In an increasingly globalized world, we need to find new ways to understand each other and to inspire a global perspective, so that communities everywhere can work together to find peaceful, innovative solutions to challenging and new situations.
Learners should have opportunities to further their understanding of interconnectedness, empathy and global issues so that they are prepared for the globalized world they live in, which in turn will inspire a future generation of responsible, compassionate citizens.
The Global Oneness Project believes that stories play a powerful role in education. Founded in 2006, the Project is committed to the exploration of cultural, environmental, and social issues. They house a rich library of free multimedia stories comprised of award-winning films, photo essays, and articles, which are accompanied by a companion curriculum for educators.
The Global Oneness Project aims to connect students through stories from the local human experience to global meta-level issues, such as: climate change, water scarcity, food insecurity, poverty, endangered cultures, migration, and sustainability, among others. Through featuring individuals and communities impacted by these issues, their stories and lessons provide opportunities to examine universal themes that emphasize our common humanity—identity, diversity, hope, resilience, imagination, adversity, empathy, love, and responsibility. The curriculum, available in both English and Spanish, contains an interdisciplinary approach to learning and facilitates the development of students’ critical thinking, inquiry, empathy, and listening skills.
The Global Oneness Project’s website is designed for educators to explore and search for content in a variety of ways: media type, course subjects, U.S. national standards, and via curated collections.
The resources are intended for whole class instruction. Teachers are using the stories and lessons as extensions to their core curriculum. The Project’s resources can be integrated into a wide range of courses including anthropology, English language arts, environmental science, history, media and journalism, and the arts.
For example, a high school environmental science teacher’s core curriculum focuses on local geography, the qualities of environmental citizenship, and healthy watersheds. He used the photo essay “Kara Women Speak” and the companion lesson plan “On the Verge of Displacement” in his classroom to get a global perspective and learn how an indigenous community is finding their self-sustaining ways of life at risk due to the development of a hydropower dam in Southwestern Ethiopia.
Each month, they release a new story and an accompanying lesson plan. All of the content and resources are available for free with no ads or subscriptions. To read about how a middle school teacher integrated the film Welcome to Canada in her classroom, for example, visit this blog on PBS Learning by Executive Director of the Project Cleary Vaughan-Lee.
The Project’s award-winning short films have been featured in The New York Times, National Geographic, The Smithsonian & The New Yorker, among others. Their lessons are currently featured on Ted-Ed, PBS Learning, TES Global, United States Green Building Council (USGBC), Share My Lesson, and Edmodo, among others.
In 2020, the Project shifted to provide online events with their storytellers, including writers, filmmakers, and photographers. This series, titled Stories for Solidarity, was included in the COVID-19 HundrED collection. All of the webinars are recorded and can be viewed on the Project's website. In April 2020, the Project also released their first student photography contest, Document Your Place on the Planet, and aims to host 3-4 student media contests throughout each year. The next one will take place throughout the summer of 2020 and will challenge students to document an artifact of their lives. The aim of this global contest is to feature student voices from around the world to provide multiple perspectives for learning and growing.
Throughout the rest of 2020, The Project is working to update and redesign their lesson plans and broaden their offerings to elementary, middle, and high school students. The lessons will contain connections to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to allow students to make global to local connections and to take action in their own lives. Each lesson plan will also provide updates to the companion story, allowing for current information to be presented in classrooms. Spanish translations to all content will also be available. The first batch of new lesson plans will be released in August 2020.