Posted by: chrismaser | September 24, 2009

TEACHING KIDS TO CHANGE THE WORLD

TEACHING KIDS TO CHANGE THE WORLD

Lessons to Inspire Social Responsibility for Grades 6 – 12.

by

Jennifer Griffin-Wiesner and Chris Maser

bk-kids

If you understand, things are just as they
are. . .

If you do not understand, things are just as they are.

Zen proverb

“Teaching kids to change the world” sounds like a lofty ambition; we recognize that. But change happens all around us, every day, whether or not we do anything about it. Thus, we have a choice:  we can “become the change [we] want to see we in the world” (as Mohandas K. Gandhi encouraged), or we can simply react to change as it occurs.

Everything—living creatures, plants, air, water, inanimate objects, time, and space, everything—exists in relationship to everything else. Each action you and your students take is like a pebble dropped into a quiet pool of water. Just as each pebble produces a unique set of ripples—a series of changes—so does each child and adult offer a unique gift to the world.

Each gift is different and valuable in its service to the earth and its inhabitants. And what is true of individual humans is also true for all cultures and societies. No matter how strongly we strive for autonomy, each life, culture, and society is interdependent. Each also has its own excellence and cannot be justly compared to another.

A pebble’s impact on the water’s surface creates concentric rings flowing outward from the center, touching everything in their path. The farther the rings travel from the epicenter, the wider and more diffuse they become. Sharp eyes might catch their visual disappearance, but no witness will observe their ultimate dissipation because the rings continue to exist in every other thing they have touched.

. . .

Whatever we do is part of a tale that reverberates throughout eternity. Just as no pebble can strike the water’s surface without causing an effect, no action can exist without a cause.

This universal truth is the essence—the heart—of the power and wonder of being a teacher, and it is why we wrote this book. You are, in many ways, serving as your students’ muse, providing the context, skills, and inspiration they will use to craft their own story lines. As an educator and youth leader, in a formal and informal setting, your influence on young people is often second only to that of their families. You are in a remarkable position to show young people how they can be powerful, positive agents of change throughout their lives. In Teaching Kids to Change the World, we share with you stories from our many years of working to help people of all ages empower themselves to change the world for the better.

ENDORSEMENTS:

“Not just another social action or service project how-to book, this supplemental educational resource help adults teach young people how to think about a broad range of social issues, not just what to think about them. Thematic lessons and inspired examples help students in grades 6-12 comprehend long-term change and the costs of sustainability.”Search Institute


Teaching Kids to Change The World:  Lessons to Inspire Social Responsibility for Grades 6 – 12. 2008. Search Institute, Minneapolis, MN. 102 pp.

If you want more information about this book or want to purchase it, visit “BOOKS” on my website.

If you want to contact me, you can visit my website. If you wish, you can also read an article about what is important to me and/or you can listen to me give a presentation.



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