Course Title: Contemporary World Affairs
12th Grade History/Social Studies Course Course Organization: This is a semester long course divided into seven themes: Nationalism, Globalization, Economic Development, Human Rights, Technology, Environment, and Military Security/Conflict. Within each theme various controversial issues are explored and students are asked to come to some sort of solution in each instance.
Title: Is globalization a path to a brighter future? Position in Yearlong Plan: This unit was designed to follow nationalism. The nationalism unit was a student driven study of separate country’s attempts to deal with the localized problems of sovereignty movements; for example, the desire of the people of the Xinjiang province of China to become a separate nation from China. This unit expands student’s view of the world from the narrowness of the nationalism unit to the global width of globalization. 1. Essential Question and sub questions. EQ: Is globalization a path to a brighter future? SubQs: What is globalization? What are some of globalization’s affects on the economies of developed and developing nations? What is the “race to the bottom”? What are the effects of technology on globalization? How is globalization like “Fantasy Football”? How does globalization affect cultures?
2. Main concept(s) and Content. Connection to real world (Neighborhood): a paragraph description. Globalization is a broad concept. It is so broad that a high school class could spend a year exploring its various sub-topics, benefits, and drawbacks. Unfortunately, the
design of this class only allows for four weeks of study. During the four weeks of the unit, the teacher attempted to cover four major themes within globalization: economics, technology, government, and culture. During the coverage of each of these themes students were given pro- and a con-argument for each. The reason for trying to cover both sides of globalization is globalization’s controversial nature. Being such a contemporary issue, globalization lacks the historical scholarship to prove it as ultimately beneficial or otherwise. Because of this there are prominent scholars on both sides of the debate with equally valid points of view. These points of view are affected and changed daily as new information about globalization comes to light. In short, globalization is still under debate so the unit was presented as a debate. Throughout the unit, there were also activities and information drawn from newspapers or personal stories that related directly to student’s lives. One example, came from the soon to be globally released movie “Zapata”, which is a movie made in Mexico using a Hollywood model of investment. The movie will show an alternative history of Emillio Zapata as an indigenous hero rather than the academic history of a horse trader turned revolutionary loser that is currently told. This movie is an example of how countries using globalization can bring their culture to the rest of the world. Examples like these made globalization real for the students and had them see that it was all around them and affecting them everyday. 3. Primary Document or Resources (in order of use) • • • • • • • • • • “NAFTA Mike”. The Awful Truth. DVD. Docurama. 1998. Episode 12. Monsoon Wedding. Dir. Mira Nair. Perf. Naseeruddin Shah, Lillete Dubey. DVD. Universal. 2002. That’s The Way I Like It. Dir. Glen Goei. Perf. Adrian Pang. DVD. Miramax. 2002. “AI on Human Rights and Labour Rights”. Globalization Reader. Ed. Lechner, Frank J. and John Boli. Mass: Blackwell, 2000. 187-194 Greider, William. “Wawasan...