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From Issue to Opportunity

From "Exploring Global Issues"

Secondary

Description

This is a good introductory resource to help students define global issues and understand their interconnections.Students develop criteria for determining what makes an issue global in scope, brainstorm and list global issues, group (i.e. rain forest destruction, global warming and species extinction can all be categorized under "the environment") and prioritize the issues into categories such as Environment, Health, Human Rights, Energy, Food, Economics, Governance to highlight interconnections and explore solutions.

Open ended questions are provided to stimulate thought. Advanced students are asked to consider issues with the highest leverage to alleviate various global problems. A Model United Nations writing exercise is suggested whereby students write and present resolutions and address specific global issues as a country. There is also an exercise to diagram and represent graphically the interconnectedness of global issues.

For an action project, students can interview members of the community to find out how global issues are affecting their local community. Findings can be shared with the local media.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

Analysis and prioritization of global issues and their interconnectedness.

Strengths

  • The resource does a good job of encouraging students to conceive of global issues using a systems thinking approach. This is reinforced by providing an activity that ties in interconnectedness of global issues through a good, locally focused activity
  • From Issue to Opportunity is a truly interdisciplinary resource
  • There are opportunities for students to choose and go deeper into the issues. In the Writing Connections (Model UN presentation or diagramming interconnections) and Action Project sections there is choice about the medium in wish students wish to work
  • Advanced students can be assessed using the reflection questions
  • This is an easy resource to use.

Weaknesses

  • There is a lack of outside support for teachers
  • There is no case study or values clarification activity
  • Neither action skills, personal affinity with the Earth or empathy and respect for diverse groups is taught.

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 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Economics
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Macroeconomics 30: Course Content
  • 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 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Current Topics in the Sciences 30S: Science, Technology, Society & the Environment
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • World Geography: A Human Perspective - World Geography Overview
        • World Geography: A Human Perspective - World Interdependence
        • World Geography: A Human Perspective - World Resources, Energy, and Environment
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Citizenship and Sustainability: Area of Inquiry: Environment
        • Citizenship and Sustainability: Area of Inquiry: Social Justice and Human Rights
        • Global Issues
        • Global Issues
  • New Brunswick
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • World Issues 120:Interdependence
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canadian Geography 1202: Global Issues n Canadian Geography
  • Nova Scotia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Atlantic Canada in the Global Community: Interdependence
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Geography 10: Spaceship Earth
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Global Geography: Planet Earth
        • Global Geography:Resources and Commodities
  • Nunavut
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • The Growth of Canada: Canada: International Connections
  • Ontario
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Issues in Canadian Geography (Applied): Managing Canada's Resources and Industries
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science (Univ/College Prep.) Scientific Solutions to Contemporary Environmental Challenges
        • Environmental Science (Univ/College Prep.) Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry
        • Environmental Science (Workplace Prep.) Human Impact on the Environment
        • Environmental Science (Workplace Prep.) Natural Resource Science and Management
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Regional Geography (Univ./College Prep.) Dynamics and Change
        • Regional Geography (Univ./College Prep.): Sustainability and Stewardship
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • A Geographic Analysis(Univ. Prep.): Spacial Organization: Relationships and Disparities
        • Global Connections
        • The Environment & Resource Management (Univ./College Prep.): Spacial Organizationties
        • The Environment & Resource Management (Univ./College Prep.):Sustainability and Stewardship of Natural Resources
        • The Environment & Resource Management (Workplace Preparation): Human-Environment Interactions
        • The Environment & Resource Management (Workplace Prfeparation)
        • World Geography: Urban Patterns & Populations (Univ. / College Prep.) Changing Ecumenes
        • World Issues
        • World Issues: A Geographic Analysis (Univ. Prep.): Social Change and the Quality of Life
        • World Issues: A Geographic Analysis (Univ. Prep.):Sustainability and Stewardship
        • World Issues: A Geographic Analysis(Univ. Prep.): Interactions and Interdependence: Globalization
      • Political Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canadian and International Politics (Univ. Prep.) Rights and Power in the International Community
  • 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: Atlantic Canada in the Global Community
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • What can I do?
        • Geography 621A Global Issues
        • Geography 621A Global Issues: Introduction- What is a global issue?

Themes Addressed

  • Citizenship (1)

    • Alternative Globalisation
  • Ecosystems (1)

    • Interdependence
  • Governance (1)

    • International Relations
  • Human Rights (1)

    • Social Justice

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Good
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
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
Respects Complexity:

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

Acting on Learning Good
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 Poor/Not considered
Values Education:

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

Empathy & Respect for Humans Poor/Not considered

Poor.

No sensitization is provided toward any specific or diverse groups.

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

Poor.

No such opportunities are provided.

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
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 Good
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

The majority of questions for intermediate students involve one right answer. But those questions facilitate reflection on a subsequent open ended question.

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
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 Satisfactory
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

There are diagraming and interviewing opportunities but the central activities mostly involve cognitive-intellectual work. There are no accommodations for people with learning difficulties.

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 Satisfactory
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:

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 Satisfactory

Assessment reflection questions are provided for intermediate and advanced students. The majority of the questions for intermediate students lead to one reflective question; they are otherwise inventory type questions with one right answer.

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
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

Poor.

There are no case studies.

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

There are opportunities for students to choose and to go deeper into their issue. In the Writing Connection (Model UN presentation or diagramming interconnections) and Action Project sections (interviewing or create a service learning project) there is choice about the medium in which they wish to work.

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.