Search for Resources

Behind the Barcodes

A Teaching and Learning Guide for Secondary Schools

Secondary

Description

This resource was developed by Oxfam UK to encourage students to take action in addressing the suffering that exists within the global food supply system as part of its Behind the Barcodes campaign.  Students are presented with a number of questions designed to promote discussion, provide information and bring to light many of the injustices that plague the global food chain.  The resource is divided into four parts.

The Nature of Supply Chains: Using sugarcane as an example, students examine facts and figures (provided) to identify the people that make up supply chains and the distribution of power among them.

The Problems within Supply Chains: Students view short videos and analyze data (provided) to drill down on the inequality and suffering created by the current global supply chains of commonly consumed food products.

The Role of Supermarkets: Students analyze recent ‘scorecards’ that Oxfam  compiled to compare the public policies, practices and commitments of five of the major UK supermarkets to insure that workers in their product supply chains are treated fairly.  An additional scorecard is provided for students to use to evaluate a supermarket of their choice.

Taking Action: Students are encouraged to join Oxfam’s “Beyond the Barcodes” campaign.  Other action ideas and support materials for implementation are included as an alternative to the campaign.

The resource provides a power point presentation that can be used as a template to guide and support lesson delivery. 

General Assessment

Strengths

  • The resource is interesting.
  • The resource is complete and easy to implement.
  • The resource emphasizes acting on learning.
  • The resource offers a good example of integrated learning.

Recommendation of how and where to use it

Although highlighted as a tool to use in support of the "Taking Action" exercise, the power point presentation can be used by teachers to support all of the lessons.

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.

  • Step 1Select a province
  • Alberta
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studies 10-1(Perspectives on Globalization) CitizensResponse to Globalization
        • Social Studies 10-2 (Living in a Globalizing World) Personal Response to Globalization
        • Social Studies 10-4 (Living in a Globalizing World) Personal Response to Globalization
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • World Geography 30: World Patterns of Humankind's Use of the Earth
  • British Columbia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Justice: The causes of social injustice are complex and have lasting impacts on society
  • Manitoba
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canada in the Global Context
        • Canada in the Contemporary World
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Geographic Issues of the 21 st Century: Food from the Land
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • World Geography: A Human Perspective - World Food Supply: Production and Distribution
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Citizenship and Sustainability: Area of Inquiry: Poverty, Wealth and Power
        • Global Issues
  • New Brunswick
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canadian Identities: Social Responsibility
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • World Issues 120: Humanity
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Economics
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Consumer Studies 1202: Outcomes
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studies 1201: Economic Decision Making
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Economics
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canadian Economics 2203:Global Economic Concepts
  • Northwest Territories
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studies 10-1(Perspectives on Globalization) CitizensResponse to Globalization
        • Social Studies 10-2 (Living in a Globalizing World) Personal Response to Globalization
        • Social Studies 10-4 (Living in a Globalizing World) Personal Response to Globalization
  • Nova Scotia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Atlantic Canada in the Global Community: Human Rights in the Global Community
        • Citizenship 9: Global Citizenship
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Economics
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canadian Economics :Global Economic Concepts
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Global Geography:Resources and Commodities
  • Nunavut
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studies 10-1(Perspectives on Globalization) CitizensResponse to Globalization
        • Social Studies 10-2 (Living in a Globalizing World) Personal Response to Globalization
  • Ontario
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Issues in Canadian Geography (Academic): Liveable Communities
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Economics
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Analysing Current Economic Issues Univ. Prep.) Global Interdependence and Inequalitites
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Living in a Sustainable World (Workplace Prep.) Community Action
        • World Issues: A Geographic Analysis (College Prep.): Interactions and Interdependence: Globalization
        • World Issues: A Geographic Analysis(Univ. Prep.): Interactions and Interdependence: Globalization
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Challenge and Change in Society (Univ. Prep.) Global Social Challenges
        • Equity and Social Justice: From Theory to Practice (Univ./College Prep.) :Personal and Social Action
  • Prince Edward Island
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interdependence: Atlantic Canada in the Global Community: Human Rights in the Global Community
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Geography of Canada 421A: Canada’s Global Connections
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Geography 521A, Global Studies: Cultural Patterns of the World
        • Geography 531A (World Geography): Cultural Patterns of the Worl
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Economics
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Introductory Economics 621A: Student Inquiry on Economic Issues
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • What can I do?
        • Geography 621A Global Issues
        • Geography 631A Global Issues: What Can I Do?
  • Quebec
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • The Contemporary World: Wealth
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Contemporary World: Wealth
  • Saskatchewan
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studies 10: Economic Decision Making
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • World Issues - Wealth & Poverty
        • Social Studies 20
  • Yukon Territory
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Justice: The causes of social injustice are complex and have lasting impacts on society

Themes Addressed

  • Economics (3)

    • Corporate Social Responsibility
    • Globalization
    • Poverty Reduction
  • Human Rights (1)

    • Social Justice

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Satisfactory

The information provided for students to consider is accurate.  However the supermarkets' impacts are not represented by the supermarkets themselves. 

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 Satisfactory

The interplay of the social and economic dimensions is effectively portrayed. Environmental aspects beyond health concerns (of the working environment) are largely ignored.

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 Satisfactory

A sense of the complexity of the issue of fairness and social justice in global food system is represented but more information and analysis of the supply chains themselves is warranted. Links are provided to related resources.

Respects Complexity:

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

Acting on Learning Good

Several action ideas are presented as a core component of the learning.

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 Very Good

Student analysis and discussion of the information presented is a focus of the lessons

Values Education:

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

Empathy & Respect for Humans Very Good

Much attention is given to bringing to light the suffering of the poorest and often hardest-working people involved in maintaining the world's food supply chains.

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

Environmental impacts of the global food supply are not addressed.

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

The many opportunities for discussion, the local supermarket report cards and the action initiative bring a local focus to the learning.  Note: some adaptation of the activities involving examples of UK-based supermarkets will be required.

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 Poor/Not considered

Global food chains are examined in the current context.  Little attention is paid to progress or the lack of over time. Responsibility for a better future is placed in the hands of the supermarkets and consumers.

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 Satisfactory

Teachers will need to ensure the discussion/debriefing activities are successful in including all points of view.

Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Integrated Learning Very Good

It is difficult to assign this resource to one or two subject areas.  It pays roughly equal attention to content and themes from geography, social studies, citizenship education and economics. 

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 Poor/Not considered

Students are presented with questions to answer and specific problems to solve. There is little emphasis or opportunity for independent investigation.

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 Satisfactory

Learning takes place through reading, listening, viewing, writing, discussing and presenting.

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

Both the supermarket scorecard activity and action project suggestions bring real world work experience to their learning.

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 Satisfactory

Cooperative learning skills are not explicitly taught.

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 Poor/Not considered

Assessment tools and suggestions are not included.

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 Satisfactory

Some of the action learning suggestions provide students with the encouragement and opportunity to 'educate' others about this important issue.

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 Very Good

Current and engaging case studies are used throughout the resource.

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 Satisfactory

Few opportunities beyond the action project allow students to determine meaningful aspects of the learning.

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.