HUED 501. Introduction to Humane Education.

(3 credits) Introduction to the field through exploration of innovative educational philosophies and methods, exciting and effective ways to approach teaching and learning, and positive communication skills and conflict resolution. As a foundational course, students examine how they can more fully model their message as an educator, citizen, and role model, and bring the underlying concepts of good communication and teaching to bear on important issues of human rights, environmental ethics, animal protection, and culture.

HUED 601. Research Methods (cross-listed with ED 610 Research in Education)

(3 credits) A course designed to develop skill in understanding and evaluating research and to provide the requisite tools for understanding and developing research projects.

HUED 610. Environmental Ethics.

(3 credits) 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. Prerequisite or concurrent enrollment: HUED 501.

HUED 620. Animal Protection.

(3 credits) Discussion of animal issues including animal agriculture, experimentation, hunting and trapping, companion animal concerns, and more.  The course explores different philosophies regarding the inherent rights of sentient animals to be free from exploitation and abuse, and encourages students to grapple with and determine their own ethics regarding nonhuman animals. The course further examines ways in which humans, animals, and ecosystems can be protected for the good of all and helps students develop techniques for learning and teaching about complex issues in a positive manner that invites dialogue and positive solutions. Prerequisite or concurrent enrollment: HUED 501. 

HUED 630. Human Rights.

(3 credits) 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. Prerequisite or concurrent enrollment: HUED 501.

HUED 640. Culture and Change.

(3 credits) 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. Prerequisite or concurrent enrollment: HUED 501.

HUED 650.  Humane Education Residency.

(3 credits) 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.

HUED 685.  Practicum in Humane Education.

(1-3 credits) 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. Prerequisite: completion of at least 6 credits in the program. May be repeated for up to 3 credits total. Adviser’s approval is required.

HUED 692. Research Project.

(1-3 credits) The process of developing a research proposal and thesis project. This course constitutes the first of two courses related to the thesis. Prerequisite or concurrent enrollment: HUED 601 and completion of at least 12 credits and have an overall GPA of 3.0. May be repeated for up to 3 credits total.

HUED 795. Master’s Thesis: (title).

(3 credits) Implementation, writing, and defense of the master’s thesis. Requires satisfactory completion of HE 692 (B+ or higher) and approval of thesis candidacy. A copy of the completed thesis must be filed with the Graduate School Office before a grade is awarded.


A thesis may involve academic/applied research, or creative work. An important step in the thesis process is selection of the thesis committee. The committee should consist of at least two faculty and preferably three; this committee should be constituted prior to enrolling in HE 795 and is a prerequisite for enrollment in that course. For students in the M.Ed. program, one committee member should be selected from the faculty of the Institute for Humane Education, and one from the faculty of the Department of Education at Valparaiso University. For M.A. students, one committee member should be selected from the faculty of the Institute for Humane Education, and one from any relevant department at Valparaiso University. Prospects should not assume that any or all faculty can or will agree to serve on a thesis committee. Rather, they will need to demonstrate through the quality of their graduate coursework as well as the alignment of their topic with faculty interest and expertise that faculty mentoring is both deserving and possible.

The thesis itself should represent a significant contribution to the field and be of publishable or exhibition/exposition quality. Upon completion, the thesis is reviewed by the faculty of the thesis committee and defended by the student. Copies of the thesis, with signatures of approval from all committee members, must be filed with the Graduate Office before a grade will be awarded.

Thesis work is encouraged during summer sessions when both faculty and students typically have more time available for more intense intellectual interaction.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email