For many of us, the United States of America is a grand country. For many of us’ it is the most important country. For many of us, we see America as the center of the universe and therefore always right, always the best. Even very patriotic citizens can accept that everything that happens in the world has repercussions in other countries. Students are not different than the rest of us when it comes to being convinced all life revolves around the US.
In the classroom everything should be explored from many angles and teaching from a world perspective is important as long as the American point of view is also expressed.
To bring a world perspective to teaching requires a great deal of preparation by the teacher and some basic understanding of how the world and the economy work for the students.
When we talk about a war which the US has sent troops to fight such as in Afghanistan, students need to know the why and where of the war, but they also need to know who else is effected and how by this turmoil and death in a far away setting. Which other countries have sent troops to fight? How does this affect the economy of nearby countries? What do the Afghan people do to earn money when their world is turned upside down by the war?
If the lesson includes some current events and a product is being recalled, for example, who makes the raw materials for that project? How does this affect the job market in that area? Will the factory who makes this close down, lay off folks? Which countries does this factory usually export to? What will happen to stores in England who sell this product in their retail malls? What will the customer be able to use instead of it?
The students of today need to compete in a world market for jobs and should know what countries do what and how their services and imports fit into the jobs available.
Students need to realize that everything that happens in the world will cause a ripple in a foreign country such as elections that take place here at home. Our presidential election will and always has had tremendous impact on other governments and regimes.
Current events and news information should always have a place in every curriculum for almost every class since it can affect so many different things. Teachers who can help students connect the dots and teach kids to think for themselves will be more successful in making students more flexible and more in tune with the rest of the world.
Discrimination is born of ignorance and so is the lack of understanding of how the world works responsible for many worldwide problems. For a student to follow the path between world connections will enable him to become more tolerant of the various peoples. He will become more educated in how the diversity and the sameness of people can help us see the world as a family and not a separate group of people living in far away lands.