POSTED ON BEHALF OF MAGGIE MEENEHAN
World Wise Schools is an amazing collection of resources conceived and supported by the Peace Corps to help teachers provide real world cross-cultural understanding and learning through a global education format. This site integrates global understanding and cultural awareness in core content area’s including: art/music, foreign language, health, language arts, science, social studies, environmental education, geography and even TESOL, for grades K-12. The Lessons Plans are varied, hands-on, student centered and thought provoking. A few of the sample topics of the lessons are: traditional greetings, narrative cartoons, making books on comparing water access, Kenyan sign language, conducting interviews, global food security, educating girls, and What is Wealth? All of the lessons deal with cross- cultural issues and bridging the communication gap between peoples of the world. Videos slide shows, stories, folk tales enhance the lessons, and classroom speakers can even be contacted to visit your classroom for free!
World Wise Schools began in 1989, under then Peace Corp Director Paul D. Coverdell. In addition to the many, many lesson plans available there are several other programs that would attract the interest of teachers. One is the Correspondence Match Program, in which a teacher signs up to have a direct relationship with a Peace Corp volunteer in the field, where they commit to exchange e-mails, letters, video’s, and photographs with each other for two years. Students become part of this exciting exchange of cross-cultural understanding. The relationship can develop naturally – no timetables or defined expectations, just communication.
There are also ideas for Service Learning Projects, Language Lessons, Podcasts and E-books and an E-Newsletter. It is truly a wonderful resource for global understanding; students can easily make connections through meaningful contact with Peace Corp Volunteers and with the people and region selected. Regions include: Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, Asia and the Pacific Islands, and Latin America and the Caribbean.
Clearly, this web site addresses the twin Goals of Community Building and Skill Building in Peace Education. As we build community throughout this world, we become more aware of the needs, wants and desires of others, AND more aware of how our needs, wants and desires are connected to theirs. We are brothers and sisters on this wildly, spinning, water planet. We need each other, we must help each other, and we must learn to live with each other in peace. This web site gives us the tools to increase our communication skills with others across the globe, building real skills towards peace.
Go to: peacecorps.gov/wws/about