane education,
spotted owls, $100 sneakers, Pacific Islanders and seeking social
justice on a skateboard.
Rail: I understand Humane Education got its start in movements
targeted to specific issues such as children's rights and animal
exploitation. But you saw a need for something more encompassing that
would include those ideas along with human oppression, ecological
degradation and materialism in an over-arching way?
Weil: Yes, it is much harder to do this than it is to work on single
issues, but it is ultimately the only way to build societies that work
for everyone. By exposing children to these issues and by raising
their awareness we can help them to become critical thinkers, problem
solvers who can address the challenges that face our planet.