The world is rapidly changing. All over the planet, people are facing powerful choices that will affect the quality of our lives for years to come. The realities and expectations of today’s marketplace, the interconnected global economy, and globally shared environmental, health and security issues are calling urgently for the world’s current and future citizens to acquire a new set of global skills.
Although it is essential that 21st-century citizens develop the skills and awareness needed to prosper in a global context, the requirements of today’s learners are changing faster than the capacity of most educational institutions to respond.
Now there is some good news for those who cannot afford to wait for the curriculum to catch up.
There is perhaps no icon more universal than a postage stamp. Issued by every nation on Earth, stamps convey information about a country’s people, history, cultural heritage, natural wonders and daily life—as seen through the eyes of its citizens. With their authority, artistry and vivid imagery, stamps have a way of commanding our attention.
Since the most outstanding aspects of each country have been represented on postage stamps, these miniature ambassadors have huge untapped potential to meet the needs of today’s learners to become more globally aware. When used interactively with maps, stamps can make the places they represent come alive. The combination of stamps and maps can thus provide a compelling framework for building global knowledge and awareness.
With these convictions, World PEAS began an ambitious project in 1999 to develop some postage stamp-based learning aids that could be used with simplified maps large enough to accommodate at least one postage stamp per country. These efforts have culminated in a series of Learn the WorldTM supplemental educational kits representing each of the world’s continents, major island groups and sub-continents.
Through the postage stamps they have issued, every country on Earth has contributed something to this project, thus presenting some unique opportunities to build rapport across political borders, to catalyze learning-enhancing discussions, and to create collaborative educational projects among classrooms all over the world.
With World PEAS Learn the WorldTM kits, now everyone can Learn the world through stamps!