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Teaching Kindness Could Be All the Rage

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 Zoe (rhymes with Joe, not Joey,) is co-founder and president of the International Institute for Humane Education, located in Surry, Maine ( 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.

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