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Challenging Assumptions:

An Empathy-Building Secondary Curriculum

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It can be difficult for teachers to examine discrimination and other social justice issues in the classroom without having the discussion break down.

With an animal-centered perspective, the Challenging Assumptions curriculum keeps the conversation focused on solutions and similarities rather than problems and differences.

The result? Students become compassionate thinkers with the knowledge and power to transform their own lives, their schools, and the world.

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Exploring Speciesism and Discrimination

Key Benefits

Student Outcomes

Promotes character, moral development, and higher-order thinking skills

Student Engagement

Taps into students’ enthusiasm for social justice issues

Curriculum Quality

Uses a standards-aligned curriculum created by educators

Curriculum Compatibility

Fits seamlessly into an existing curriculum across subject areas

The full-length video is available here.

Incorporating Compassion into the curriculum

What It Is

Challenging Assumptions is a free, convenient, teacher-approved set of lesson plans to help students in grades 9 to 12 confront discrimination and work toward a just world—not only for humans but for all animals.

What’s In the Curriculum?


Exploring Speciesism and Discrimination

A basic framework for students that investigates social norms and personal assumptions that contribute to speciesism and other forms of injustice


Incorporating Compassion Into the Curriculum

Resources for teachers to use in their existing mandated lessons, including activities and recommendations from other teachers for integrating the materials in the classroom


Service-Learning Project

A chance for students to put their knowledge into practice designing and executing solutions to animal-related issues in their communities

Watch the Challenging Assumptions training video for practical advice from real teachers on incorporating this exciting resource into your curriculum. Prefer to watch it later? We’ll e-mail it to you after you download the curriculum!

Promote positive school culture, spark classroom discussions, and enhance your students’ empathy and critical-thinking skills through a lens of compassion for all sentient beings. It’s free for teachers and priceless for students.

What is Challenging Assumption

Challenging Assumptions is an amazing resource. I have created lessons around
social justice [and] political activism. My students really respond to it.

⁠—Nina Otazo (Jane Long Academy, Houston)

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