Yes! Educational Materials for the Charter- United States


Yes! Magazine has developed a curriculum and guide to the Earth Charter for teachers.


The Earth Charter Curricular Module is on the Education Connection section of the YES! Magazine website (www.yesmagazine.org ). Positive YES! stories are tied to The Charter´s main principles along with discussion questions, glossaries, and a resource guide. Currently individual articles can be downloaded for free, and soon the entire Module will be available in an e-book style PDF. YES! also plans to offer the Module soon in Spanish.


It has lesson plans for grades 5 through 12, and tells the story of people involved in the Earth Charter and of their successes. It has a focus on youth as the heroes and heroines of sustainable development.


The in-print and on-line materials both contain activities, measures of success, the text of the Earth Charter, how-to steps for teaching the principles of the Charter, and a guide to community service and service learning, among other sections. The booklet comes with a resource guide as well, and is available in Spanish. “This is a great channel and network for the Earth Charter,” says Mirian Vilela, Director of the Earth Charter Center for Education for Sustainable Development.


“The Earth Charter is perfectly made for students to take action with,” says Kim Corrigan, who is Education Coordinator for Yes!. Many schools in the United States require “service learning,” in which students volunteer in their communities, but many teachers need to know what kinds of projects the students can do. The guide offers these projects.


Corrigan and Yes! are also leading in-person workshops on the Earth Charter for teachers at very low cost, but a waiting list has formed.


The magazine created the educational effort in 2002, and started with 30 teachers who received the magazine for free. Now 6,500 teachers are part of this education network. They apply online to join, and also get the magazine for free for one year. So far, teachers have to be located in the United States, but in the future Yes! hopes to expand. Teachers need creativity and “a vision of what it means to be a global citizen,” says Corrigan.


Yes! Magazine is a ten-year old quarterly that prints no advertisements and has a circulation of 50,000 copies. Another 50,000 or more readers access the magazine online, and the print version goes to subscribers in 55 countries.


An on-line archive offers 1,000 back-issue articles for free, and some independent material that does not appear in the print version is online as well. Each edition of the magazine focus on one theme, and all editions support people to create “a more just and compassionate world.”


Yes! Magazine board member David Korten has also cited the Earth Charter extensively in his new book The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community, and on the book’s website: http://thegreatturning.net.