The Values

SSHEAN has practical aims: providing resources and tools for reimagining social studies and history teaching and learning, wherever it happens. SSHEAN is also driven by strong commitments to work in ways that centre community, complexity, and ecocentrism.

Seeking meaning and belonging in the midst of unprecedented human experience

Truth

The climate crisis demands that humans look at our situation with clarity and courage. We commit to seeking and sitting with the truth(s) of our past, present and possible future.

critical thinking

Bringing reason to bear on the evidence available, drawing from multiple disciplines and knowledge traditions, and making thinking strategies explicit will contribute to solving our complex problems. This includes, and exceeds, historical and geographical thinking concepts. 

Love

Humans will protect what they love. Following in the footsteps of environmental educator David Orr, we welcome love for the Earth and its more-than-human inhabitants. Pedagogical practices that nurture biophilia, foster caring for others, and facilitate nature-connectedness are not out of place in a history classroom.

ethical relationality

Settler colonialism has shaped human experience across the globe, and fuelled the inequity and hubris of the Anthropocene as we witness it. Recognizing this legacy means continuously seeking decolonial practices in education. We commit to centring lndigenous voices who call for ethical relationality in community and with the more-than-human.

Hope

We cannot know the conditions of the future, and no humans ever have. Despite unprecedented challenges, intentionally activating hope allows us to live meaningfully. Education in the Anthropocene values hope as a vehicle for shaping the inheritance we leave to future generations.

Action

Environmentalists, land-defenders, and water-defenders  have a long history. Building on that legacy, diverse people and communities are taking action to address the world’s most pressing problems. All humans have some degree of agency and influence. Teachers can join the action, however big or small, and invite youth to come too.

resilience

In the face of precarity, humans navigate many feelings. Grief will ebb and flow, as will  wonder, anger, anxiety, gratitude and more. Teachers are called to anticipate, make space for, and affirm these responses to climate change. A learning community recognizes the role of affect in growing and thriving, come what may.

freedom

Humans are free to write new stories and live by them. While so much feels beyond our control, we can foster wellbeing by bringing intention to our investments in continuity and change. We commit to teaching and learning that centres the pursuit of differentiated and equitable freedom for all beings.

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