WASHINGTON, D.C. December 4, 2006–Curriki–the Global Education & Learning Community today announced it has partnered with the World Leadership Corp. (WLC) (www.worldeducationcorps.com) to expand the global use of Open Source Curricula. Through this agreement, Curriki will train WLC’s international volunteer base on the use and advocacy of Open Source Curriculum (OSC) to help enrich and advance their assignments, while WLC’s volunteers will teach interested educators and professionals to assume the role of OSC community advocates.
Open Source Curricula is a complete instructional curriculum–including learning objectives, textbook and ancillary educational resources, student assessment and teacher training that is free to use or to re-purpose and localize. OSC is based on the open source practice of creating products or software that opens up access to source materials or codes. Applied to education, this process invites feedback and participation from developers, educators, government officials, students and parents and empowers them to exchange ideas, improve best practices and create world-class curricula that anyone with Internet access can obtain.
“WLC’s volunteer program accelerates our efforts to raise international awareness of Open Source Curricula and brings us one step closer to achieving our mission of eliminating the Education Divide–a divide caused by lack of access to schools, instructional materials and qualified teachers,” said Dr. Barbara Kurshan, Curriki’s Executive Director. “Having a local volunteer introduce Open Source Curricula in a hands-on’ manner will encourage its continued use and help us engage a global community to contribute to and benefit from this repository of quality curricula.”
“The WLC’s mission is to create an international service/learning program that enlists volunteers from all nations to build a sustainable planet,” said Dr. Thomas L. Benson, Executive Director of WLC. “We see Curriki as providing a powerful educational resource that will help our volunteers prepare a curriculum that supports our goals and can be adapted by the local community or by future volunteers.”
WLC volunteers in the fields of education, environmental conservation, public health, economic development and human rights will serve approximately one year in another country. As part of their service these volunteers will advocate and effectively support the sustainable growth of Curriki’s OSC program in their host country. By the conclusion of their service, volunteers will prepare interested local educators and professionals to assume the role of OSC community advocate.
Currently, two WLC volunteers supporting the Earth Charter Initiative (www.earthcharter.org ), a declaration of fundamental principles for building a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society for the 21st century, are using Curriki’s OSC methodology. Kat Cooley, based in Chengdu, China and Leah Wener serving in Stockholm, Sweden are using OSC to create frameworks for community discussions, action plans that elaborate on Earth Charter principles, and training curriculum the guide both students and professional to implement those standards.
“Already in my first month in Stockholm, I can see the benefit Curriki will bring to my work for Earth Charter,” commented Leah Wener, WLC volunteer. “Curriki’s OSC will bring a dynamic and real’ element to the curriculum I’m building since other Earth Charter activists will be able to share comments, reactions and questions to the guides and stories included in the curriculum.”
Kurshan concludes: “The Earth Charter Initiative is just one exciting example of the power of Open Source Curriculum. Long after the volunteers have gone, the local community will be able to evolve the Earth Charter curriculum to ensure its continuation.”
About Curriki–the Global Education & Learning Community
Curriki–the Global Education & Learning Community is a nonprofit dedicated to improving education by empowering teachers, students and parents with universal access to free and Open Source Curricula. Curriki is building the first and only Internet site for a complete course of instruction and assessment for K-12. The organization will create a world-class educational environment that is community developed and supported. Founded by Sun Microsystems in 2004, Curriki now operates as an independent nonprofit. Curriki can be found online at www.curriki.org.