What We Do

Mission and Vision

A chart describing a journey from Character-Education/Self-Master, Academics, Art/Music, Peacemaking Skills and ending at Local and Global Service.

Full-Circle Learning (FCL) exists to help young people embrace their role as society’s humanitarians and change agents.

The Full-Circle Learning family holds a central belief that meaningful participation in society and purposeful learning stem from commitment to one human family.

Some educational models details what, when or how to learn. Full-Circle Learning emphasizes the why of our motivation to learn: to find peak experiences as we tap our potential to improve the wellbeing and destiny of others.

Three young women facing an audience.

This integrated, project-based learning model motivates learners toward self-mastery while addressing sustainable development goals and community needs such as hunger, poverty, public health, gender equity, eldercare, environment and agriculture. 

The organizational philosophy honors the nobility of teachers and learners and promotes true “education as transformation.” Our motto for teachers and learners is “to lead is to serve and to serve is to lead.” 

Five Aspects of Our Work

Full-Circle Learning (FCL) fulfills its mission by offering five basic services: Educator capacity building, wisdom exchanges, school scholarships, direct student service and emergency relief. Read about each of these services here.

A large group of Teachers in Africa at a gathering.
  1. Educator Capacity Building: The Full-Circle Learning nonprofit organization trains new and veteran teachers in the Full-Circle Learning model of education.
    Through this training process, our primary line of activity, teachers evaluate their common vision and the noble role they play. They expand their understanding of transformational learning theories, strategies, and practices to develop altruistic identities and collaborative school culture, based on the ultimate outcome of service to an expanding network of humanity.
    Customized training and support materials help educators to infuse the following features into every learning unit:

    • Character education based on a habit-of-heart theme;
    • Academic interdisciplinary content based on regional standards;
    • Conflict resolution applied to the project goals;
    • Thematically linked arts that uplift or advocate;
    • Resulting projects that employ all the above, in service to the transformative impacts on the local and global community.
    A student takes a picture of a globe on a stand with her camera
  2. Wisdom Exchange: FCL assists in the coordination of wisdom exchanges among schools in disparate regions or countries. The process helps learners of all ages honor culturally relevant challenges, regional education standards and local community needs, while also helping them see through the broader lens of collaborative problem solving with diverse groups.
    A reflection of the Full-Circle Learning model, the wisdom exchange projects encourage purposeful learning in pursuit of service to the human family. A typical project addresses locally identified needs pertaining to public health, agriculture, climate change, elder care, gender equity, peacemaking. the UN development goals.
  3. School Scholarships: FCL selectively offers opportunities for small project grants and scholarships. Available by invitation only, this assistance is offered to encourage exemplary planning among schools and students engaged in Full-Circle Learning projects.
  4. Direct Service: Full-Circle Learning manages programs with direct student support through legacy projects such as summer schools.
  5. Emergency Relief: When Full-Circle Learning schools request assistance with dire temporary needs, we strive to make special help available. Examples have included Ebola Relief and Pandemic-related Food Aid for closed schools. These internal grants are managed by regional facilitators, based on available funds.
A woman smiling in the fieldA Student and his Teacher are holding a water bottle.

Platforms for Teacher Training

(Onsite Workshops; Online Courses, University Collaborations)

Onsite Workshops: When schools, districts, agencies or CBOs in a region request training, FCL provides free professional development workshops. This service is available based on the accessibility of regional facilitators.

The workshop agenda includes: planning with a common vision; transformational pedagogy; integrated curriculum design and assessment; effective strategies in classroom management and building a positive school culture.

Online Courses: The distance learning resources on in the Resource section of this website include an education course called Why We Learn. Small cohorts can learn together or instructors can apply the material as the basis for a 9-week course, with practicum opportunities. Course sessions appear as slides. An ancillary text and a book called Planning Tools and Templates are included.

University Collaborations: University representatives are free to apply Full-Circle Learning content in teachers’ college courses. China’s Zhejiang Normal University began collaborating with FCL to provide mandatory courses for its teachers college students in the 2000s. Chapman University included a course based on Habits of Humanitarians. The Teachers College of Lesotho received training in 2020. For arrangements, inquire at info@fullcirclelearning.org.

Our Success Stories

Liberia’s Laura Sackie, a scholarship student, engaged her school in developing a farm to build the community’s basis for food security. During the pandemic’s lockdown, she recognized the hunger of elders trapped in their homes. With the farm produce, she paid for drivers to deliver food to the starving seniors.

A young girl holds up a poster that reads, speak up for those who have lost their voice! #16daysA student smiles with her farming tool.A teacher with is two students in chairs.

Girls in Tanzania learned sewing skills, to distribute recyclable shopping bags, while girls in Liberia participated in 16 days of activism to end gender violence. Their performance brought the nation’s leaders to tears.

Recent School Projects

In 2020-2021, projects underway address various transformational community outcomes.

