On February 13th, HEART’s Chicago Program Manager, Mickey Kudia, presented a workshop at the bi-annual Critical Teaching in Action Conference at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles. This year’s theme for the conference was environmental education and social justice and featured a keynote presentation from Tim Swinehart who co-edited People’s Curriculum for the Earth: Climate Change and Environmental Justice.
HEART’s workshop was titled Taking Action for Others: Teaching Activist Skills in Upper Elementary and Middle School and was designed to provide educators with the knowledge and resources needed to teach 3rd-8th grade students how to create change by raising awareness, lobbying, and boycotting.
The workshop connected with the theme of the conference because HEART believes that young people want to make the world more just and sustainable; however, they sometimes lack the knowledge and skills needed to do so. This is why it is crucial for educators to teach humane education topics and provide students with the opportunity to practice changemaking in a safe, supportive space. HEART’s workshop gave participants the resources they need to create these opportunities for their students.
By the end of the workshop, several participants described how they would be using many of the activities and tools they learned about with their students and in their personal lives. A professor at Mount Saint Mary’s University even let us know she taught her college students about HEART’s lobbying role play the week following the conference, describing the activity as “so helpful and useful” in teaching about the democratic process.
Teacher training in humane education is one of the many services that HEART provides. If you’re interested in learning more, please click here.