What makes Better World Ed unique?
There are many organizations that focus on Social Emotional Learning. And many that focus on real-world global understanding. And many focused on Project Based Learning. And many focused on Culturally Responsive Teaching. And many that focus on making academic learning more engaging. There are many orgs doing many amazing things.
Better World Ed exists to weave it all together in a natural, organic, magical, human way.
Here are some examples from CASEL as a primer to learn more about the SEL aspect of things! We also name some organizations in our Education and Teaching modules from our Global Literacy Deep Dives, and will be adding many more as we grow this year.
There are also a lot of organizations focused on non-cognitive skills, character development, 21st century skills, global learning, mindfulness, experiential learning, project based learning, and many other concepts that help to broaden the focus of school beyond strictly focusing on academic skills, outcomes, and test scores. We deeply respect Facing History and Ourselves, Teaching Tolerance, and EL Education to name a few.
We don't see anyone in this landscape as a competitor or as less awesome or something like that, though. We get asked why not all the time. It's just nearly impossible to feel that way. There's not really much more of an explanation there. Anyone working towards building a more empathetic, kind, mindful, critically aware, creative, collaborative humanity is a winner in our book.
That said, we do hear and feel that what we do is unique. There's a reason we registered an organization and dug into this work many years ago rather than joining an existing "organization entity".
Integrating global, social, emotional, and academic learning in a captivating, real-world, and globally adaptive way is HARD, and we couldn't find anyone obsessing over this challenge day in and day out.
A teacher once told us, "these stories are just dope!". That's what we're going for, and that's what we find makes us unique. When teachers share "this content is reminding me why I started teaching" or "BeWE curriculum will be the reason I keep teaching instead of moving out of the classroom" or "where has this been all my life?!", we know we're doing at least something well.
We obsess over this stuff because we are here to captivate. To raise the bar. To make SEL not only integrated with academic learning, but something people feel they can't live without in their daily moments. To make SEL more than another term, but the beautiful amazing magic it truly can be.
So here we are trying our best to pull this vision off alongside students, teachers, school leaders, and other organizations in our landscape. We share learnings, we hear what others are experiencing, and we keep striving to iterate our wordless global content to make Global SEL both possible and captivating for everyone -- early in life, every day, and everywhere.
We think of Better World Ed sort of like a Global SEL R&D team. We'd love to someday be the Global SEL battery under the hood of every classroom, school, district, and education org looking for globally adaptive, real world experiences that get kids excited to lead change in their lives and our communities.
In short, we want BeWE curriculum to be the behind the scenes support for this movement, while you (teachers, parents, schools, students, and, well, everybody) lead forward the learning experiences. You're out there bringing SEL to life, and we're here to make that experience super-duper-awesome in a way words can't even describe. (Hehe, get it? Our videos have no words.)
We’re here to be collaborative WE fuel for the movement, not yet another vehicle competing for space. We’re building a foundation of great content for all orgs and all schools, and we won’t stop until every existing organization and network is able to leverage BeWE to lead change in the world. We’re on a mission to build a self-sustaining system/cycle of content creation, educator engagement, and deep lasting systemic change. The deep, meaningful change we all dream of deep down asks for us to be WE, not individual actors competing with one another to be the best at making change. This curriculum helps youth feel that deeply over time.
Together, we can help youth execute on Lao Tzu's advice: “A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.” WE got this, humans. Let's help youth learn that early in life.