solutionary

Be part of the solution

Zoe Weil is a blogger for Psychology Today, and we share her blog posts with you here. Despite the fervent hopes of so many that the dawn of 2021 would quickly turn the page on the traumas of 2020, we should not have been surprised that the year got off to such a dangerous and violent start….

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Blog: Creating the Space for Conversations

Creating the Space for Conversations With Young People About Compassion for Others

by Abby Power Can we have an open dialogue with our children and students about what is happening in the world today? I say yes! Children have an extraordinary capacity for critical thinking when given the opportunity to practice it. I have found that there are three main areas that help in creating a space…

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Blog Windows and Mirrors

Windows and Mirrors and Sliding Glass Doors: Ensuring Students See Themselves and Others in Literature

by Cathy Potter In 1990, Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop published an essay about the importance of providing young readers with diverse books that reflect the “multicultural nature of the world” in which we live. In the essay, Dr. Bishop coined the phrase “Windows, Mirrors and Sliding Glass Doors” to explain how children see themselves in…

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Blog: Cultivating header

9 Strategies for Cultivating Empathy and Compassion in Your Classroom

by Marsha Rakestraw To create a just, compassionate, sustainable world for all – and to help our students become solutionaries — it’s vital that we help them (and ourselves) build empathy and compassion for people, animals, and the earth. We humans are wired to care about those with whom we have close relationships (our family,…

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woman looking into rows and columns of screens, each of which has a different person on it

11 Activities to Help Students Understand Different Perspectives

by Marsha Rakestraw In mid-January, two boys, ages 12 and 13, killed more than 500,000 bees and destroyed tens of thousands of dollars of property. Allegedly just for kicks. In December 2017, a young Muslim woman was attacked on a transit train in Vancouver, Canada. Most people watched; only one young man intervened. Incidences of…

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Embracing Compassion Toward All: An Interview With Author Mark Hawthorne

Mark Hawthorne is an activist and the author of three books on animal rights and social justice: A Vegan Ethic: Embracing A Life Of Compassion Toward All; Bleating Hearts: The Hidden World of Animal Suffering; and Striking at the Roots: A Practical Guide to Animal Activism, which empowers people around the world to get active…

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war & peace

Children’s Picture Books About War and Peace

by Marsha Rakestraw Some children have known war their entire lives. As journalist and peace teacher, Colman McCarthy says, “Why are we violent, but not illiterate? Because we are taught to read.” We teach children science, math and competition, but not peace. We offer them lessons on good character and anti-bullying, but often don’t model…

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sharing

12 Children’s Picture Books About Sharing

One of the first lessons we’re taught as young children is about the importance of sharing. Yet examine our actions as adults—the ways we treat each other, nonhuman animals, and the earth—and it may seem like we’ve forgotten how vital sharing is. An important part of raising compassionate, conscientious citizens is introducing humane values such…

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people and animals

16 Children’s Picture Books About People Helping Animals

by Marsha Rakestraw Modeling a message of compassion for others is a vital part of creating a better world for all. Children’s picture books are a valuable means of sharing with younger children examples of people helping those in need, and of inspiring them to think critically about what it means to be a good…

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13 Children’s Picture Books Whose Characters Have Special Needs

Occasionally the media focuses on those with particular challenges, such as animals with special needs and people whose likenesses – in the form of unique mannequins – shed light on the meaning of “perfect.” But the truth is, positive depictions in the public sphere of people and nonhuman animals who have special needs are not…

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