Students examine the implications of globalization by selecting the five events that they believe have had the most significant impact on sustainable prosperity globally.
Identify 10 major globalizing events
Assemble a list or ask students to brainstorm 10 globalizing events; e.g., NAFTA, Hurricane Katrina and the price of oil, Kyoto Accord.
Provide time for students to research the events. To meet diverse learning needs, you may want to provide information in point form.
Consider using a cooperative learning strategy for research, such as a jigsaw. To use the jigsaw strategy, assign students to home groups. Within home groups, students research the events. Students from each of the home groups who have been assigned common topics work collaboratively to locate, record and process the information. After students have completed the research on their common topics, they share their fact sheets with the other members of their home group.
You might want to use the charts and strategies in Collecting Information (Support Material) to organize student research.
Introduction to concept: Sustainable prosperity
Draw attention to the term "sustainable prosperity" in at least three contexts:
- Institutional or social sustainability: Can the group or community continue to function in the same way for an indefinite period; e.g., stresses on the social systems that eventually undermine long-term viability, burnout, resentment?
- Economic and financial sustainability: Can the initiative continue to produce economic benefit indefinitely without artificial support; e.g., subsidies, grants, volunteer labour, price controls, unfunded pensions?
- Environmental or ecological sustainability: Can the physical environment cope with the demands placed on it for an indefinite period; e.g., depletion of nonrenewable resources, unsustainable yields, toxic build up?
Classify events as challenges or opportunities
Organize students in groups of three or four. Using the fact sheets, students may classify the events as challenges to prosperity or opportunities for prosperity. Challenges are those events that in some way have harmed sustainable prosperity for a large group of people. Opportunities are those that have contributed to greater sustainable prosperity for a significant number of people. Some events may fall under both headings. In these cases, students must decide whether the net effects of the event do more to help or hinder sustainable prosperity.
Rank events within categories
Direct students' attention to the events under the opportunities heading. Ask students to rank the events by considering the following criteria:
- increased wealth
- positive impact on a significant number of people
- sustainability over time.
If there are less than five events under opportunities, ask students to select the least negative events identified as challenges to complete their list of five events.
You might want to use the charts and strategies in Ranking Options (Support Material) to structure and assess this activity.
Share and defend rankings
Invite several students to present their rankings and supporting reasons.
Reconsider and revise rankings
Following the sharing, invite students to reflect on the different conclusions offered by other students and consider whether they want to revise their rankings in light of the class discussion.