Raising “Solutionaries” by Teaching Skills Instead of Facts with Zoe Weil and Steve Cochrane (Episode #91)

The biggest challenge for educators is that we need to acknowledge multiple ways of learning, and we need to lean into a new way of teaching that focuses on high level thinking and strategic thinking. That is Zoe and Steve’s mission.


About Our Guest

In today’s episode, we have Zoe Weil and Steve Cochrane of the Institute of Humane Education to show us how they are helping students find joy and purpose. They look at problems in a different way—by being “solutionaries” that identify unjust and unsustainable systems. They will talk about how school curricula should not be boxed in facts and memorization, but also should provide experiences that allow children to develop their unique selves. With that, let’s jump right in and see how to educate the humane way!

Resources Mentioned:

Zoe Weil’s Ted Talk, “Creating Solutionaries”

The World Becomes What We Teach – Zoe Weil

Connect with Zoe and Steve through www.humaneeducation.org, and get a free copy of “How to be a Solutionary Guidebook”.

Show Notes

[00:09 – 10:22] Opening Segment

I introduce Zoe and Steve to the show

Zoey’s 2011 Ted talk, “Creating Solutionaries”

What is a “solutionary”?

Someone who can identify unjust and unsustainable systems

[10:23 – 28:09] The Solutionary

Steve talks about how and why he collaborated with Zoe

Deepening the curriculum through solutionaries

Focusing on the systemic connections

Developing ethical analysis for children

Zoe talks about her book, “The World Becomes what we Teach”

[28:10 – 42:57] Graduating Happy Children through Critical Thinking

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True price and true cost

What are the effects of products on yourself, other people, animals, and environment?

The t-shirt example

The true cost allows students to question the systems 

How these can be integrated into a variety of curricula 

The negative effects of some products environmentally, and socially

Free resources at the links below

Everyone can be a “solutionary” educator

[42:58 – 51:30] A “Solutionary” Solution

The solution has to address the root cause of the problem

Students choosing a problem they care about to solve

What are you good at?

What do you love to do?

What do you need to learn?

Making schools meaningful and joyful

[51:31 – 53:28] Closing Segment

Final words

See links below to connect with Zoe and Steve

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