I taught public school, grades 4-9, for 34 years. During that time I developed curriculum on Humane Education that went through every subject area. For example: it is just as easy and much more meaningful to teach the concept of division by figuring out how many dead elephants does 140 tusks represent if each elephant had two, than it is to just say how many times does 2 go into 140. A wonderful and meaningful way of teaching the concepts of writing is by teaching that children have “People Power”. After they learn the horrors of the cruelty of how the elephants are kept and what they are forced to do as well as the fact that human greed has brought them close to the edge of extinction, the children write letters to their law makers asking them to pass laws to protect elephants in captivity and to ban all trade in ivory,
Kindness, Awareness, Sensitivity…these are the three hallmark words with which I begin my classes. Children are the inheritors of the earth and of all the life forms with whom they share it. The way children perceive these other sentient beings depends greatly on how they are taught about them. If they learn that other living organisms are only important for what they give us, do for us, or what extrinsic or economic value they have to benefit us, they will learn to view animals and the world from the perspective of what they can take from it.
children are taught that other life forms are like their own: sensitive, feeling, caring, curious, then they learn that animals, in this case elephants, are so much more than their products,just as they are, actual living, feeling beings, .Children need to learn that elephants feel as much as humans do, are as kind (and in many instances kinder) than humans are and they should be aware that their need and right to exist is as intrinsic as their own. Presented with the actual cruelty being perpetrated upon elephants, children become appalled. When children learn that elephants (and all animals) are only worth the products that they give us, then they learn to be insensitive, unkind and selfish like their progenitors who are destroying the earth and everything on it. The reaction of the children, throughout the grades, is incredible when they learn what is going on and that they can be part of the solution to help elephants. Now that I am retired from the classroom, I go into schools and teach about elephants and what is happening to them. I make a provision that each class I teach is able to adopt a rescued elephant from an elephant sanctuary in the United States called PAWS, located in San Andreas California. The class raises a nominal fee to donate, knowing that this will go to help feed and care for their elephant, and then they get a picture and biography of their elephant as well as periodic updates about it. The reaction to the knowledge and the fact that they are helping the elephants is astounding. They also become very aware of what ivory is and that it must never be bought or sold or elephants will truly become extinct..Like I stated before, children are the future of the world. Elephants are a part of our world, a magnificent, wonderful and exciting part that needs to continue to live…..UNHARMED, UN-TORTURED,.UNMOLESTED and free. Children can be a major part of accomplishing that quest.