Going High When Others Go Low

Calling Forth the Best in Each of Us to Create a World for All of Us: How Experiential Educators are “Going High When Others Go Low”
By: Marilyn Levin, MSW, author of Experiential Activities for a Better World
View a free preview of Marilyn's AEE Webinar on Courageous Compassion

Just this last week we had a fresh reminder that when confronted with a shared crisis like the “epic” Hurricane Harvey in my home state of Texas, we readily access the best of who we are - our courage, kindness, generosity and tenacity. Our best qualities bridge divides and help us rise above the legitimate complaints, injustices, and crises that are part of the human experience. They also enable us to break free of the norms of shame, blame, pettiness and polarization that perpetuate our suffering.

Honoring and encouraging these highest human qualities has been the inspiration behind my founding the We Go High Project - a resource network to inspire, inform and provide guidance on “Going High When Others Go Low” and a whole system Innovation network of constituents from diverse sectors in the field. In a recent AEE webinar, The We Go High Project shared tips for going high. I will share a few here and point to further resources at the end of the article.

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The World is [Not] Yours

The World Is [Not] Yours
Submitted by Annie Peuquet with Felipe Correa and Seth Leighton of Envoys (www.envoys.com)

Picture Sarah, a high school student who has the opportunity and interest to travel abroad with her school. Sarah is studious, kind-hearted, and active in her school community. She decides to go to Kenya, where she explores the country, meets local children, and makes great friends. She comes home, posts all her photos on social media, writes down the highlights so she can use them on a college application essay later, and then largely settles back in to life as it had always been. 

Stories like Sarah’s are the rule for students who travel abroad today, and they represent a concerning and pervasive bare minimum for what constitutes a successful program or a meaningful educational experience abroad. Sarah is a member of the most itinerant generation in human history, inundated with opportunities to travel abroad, and choices about how she does it. In fact, Millennial travelers today make up over 20% of world travelers, despite their relative lack of resources. The narrative for Sarah and her peers is resoundingly, “The World is Yours!”; beautiful because of this opportunity yet deeply dangerous because of the implicit consequences it entails.

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Harnessing the Power of Empathy in the Classroom & Implications for Experiential Educators

Harnessing the Power of Empathy in the Classroom & Implications for Experiential Educators
Submitted by Ritch Hochstetler, President & CEO of uLEAD, Inc.

“Changing the mindset of one teacher can change the social experience of that child’s entire world,” according to social psychologist Jason Okonofua of Stanford University.

How can he make such a provocative claim?  In July of 2016, Okonofua and two colleagues published results from their latest research entitled: Brief intervention to encourage empathic discipline cuts suspension rates in half among adolescents.

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