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The World of Wonders Project

An Around-the-World Expedition


The World of Wonders Project features a series of Expeditions that will take us on a driving adventure around-the-world.  We started in October 2004 and completed a comprehensive driving tour through Mexico, Central America and South America.

From Colombia we shipped our expedition vehicle to New Zealand and Australia where we completed a year long expedition of these two great countries.

Upon returning to the United States in 2008, we are completing our plans to travel across West Africa to Europe, then through Eastern Europe and Asia to complete the World of Wonders Project.

The Expeditions function as adventurous learning and motivational tools.  Each takes students and teachers to new places around the globe.  You are all on-line participants in the journeys and are encouraged to communicate and interact with the expedition members via satellite email as well as with other students and teachers in the places explored.

By learning about other cultures, students will:
• Better understand their own culture and how it has shaped them.
• Begin to understand the perspectives of other cultures, leading to increased respect for those who are different from them—in the classroom and worldwide.
• Obtain an increased awareness of the value and practicality of social service within and beyond the bounds of schools.

The understanding of culture facilitates living with and understanding others of different backgrounds—within the classroom, in the local community, and on the worldwide scale of political, social, and economic interaction.

In forming Adventure Learning Foundation, our goal was to interest children and adults in learning about cultures different from their own.  As the world grows smaller through mass media and the use of the computer, it is imperative that we all learn to understand and appreciate each other.  

While we may not all be the same, our differences are not as great as the desires and ideals we share.  Our differences can be causes for celebration.  Mutual respect is a result of the desire to learn about each other.  Ultimately our desire is for children and adults to aspire to traveling and meeting people from other cultures personally.  We have found from our travels that once we have visited a place, we care about the place and the people more; the place is no longer just a name in a newspaper.  The people have become part of our global family.

Everyone has a culture.  It shapes how we see the world, ourselves, and others.

• Some aspects of culture are very easy to see, while others are definitely more difficult to perceive. However, they all influence behavior and cause us to act the way we do.

• Understanding someone from another culture can be a challenge. People really do see the world in fundamentally different ways. People behave as they do because of the things they believe in and value.

• It’s easy to misinterpret things people do in a cross-cultural setting. To keep from misunderstanding the behavior of others, we have to try to see the world from their point of view, not ours.

• Crossing cultures isn’t easy. It’s a complex process in which understanding the context is everything.

• Understanding and respecting cultural differences can lead to greater harmony in school, the community, and the world.

Adventure Learning Foundation will help expand your thinking about the world beyond the classroom boundary.  

Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.
             Maya Angelou

The information provided in each expedition of the World of Wonders Project can be used to help students achieve the social studies standards and the national geography standards listed below.

Individual Development and Identity (NCSS Theme IV)

Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of individual development and identity so that the learner can:
• Identify and describe ways in which regional, ethnic, and national cultures influence individuals’ daily lives.
• Identify and describe the influence of perception, attitudes, values, and beliefs on personal identity.

Global Connections (NCSS Theme IX)

Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of global connections and interdependence so that the learner can:
• Explain how language, art, music, belief systems, and other cultural elements can facilitate global understanding or cause misunderstanding.

National Geography Standards
Places and Regions (Essential Element II)

The geographically informed person knows and understands:
• How culture and experience influence perception of places and regions (Standard 6).

Human Systems (Essential Element IV)

The geographically informed person knows and understands:
• The characteristics, distribution, and migration of human populations on Earth’s surface (Standard 9).
• The characteristics, distribution, and complexity of Earth’s cultural mosaics (Standard 10).
• The patterns and networks of economic interdependence on Earth’s surface (Standard 11).
• The processes, patterns, and functions of human settlement (Standard 12).
• How the forces of cooperation and conflict among people influence the division and control of Earth’s surface (Standard 13).

From:  Building Bridges A Peace Corps Classroom Guide to Cross-Cultural Understanding

We welcome you to The World of Wonders Project.  Please take a minute to register so that we can keep you up-to-date on the Project and the status of the Expeditions.  Registration is free, private and holds no obligations.  Join the Project NOW.  I want to Register!

There is much work and expenses that are incurred in researching and conducting these expeditions and with your help we can make this project a lasting historical and informative place for people to learn and enjoy about the people who add so much to our world experience.

Your donation will help to continue the research, documentation and Virtual Classroom web site presentation of these wonderful cultures and experiences to the broadest possible audience. To find out how you can help, please follow this link to our Helping Hand page.  Thank you, now it's time to explore!  Follow this link to The Mexico Expedition.

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