Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Troublesome: Globalization

Yesterday, upon arriving back to class after spring break, I decided to give my students a little review sheet for bellwork.  When they had finished, and graded the sheet, I tallied up how many students missed each question in each class.

Most students did well - even thought they hadn't thought of school in over a week.  For instance, here are the numbers of students who missed a question about the British Empire in each class: 4, 1, 4, 5, 5, 3.

One question question (on human capital) came out like this: 3, 6, 3, 6, 14, 5.  So, I know I need to review with the class that had 14 students miss that one.

But two questions really stood out to me: one was on globalization, and one was on urbanization.

Here are the numbers: globalization:  17, 14, 20, 13, 19, 8.  Urbanization: 18, 21, 24, 15, 25, 19.

A SIGNIFICANT number of students missed those questions.  The globalization question is especially troubling, because we spent quite a bit of time covering it.  (...Although I didn't always tie the topics - such as cultural borrowing, cultural diffusion, etc... back to the term globalization.)

The two parts to globalization that students really need to know are world culture and international trade.  And even though they didn't get the answer on the test, my gut is they understand the concept.

The urbanization question had even worse results, but the students explained why they got it wrong.  I gave them a definition: "the increasing growth and spread of cities all all over the planet."  They had to come up with the term urbanization.

Several students pointed out that the definition I'd given them before was, "people moving to the city - usually for better paying jobs."

It didn't take long to point out that these definitions were essentially the same thing: if people move to the city for better paying jobs, what is going to happen to that city?  It's going to grow.

It's a continual struggle for teachers to get students to understand ideas and concepts rather than just memorize facts and definitions.

We've been studying Hinduism.  But, with ISTEP coming up, and the results of the globalization question on that review, I'm going to continue to review globalization while teaching Hinduism.

Today, we started in on a series by NPR.  It's worth checking out.  Here's what we watched today:

If you want extra credit for reading and discussing the blog with an adult, write a paragraph about your discussion.  Explain the two parts of globalization (world culture and international trade).  Have the adult you read the blog with sign the paper.  Turn it in tomorrow in the extra credit tray.

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