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Globalization and Young People

Assess the impact of various aspects of globalization on the well-being of children and youth.

Outcomes References Related Resources

Suggested Activities

Students explore the effects of globalization on young people's lives by assessing the impact of globalization on the well-being of children and youth in a specific region of the world.

Introduction to globalization effects
Begin by asking students to consider how their own lives have been affected by migration, travel, new diseases and new medication, the Internet and environmental changes. Draw students' attention to the role of globalization in each of these factors.

Research effects of globalization
Assign each group of students a different region of the world; e.g., North America, Latin America, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, South Asia, Asia. Ask students to research the effects of globalization on children and youth in their designated region. Students may want to narrow their search by selecting a specific country in the area. Invite students to note any differences between the impact on young children and on teenagers.

Guide students to consider these implications of globalization:

  • migration and travel; e.g., movement of people from increasingly unproductive rural lands to overcrowded cities, movement of people from poor countries to wealthy countries
  • health and medicine; e.g., transference of disease through trade and travel, access to medication for new diseases such as avian flu
  • environment ; e.g., increase in natural disasters or threats to the environment resulting from climate change, deforestation, environmental management practices
  • education; e.g., wider access to education, greater divide in wealth between those with education and those without
  • freedom and equality; e.g., exploitation, imposition of global values such as Universal Declaration of Human Rights, great scrutiny by the global community
  • access to technology; e.g., availability of information
  • individual and collective identities; e.g., wider access to global media, loss of traditional cultures, blending of distinct cultures in an American-dominated global culture.

You may want to adapt the charts and strategies in Collecting Information (Support Material) to structure and assess this activity.

Assess credibility of Web sites
This topic is ideally suited to research on the Internet. Assist students in identifying appropriate search terms to focus Internet searches. Use examples to introduce or reinforce the factors for judging the credibility of a Web site; e.g., authorship, sponsorship, sources of ideas, indicators of care. You might want to require that each group access 10 Web sites and select the six or seven most reliable sites. To meet the diverse needs of learners consider reducing the number of selections.

See Assessing Web Site Credibility (Modelling the Tools) for detailed suggestions on how to teach and assess the tools for helping students assess Web sites.

Rating effects of globalization on young people
After students have completed their research, direct them to rate the implications of each effect on young people by using a scale from "very negative" to "very positive."

You may want to adapt the charts and strategies in Rating Options (Support Material) to structure and assess this activity.

Sharing rating of effects
To facilitate sharing of assessments from various regions, create a large blank scale for each of the implications of globalization. Post the scales in the classroom.

Implications of Globalization

Effects of migration and travel on young people







very negative impact

modest negative impact

no impact or neutral impact

modest positive impact

very positive impact

Distribute removable sticky notes to each group and ask them to write the name of their region or country on each note. Ask groups to indicate the impact of globalization on youth and children in their regions by affixing their notes at the appropriate points along the corresponding scale; e.g., the North America group might place their sticky note at +1 for migration and travel, whereas the Central Africa group might place its sticky note at -1. Encourage other students to ask clarifying questions and support or respectfully challenge the conclusions.

Identify patterns of effects
Discuss emergent patterns. For example, children in affluent countries may benefit from various aspects of globalization, whereas these same aspects may negatively impact children in less economically developed countries. Where appropriate, draw students' attention to the mixed implications of globalization by pointing out both the challenges and the opportunities it presents.

Last updated: May 30, 2008 | (Revision History)
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