Worldschooling involves the intentional act of viewing the entire world as one’s classroom. Many Worldschoolers also identify as expatriates, Third Culture Kids, or global nomads. The term encompasses multiple views not only as to how families and their children learn from the world, but also how they live and work.

The general understanding of the education approach called Worldschooling is that it evolved out of the homeschooling/unschooling movement and involves the intentional act of viewing the entire world as one’s classroom. The term has been credited to Eli Gerzon who was an unschooled young adult and expanded on the idea that travel was an education in itself. Single mom, Lainie Liberti took over from Eli Gerzon in expanding the ideas and has thousands of followers on social media and her award-winning blog and TEDx talk that describe how she has raised and educated her son while traveling the world.

Raising children who travel or move to international locations relatively frequently is not a new concept and children have been previously termed Third Culture Kids (TCKs) as coined in the 1950s by Ruth Useem. TCKs have more recently been narrowly described as “a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parent’s culture.” Traditionally, TCKs were children of missionary families, diplomats, or those working for international corporations who moved out of their home country for work. Many families with this lifestyle see themselves as expatriates (expats) which tends to imply a longer stay in a country or one in which the host country or corporation is paying for the family to live there. Expats receive visas and work rights for the overseas country they live within. Others who live long term in international locations may fall into the Global Nomad category whereby they are traveling for varying lengths of time to international locations but are not fully settled in one place (nomadic) nor receiving visas or salary linked to the specific country they are in.

Being a global nomad has increased significantly with the offerings of online businesses or technology that allows people to work remotely as long as they have internet. Worldschoolers sometimes also self-identify as expats or TCKs or even global nomads as the term encompasses views as to how their children learn from the world and how the family lives and works.

For some global expat families, the work contract includes international schooling costs but for others who perhaps are more in the global nomad realm, children may attend school part-time in other countries or be homeschooled/unschooled. Worldschooling does have some roots in the alternative school movement of unschooling and counter-culture grassroots perspectives to raising children but many families with more traditional homeschooling backgrounds seem to also be choosing this approach.

This is just one reason that Worldschooling is so fascinating as it draws in people from all walks of life and locations.

Worldschooling: A Brief Overview

At the 12th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation, Dr. Kate gave a presentation about what it is to Worldschool. You can see the slides of her presentation below.