To submit requests for assistance, or provide feedback regarding accessibility, please contact

Science & Tech

Roots & Shoots (Cont'd)

Dr. Jane Goodall

Lesson time 10:18 min

Learn the basic tenets of Roots & Shoots—and the meaning behind its name.

Dr. Jane Goodall
Teaches Conservation
Dr. Jane Goodall shares her insights into animal intelligence, conservation, and activism.
Get Started


One of the things that I love most about Roots and Shoots, which is actually why I was made a UN messenger of peace, is because young people are beginning to understand that we are one human family. One young man from Tanzania said to me, when I first went to America, I knew nobody. But I found a group of Roots and Shoots, and I found my family, because we shared the same values. One teacher who was teaching Roots and Shoots in Singapore never left Singapore. And she went off to a conference, a teacher's conference, in Canada. And she said I felt so homesick, so lonely, I didn't know anybody. And I was standing in the cafeteria waiting to pick up my lunch, and I heard some people talking about Roots and Shoots And she said, I went over and said to them, you know about Roots and Shoots? And they said, yes we do. And we began to talk, and she said, I wasn't lonely anymore. Because I found people who shared the same values. And I think one thing that's really important, we try to bring people together from different nations, different cultures, different religions. I mean, you bring together a group of young people like that. You can be in a room with people with different colored skin, people with different kinds of clothes, people who do have different cultures, different cultural foods, people with different religions, people with no religion. And we can seem very different. But the DNA analysis, the unraveling of the human genome, now shows us that if you take blood from all these different people, its the same. We are one human family. And if we hurt ourselves, we bleed. The blood is the same. If we laugh, we laugh because we have an emotion that makes us laugh, and feel good. And it doesn't matter what your culture or religion. You share that moment of joy. If you weep, it can be from some deep feeling of sadness, and that can be shared. Even if you can't speak another language. The tears are the same. And so Roots and Shoots is very much about helping young people to understand that there isn't a sharp line dividing people of different nations, different cultures, different religions. And so important, there is not a sharp line dividing us from the other animals. Chimps taught us that to start with, and now we know it goes right through the animal kingdom. We are part of an amazing animal kingdom, and there's still so much to learn about it, and about ourselves. [MUSIC PLAYING] Why is the program called Roots and Shoots? Well, probably many people if they close their eyes can think of a beautiful tree. I think of the beech tree I climbed as a child. And when my beech tree began to grow, the seed is about so big. And when it began to grow, little white roots would have appeared, and a little chute would have appeared. And I could have picked it up. It would just seem so small, so weak, so insignificant. Bu...

Take action

There is still a window of time. Nature can win if we give her a chance. In her first ever online class, Dr. Jane Goodall teaches how you can conserve the environment. She also shares her research on the behavioral patterns of chimpanzees and what they taught her about conservation. You'll learn how to act locally and protect the planet.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Dr. Jane Goodall is such an inspiration. I do feel there's a hundred reasons for hope.

Very beautiful , entlightening and educating. Inspiring.

Thank you so much for this amazing and insightful class!

Jane Goodall is such a passionate woman. I must admit I've heard most things she said before but she does inspire in a different way. Watching this MasterClass definitely changed my way of thinking as well as my behavior.


Luisger L.

Dr. Goodall has become an instant hero of mine. What a beautiful human being, one can feel her passion and her commitment with every one of her breaths. And the story about Travis in The Bronx is mind-blowing. This is truly fantastic stuff!!

Bernardo F.

What an important lesson, this just shows that small actions, even if insignificant, can materialize into bigger changes. There are many obstacles in the way: traditions, people, interests, money, etc. But if there's no initiative, then there's no change, we may fail, but that's better because it means that at least some were interested in doing it, and will probably continue to but looking for other ways.

Antonia T.

That example of the chimp in the cereal package is a very good example of how this actions may feel good to us but have zero impact on the life of the chimp and the planet. I'm very happy for the boy because he found a passion and a path but, sadly, he didn't change the life of the that chimp or of the chimpanzees (the photo was already taken and experiments with chimps are done all the time). That's why only creating laws in a democratic framework that protect the animals and the environment (no slaughtering allowed, no private cars allowed, no plastic allowed) will make a real change.

A fellow student

Every children on this planet need to listen to this. What a great delivery!

Christine L.

Dr. Goodall's kindness and empathy is key to delivering her message to the world. She will always be a hero to me. Thank you for putting on this course.

A fellow student

Dear Masterclass, please make this masterclass free on your website. Her message is so so important...!

Diana H.

These stories about student activism changing the environment and reaching those in authority are terrific. I am so glad that Janes work reaches into the places where people are often forgotten.

Kevin W.

Beautiful story about how she arrived at its name. It's great to see how much kids are getting invested with things like #trashtag and other viral campaigns to help a world that seems increasingly more cynical.

Angela A.

This was brilliant. As an educator, the idea of getting kids involved and letting them choose what to invest their time in, and see how they can change the world is amazing.

Louanne F.

I hope other companies realize the impact that a small change can have in a young person's self esteem and willingness to act in the future. Thanks to that company for removing the offensive photo - it had impact in more ways than one.