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What is The 100Hours?

Transformational Curricula for the 21st Century

The following is an excerpt from the section on “Global Citizenship” on the Global Education First website, a major new UN initiative launched by Ban Ki Moon in 2012:

“The world faces global challenges, which require global solutions. These interconnected global challenges call for far-reaching changes in how we think and act for the dignity of fellow human beings. It is not enough for education to produce individuals who can read, write and count. Education must be transformative and bring shared values to life. It must cultivate an active care for the world and for those with whom we share it. Education must also be relevant in answering the big questions of the day. Technological solutions, political regulation or financial instruments alone cannot achieve sustainable development. It requires transforming the way people think and act. Education must fully assume its central role in helping people to forge more just, peaceful, tolerant and inclusive societies. It must give people the understanding, skills and values they need to cooperate in resolving the interconnected challenges of the 21st century.”

We share this view.

We also feel that standard approaches to engendering global citizenship – which can involve teaching such subjects as climate change, eco system destruction, the slave trade, poverty, and other important local and global issues – are insufficient. For example, a 12 year old boy who had recently learned about deforestation and its role in climate change at a school in the UK, when asked what role he thought he could play in solving the problem, answered “I would machine gun the people doing those things, because it’s because of them that we’re all going to suffer”. In other words, unless global citizenship is approached by grounding hearts and minds in compassion, wisdom, integrity, responsibility, and other positive qualities, mere knowledge of the issues does not necessarily lead to wise responses.

Along with ever more research indicating its high value, there is now a lot of interest in developing social and emotional intelligence in education systems. This includes such developments as SEL (Social and Emotional Learning), Mindfulness in Schools, Conflict Resolution programmes, Social Responsibility programmes, Peace education, Empathy in Schools, Citizenship, and others.

We are integrating these developments into transformational curricula for wise and compassionate living and leadership for use around the world. Our intention is that these curricula will eventually provide an integrated training from kindergarten to university graduation, useable in any culture. We hope that many young (and older) people around the world will get to experience at least one hundred hours of such training, supporting them in making choices in their life which contribute to both their own welfare and to that of the world around them.

At the heart of the intention is to help tackle the complex and interrelated challenges confronting us in the 21st century by addressing their root causes in the heart and mind. For instance, in order to tackle climate change and the rapid destruction of our eco systems, we clearly need an environmentally sustainable model of development. For that to happen, a sense of compassion for other people, generosity about sharing resources, and a strong sense of responsibility for stewarding the planet are needed.

To sustainably end conflicts, qualities of heart and mind such as tolerance, empathy, and mutual respect are vital.

To effectively tackle poverty and reach the UN Millenium Development Goals, we need a socially sustainable and just approach to economic development. Having people (especially young people) established in qualities such as care for others and conscience seems essential.

Having spent several years developing and refining its approach, The 100Hours is entering its next phase of development; creating highly scalable curricula using the latest internet based technology.