As the world becomes more globally connected with fast-paced technological advancements, teachers are continually working to bring a broader world perspective into the classroom.
What is a broader world perspective? A broader world perspective is about relating how a country is empowered and driven by other countries. How things like technology, manufacturing, and resources are all connected and how we can continue to look for peaceful solutions to famine, war, starvation, food, the environment, and water worldwide by learning and knowing more about how other countries experience the world and their particular social and economic environment in different ways than we do.
As nations come together more globally, there is more dependence on other nations for support during natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, and tsunamis.
It is therefore important that teachers relate what they are teaching to the broadest global perspective possible in order to insure that the new leaders of the world that are graduating from classes today are fully informed regarding all aspects of their global environment.
A broader world perspective will try to relate the subject being taught to the greater world perspective by for instance in English and literature, the teacher can discuss the Pulitzer prize winners who usually are from different countries around the world. In mathematics teachers can discuss the world’s most famous mathematicians. Discussions on the Nobel prizes in science can give a broader world perspective to students, telling them about the greatest thinkers and scientists ever known.
Other ways to bring a broader world perspective into the classroom are to emphasize:
1) Wars now going on in different countries with reasons for the wars and how they relate to the economy, trade, the stock market; and how natural disasters and environmental degradation influence wars.
2) The environment worldwide – How do people use and abuse the environment; or help to keep a healthy environment by changing and impacting the economy, the labor force, the reasons for war, and the health of people worldwide.
3) Third world countries – How can people in developed countries help those people in third world developing countries meet their needs for food, clothing, and shelter? How can developed countries use their resources to make sure there are resources for the rest of the developing countries?
4) Destruction of the rainforests – There are rainforests around the world that are being depleted of hundreds of still unknown species of animals and plants – How will this affect the future of health worldwide; and how will the depletion of rainforests affect the climate of countries worldwide?
5) The nuclear arms race – How can we as a people stem the tide of nuclear weapons and why have nuclear weapons become a fearful force in every country in the world?
6) Cultures of different lands and countries. How knowing about other cultures can help alleviate racism, ethnocentrism, stereotyping, and lack of empathy for other people.
7) Trade – trade has been important in the history of the world. How do we trade with other countries? How trade can control the balance of power in the world.
8) Banking – the history of banking around the world – how other countries use banking. All about the World Bank.
9) Discussions on the economy of other countries – the economy of developed countries as opposed to the economy of developing countries.
Teaching about broader world perspectives in the early grades
In all cases, these ideas can be taught along with mathematics, English, science, health, and social studies. These discussions can start in the early and even pre-school grades in minimal ways and increase in information for the later grades. Social studies teaches all of these ideas and social studies starts early.
Coloring pictures of the endangered species worldwide in the early grades to workshops and field trips about them with intense scientific study in the higher grades always brings a broader world perspective to the classroom.
Children in the early grades can color pictures, help with bulletin boards and learning centers, and create works of art about other countries:
* present and past world leaders (presidents, dictators, kings)
* precious metals and gemstones
* native animal and bird species
* general geography projects
* great rivers. lakes, and forests
* different energy resources – wood, oil, gas, coal, windpower, solar, hydropower
* history and ancient history
* boats, planes, trains, and cars – their history
* famous inventions around the world
Science fair projects can also be geared to the broader world perspective and children creating their science fair projects should relate their findings to the world at large.
In conclusion, there are many ways to bring a broader world perspective into the classroom, beginning in the early grades with simple projects to more intense and informative projects and discussions in the higher grades.