For example, nine Zambian schools taught appreciation of alter-abled learners after their teachers received autism awareness training from students attending medical school through scholarships from Zambian Gems. (Pictured, FCL facilitator Eric Muleya assists the class in celebrating the capacities of all learners.)

Students face each other on a project mat.

Multiple schools in various regions united to address public health issues. Pictured, Liberian students taught conflict resolution skills to their community during a project to fight vector-born disease through sanitation. Their teaching project incorporated academics, the arts, collaboration skills and the spraying of the affected communities. Students in Nigeria engaged in a project to distribute mosquito nets community-wide, to help prevent new outbreaks of malaria. They later prepared to provide PPE and thermometers to 31 schools, to help others meet the government requirements for opening schools during the pandemic. Meanwhile, in Ghana, children sewed masks for the most vulnerable people in their community. One school leader contributed the shirt off his back—and some from his closet—laundering them to provide fabric for the eager students to make face masks.

A group of teachers hold up a full circle learning banner.

Pictured here, 28 Liberian schools worked together on school garden projects to reduce hunger. Another project in the Gambia taught carpentry to create sanitary eating areas in the marketplace. Students at yet another school planned to teach nutrition to mothers of food-insecure children.

Across a dozen nations, FCL teachers received assistance as they applied the principles of Full-Circle Learning to distance learning outcomes throughout the pandemic. Some teachers and students contributed content to share with other countries for their distance learning units.

A major highlight occurred in early 2020, when Liberian students remembered their experience with Ebola and reached out in a wisdom exchange with China, whose children had been schooling at home for months already. The secondary students sang a song they wrote, based on the habit of empathy. The young Chinese students, in turn, sent pictures depicting how to complete home learning units.

A student with their drawing.A child's drawing of the virus with medicine and a person with a sign.A child is beaming with happiness holding their drawing.

Previous Projects

For many more stories from around the world, click on the country locations on the map or see the annual reports, such as Pathways of Purpose.

Impact Analysis

Joy, purpose and other-directedness transform learners, learning environments and society. Community-building benefits occur as teachers prioritize motivational integrated-education projects and deliberately apply Full-Circle Learning teaching strategies.

Research at Full-Circle Learning, conducted through teacher, parent and student surveys as well as through community impact studies, shows the power of altruistic peak experiences in relation to learning. Serving the human family gives purpose to new academic skills, innate creative talents, collaborative capacities and socio-emotional strengths.

A 2020 Study on Intentionality

A 2020 study, conducted by Full-Circle Learning, gathered input from 15 representative regional trainers from the Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria and Zambia. Their combined constituents included a total of 1,260 teachers and 61,779 learners from a range of learning environments including village, public and private schools, with projects centered on home study during the global school closures. The first survey gauged the level of their adaptations to the pandemic before their group training. The second survey, six months later, measured the impact of their own group-trainer sessions on the quality of teacher training and student learning within their regions. The May survey indicated that all active trainers had discovered ways to engage learners in home-based learning, despite lockdowns and school closures. The October survey conveyed shifting attitudes based on the trainers’ sense of altruistic intent. One hundred percent of the trainers participating in this Likert survey reported “true” or “very true” when asked if they were inspired with new vison and a sense of purpose after completing their own training and planning sessions. Two-thirds wrote additional comments explaining their enthusiasm with terms such as “student purpose” “community motivation,” the chance to inspire “humanitarian students” or “change agents” and the infusion of purposefully integrated activities into academic learning.

Earlier Studies

One independent study of a project in Los Angeles assessed the academic skills of a very small sampling of Full-Circle learners each year over a five-year period. Experiencing the integration of character education, academics and altruistic service projects, 75%-84% of these second- through fifth- graders increased their grade equivalency in math, reading and vocabulary over the first six-month period.

Of those who remained in the study for two or more years, 50% enhanced grade equivalency by two or more grade levels. (In other words, a child enrolled in the first month of the fourth grade might perform at the level of a sixth-grade learner in her eighth month.)

Other California projects assessed the integration of learning and life skills in the years that followed, between 2020 – 2015. Using a combination of parent surveys, student-self-surveys and teachers’ records, these schools documented continual enhancements in student growth.

Characteristics of Learning and Growth

Family members in these schools noticed that children who applied their creativity and their learning to brighten the path of others suddenly wanted to learn even more. In 2007-2009, parents in four pilot programs responded to anonymous surveys about their children, expressing various enhancements beyond their expectations. Parents came from mostly low socio-economic ranges and communities of differing dominant ethnicities. After six months of exposure to the learning model, parents reported higher- than anticipated development in their children. The highest increases occurred in the following categories:

The relationship of these three items underscored the relationship of empathy-based cognitive action and motivation. In addition to exercising collaborative learning strategies that encourage altruistic identities, each of the schools offered learners at least four major community transformation projects per year—some local and some global. The families’ anonymous reflections on the progress of their own children showcased the pre-pandemic merits of intentionality in low-tech environments.

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