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A Developing World: Responsible Consumerism Through Fair Trade

Secondary, Middle

Description

This resource explores the principles of fair trade. Activities will help students to become more responsible consumers by learning that the things they buy have a significant effect on the quality of life for individuals in developing countries.

 

Students will:

 

o   Brainstorm / discuss where many of the products they purchase come from. 

o   Use maps and print resources to identify the location of the producing countries and determine Human Development Indexes for each one.

o   Examine coffee production to become familiar with the principles of fair trade.

o   Compare the living conditions of fair trade workers with those employed by multinational companies.

As a culminating activity, initiate a fair trade enterprise in their own community and/or launch a campaign that draws attention to local business that sell fair trade products.

General Assessment

Strengths

This resource gives an up-to-date view of fair trade around the world. The suggested websites are very interesting and informative for students and the teacher. The document contains everything necessary to complete the explicit activity.

Weaknesses

In order for this activity to be the most effective, the extension activity should be considered a core component of the resource. Also, there should be more information present in the document concerning the creation of a company, both for students and the teacher.

Recommendation of how and where to use it

This resource would be appropriate in any humanities class for grades 9-12.

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

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  • Alberta
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    • Grade 10
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        • Economics For Consumers 20: Course Content
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        • Social Justice: Social justice initiatives can transform individuals and systems
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        • Geogarphic Issues of the 21st Century: Industry and Trade
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        • Economics 120: Fundamental Economic Concepts
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        • Canadian Economics 2203:Global Economic Concepts
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        • Global Interaction: The 20th Century and Today
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        • Global History: The Challenge of Economic Disparity
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        • Interdependence: Atlantic Canada in the Global Community: Trade in the Global Community
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        • Geography of Canada 421A: Canada’s Global Connections
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        • Social Justice: Social justice initiatives can transform individuals and systems

Themes Addressed

  • Economics (2)

    • Globalization
    • Trade
  • Human Rights (2)

    • Poverty
    • Social Justice

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Good

With the help of the interactive map, students are exposed to the economic situation of people from around the world and not only the richest or the poorest.

Students also have the occasion to see the advantages and disadvantages of a multinational company and of a producer who is part of a fair trade initiative.

Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Good

The economic and social dimensions are present, but the environmental aspect will need to be enhanced by the teacher.

Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Very Good

By doing the reflection work that is present in the document, students understand why it is sometimes difficult to accomplish fair trade, often because of money issues. By doing the research, students clearly see the moral side of the situation, but also the financial side.

Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Good

The explicit activity does not permit it, but the extenstion activity can be easily implemented as an action experience. After finishing the discussion and the research students will get the opportunity to create their own fair trade company.

Acting on Learning:

Learning moves from understanding  issues  to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community,  or for the planet

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Good

After having done the research, students have the opportunity to express their opinion in the reflection work. They therefore have more information in order to formulate their ideas and opinions.

Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Very Good

The heart of this project is for students to become aware of working conditions of people around the world. By becoming informed consumers students become more aware of circumstances faced by the people who create the goods that they are purchasing.

Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Poor/Not considered

The teacher will need to draw student attention to the environmental aspects of fair trade vs. multinational.

Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Good

In the very beginning, students are asked to think of products that they like to purchase. This makes the resource more relevant and personnal. Also, if the extension activity is completed, students connect with local companies who are part of a fair trade initiative.

Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Satisfactory

Only the present is addressed.

Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Good

If the enrichment activity is done, the students get to choose their solution. Students also learn about the advantages and disadvantages of multinationals and fair trade initiatives.

Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Satisfactory

This resources touches on subjects relating to geography and social studies, and students will also use their language arts skills.

Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Good

During the research activity, the students get to discover the financial situation of people from around the world. This part of the activity also permits students to discover the advantages and disadvantages of multinational companies versus those of fair trade companies.

Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.

 

Differentiated Instruction Good

Visual students will like the interactive map, while linguistic students will enjoy the research work. Those who have a strong interpersonal intelligence will strive during the group discussion, and those who are more on the intrapersonal side will like the reflection work.

Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Good

If the enrichment activity is done, the students will get the chance to live the experience of creating a company that is part of a fair trade initiative.

Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning Good

Cooperative learning is not necessarily mentioned, but could very well be done during the explicit activities. Again, if the enrichment activity is done, students will get to work together to create their company, or create a publicity for a local fair trade company.

Cooperative Learning:

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
  • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Good

There is a rubric attached to the document that permits the teacher to evaluate the students' reflection work.

Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching Poor/Not considered

Absent.

Peer Teaching:

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Poor/Not considered
Case Studies:

Relevant case studies are included.  Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore  concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control Good

Once again, if the enrichment activity is done, the students will get to pick the kind of fair trade company they would like to create along with the fair trade products they would like to sell.

Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.