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Human-Animal Studies: Courses in Humane Education

Humane Education Overview

This is a list of colleges and universities around the world who provide courses for Humane Education in relation to the human-animal relationship.  This includes the name of the college, the name of the course, who is teaching the course, and brief description of the Humane Education course that the instructor will be covering.


Humane Society Academy

Humane Society Academy offers a Certified Humane Education Specialist (CHES) program, featuring self-paced courses that guide participants in conducting effective teacher in-services, exploring storytelling as a teaching device, and identifying the connections between humane education and the preschool curriculum, middle-school and high-school service learning, character education, and presentation techniques. Course content is based on extensive research, and courses are centered on engaging activities with a wealth of practical tips and field-tested strategies for working with children, teens, school faculty, and youth leaders. Enhance your credentials and become more confident and comfortable at advancing humane education within your own community! The Certified Humane Education Specialist (CHES) program will help animal care and control administrators, board members, humane education specialists, and humane law enforcement officers enhance their credentials and use their limited time and resources in the most effective ways possible.


Madonna University

Humane Studies

Do Animals Matter

Pedagogical Strategies in Humane Education

Diversity, Discrimination, and Social Justice

Environmental Ethics


Valparaiso University

Introduction to Humane Education.

This course introduces students to humane education and explores innovative educational philosophies and methods, exciting and effective ways to approach teaching and learning, and positive communication skills and conflict resolution. Forming the foundation for the issues courses that follow, Introduction to Humane Education invites students to examine the ways in which they can more fully model their message as educators, and bring the underlying concepts of good communication and teaching to their students as they incorporate the important issues of human rights, environmental ethics, animal protection, and culture.

Animal Protection.

This course covers a variety of animal issues including animal agriculture, experimentation, hunting and trapping, companion animal concerns, and more. It explores different philosophies regarding the inherent rights of other sentient animals to be free from exploitation and abuse, and encourages students to grapple with and determine for themselves their own ethics regarding nonhuman animals. Animal Protection examines the ways in which humans, animals, and ecosystems can be protected for the good of all and helps students develop techniques for teaching about complex issues in a positive manner that invites dialogue and positive solutions.

Environmental Ethics.

Discussion of a wide range of environmental issues including global climate change, population, endangered species, pollution, and resource and energy use.  The course offers a solution-oriented approach, balancing the study of environmental problems with positive ideas for creating sustainable and restorative systems that benefit people, animals, and the earth itself.  The course examines how we might learn and teach about environmental issues in a manner that encourages people to approach challenges in ways that foster solutions that work for all.

Human Rights.

Examination of a range of human rights issues including escalating worldwide slavery, child and sweatshop labor, and genocide, as well as civil, GLBTQ, disability, women’s, and other rights. This course also examines acts of human courage, compassion, and kindness and invites students to find in themselves and others sources of deep and abiding humaneness, both as a model of human goodness, and as examples for exploring with others the ways in which humans can solve our conflicts and stop oppressing and exploiting others. Finally, the course examines links between forms of cruelty and oppression and uncovers solutions that will benefit all people, while also benefiting the environment and other species.

Culture and Change.

This course explores the many ways in which cultural norms influence ideas, beliefs, and actions and explores how change-making happens. Covering social psychology, consumerism, media, advertising, globalization, public relations, economics, and politics, this course provides a foundational overview for understanding the ways in which people are shaped by their culture. This course enables students to become aware of the influences in their own lives and to become effective at giving others the tools they need to think critically and creatively as well. By recognizing the ways in which our thoughts and behaviors are often molded by culture, students gain the ability to determine more consciously their behaviors and actions and create positive change.

Humane Education Residency.

Students in the M.Ed. and M.A. programs in Humane Education gather together in the summer for an intensive week (five days) of training. Students learn and practice important techniques for bringing humane education into traditional and non-traditional educational settings. Residency week is conducted at the Institute for Humane Education in Surry, ME (on 28 oceanfront acres overlooking Acadia National Park). The summer residency includes practical, hands-on learning, and offers students an opportunity to work with their fellow students and practice humane education activities and techniques.

Practicum in Humane Education.

An opportunity to practice teaching and/or presenting on a humane education topic, enabling students to apply what they have learned by designing and presenting a humane education program in schools or communities or, for those not teaching, through other creative means (writing, filmmaking/new media, the arts, design etc.). Enrollment in this course should occur toward the end of the program. Students spend approximately 50 clock hours for each credit.

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