The crucial role of public education in fostering a Humanist society

As our province grows increasingly diverse, the need for a strong and inclusive public education system has never been more apparent. At the heart of this endeavor lies the foundation of a humanist society, where reason, compassion, and critical thinking flourish. We recognize the profound importance of public education as a catalyst for nurturing these values and shaping a brighter future for all.

Empowering Rational Inquiry

At its core, humanism is centered around rational inquiry and the pursuit of knowledge based on evidence and reason. Public education provides the framework necessary to cultivate these principles from an early age. In our rapidly evolving world, the ability to think critically and analyze information is paramount. By encouraging students to question, challenge, and explore different perspectives, public education lays the groundwork for a society that values informed decision-making and intellectual growth.

Here in BC, our curriculum emphasizes 'thinking', both creative thinking and critical and reflective thinking, as on of three core competencies that we expect students to develop in ever class. This curriculum is taught in every public and independent school; however, in reality we see numerous private schools in this province include creationism and other anti-science ideas in their science classrooms.

Fostering Tolerance and Diversity

A fundamental tenet of humanism is respecting the dignity and worth of every individual, regardless of their background or beliefs. Public education serves as a powerful tool for breaking down barriers and promoting understanding among diverse communities. In inclusive classrooms, students from various cultural, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds learn side by side, fostering empathy and acceptance. This exposure to diversity not only enriches students' educational experience but also equips them with the skills to navigate an increasingly interconnected global landscape.

On the other hand, private education divides students by religion and socioeconomic status. We have also documented  private schools that ban LGBTQ+ families and staff from openly attending or working in their schools.

Countering Misinformation and Extremism

In an age inundated with mis- and disinformation, public education serves as a bulwark against the rise of extremism. By teaching students how to discern credible sources, evaluate information critically, and engage in respectful discourse, the education system equips them with the tools to resist manipulation and radicalization. This not only preserves the integrity of democratic societies but also bolsters the efforts to build a humanist world rooted in reason and compassion.

Nurturing Lifelong Learning

The journey of education does not conclude within the walls of a classroom. Public education encourages a lifelong pursuit of knowledge, curiosity, and personal growth. Lifelong learning is a cornerstone of humanism, as it aligns with the belief in the continuous expansion of one's understanding and perspective. A society that values education will invariably value the enrichment that comes from engaging with new ideas, experiences, and cultures.


We recognizes that public education is more than just a means of imparting information; it is a vehicle for cultivating the values that underpin a humanist society. Through fostering critical thinking, embracing diversity, promoting ethical citizenship, countering extremism, and nurturing lifelong learning, public education paves the way for a world where reason, empathy, and cooperation prevail.

As we look toward the future, let us advocate for a robust and inclusive public education system that empowers individuals to become informed, compassionate, and active contributors to a more humane world. By investing in the education of our youth, we invest in the very essence of humanism itself.

@bchumanist Replying to @angielange3 As @John Green ♬ original sound - BC Humanist Association

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