Global Village School and the Earth Charter

GVS students exploring the world

GVS is at the forefront of progressive, values-oriented education

Global Village School (GVS) is a fully accredited (WASC) international homeschool/private school hybrid founded in 1999. Our student-centered framework and emphasis on peace, justice, diversity, and sustainability set us apart. GVS collaborates with families around the globe to create engaging, creative, flexible, and personalized learning experiences. We adapt our homeschool curriculum to our students, empowering them to pursue their goals in a way that prepares them for their next steps in life, building on their strengths and talents while staying true to who they are. We help families nurture and protect the passion and enthusiasm for creating a better world that comes so naturally to many young people. Students learn what it means to lead authentic and meaningful lives; they leave GVS confident in their ability to make an impact on the world. As of mid-2019, we have worked with hundreds of families in 48 states and over 50 countries. Read about a few of our exceptional graduates here: www.globalvillageschool.org/our-graduates.html

The Synergy Between GVS & the Earth Charter

Founding Director Sally Carless recalls, “The Earth Charter is so very much in line with what GVS is about. When I first read it my reaction was, ‘Well. There it is. If everyone followed what’s in this document, then we and our planet would be ok.’” When we created the K-8 Whole Child, Healthy Planet curriculum guides in 2009, we saw an opportunity to articulate how the Earth Charter is aligned with Global Village School’s values while exposing the Charter to a wider audience (many families use the curriculum on their own, without enrolling). A copy is included in each guide, and resources and activities are linked to the core commitments of the Earth Charter: Respect & Care for the Community of Life, Ecological Integrity, Social & Economic Justice, and Democracy, Nonviolence, & Peace.

Meaningful content is great, but teaching doesn’t end there. Our educational philosophy guides teachers’ instruction and staff interactions with families. From the moment students enroll with GVS, they are treated with respect and encouraged to cultivate their spirits and passions to share with their communities. The guides engage students in ways that align with the spirit of the Earth Charter, as families are ushered through a broad exploration of the “pale blue dot,” with activities designed to invoke a sense of enchantment, wonder, and empathy as they explore art, music, nature, imagination, and story. These explorations help each family discover unique ways to be of service in our shared world.

The GVS high school program wasn’t written with the Earth Charter in mind, but it is very much aligned. Courses like Literature of Diversity, Planetary Stewardship, and History of Civil Rights in the U.S. are just a few examples. Global Citizenship concepts are also woven into courses that sound standard but are anything but. In Economics, high school students grapple with questions that provoke a dialogue on issues of social and economic justice: Students take a deep dive into the history of so-called “underdeveloped,” (really overexploited) countries, reckon with the ethics of consumerism, explore the design of international monetary policies, and examine the true costs market economies extract from our biosphere—from human happiness and potential, to natural resources, and our animal friends.

Sustainability is not just a value we consciously promote through our curriculum; it is one of the driving factors guiding the development of the school. From the beginning, our staff have worked part time in order to reserve energy to pursue personal passions and service work. The Earth Charter is a beautiful framework which naturally aligns with Global Village School. Through this synergistic relationship, we envision further development of a more just, peaceful, and sustainable world.

Global Village School: www.globalvillageschool.org

Global Village School