PIKE, Graham; SELBY, David. In the Global Classroom 1. Toronto: Pippin Publishing,1999. 256p. In the Global Classroom 2. Toronto: Pippin Publishing, 2000. 260p. Resenha de: BOYD, Kenneth. Canadian Social Studies, v.36, n.1, 2002.
This two-volume set originated at the Ontario Green School Project where educational planners noticed there was a widening gap between the school experiences of the students and global reality. They decided to create a resource that would help students to increase their understanding of local and global issues through collaborative and participatory learning processes. In the Global Classroom 1 and 2 are designed to help teachers approach several areas of concern including accountability, which tends to focus attention on statutory requirements rather than on human potential, and the concept of worldmindedness which stresses that the interest of individual nations must be viewed within the context of the overall needs of the planet. At the same time, Pike and Selby stress the idea that children learn best when encouraged to explore and discover for themselves. It is recognized that students cannot be programmed. At the personal level the books focus on the interconnectedness of an individual’s mental, physical and spiritual make-up. Students have to understand how personal well-being is entwined with the economic and political decision-making of governments around the world. The authors hope that by using these books students will come to see how global environmental trends are influenced by human behavior and changes in local ecosystems.
Individual students should be helped to understand that their perspective on any issue is but one among many; that there are a variety of cultural, social and ideological points. As educators, we have to provide students with such opportunities across the curriculum. These books look at areas or topics dealing with relevant global education knowledge, skills, and attitudes. There are countless possibilities for integrating these into the traditional subjects of the curriculum. Integration is important to understanding the world as a system and exploring its relationships. In the Global Classroom 1 and 2 give teachers and students many helpful suggestions for activities in which the students can engage. Student development goes hand-in-hand with planetary awareness. Global education is critical to the development of students who can prosper in the complex global system and who can contribute to building a more just and sustainable world.
Students’ learning should be self-motivated and directed, focussing on the needs of the students. By using these books students will experience a blend of teacher-led and self- or group-directed strategies. The suggested activities are organized by theme in order to facilitate their use across the curriculum and to promote an interdisciplinary approach in the classroom. Key activity concepts are explained at the beginning of each chapter. A matrix of concepts and activities follows each introduction. Connections to the other chapters are given underneath the matrix. Activities that explore similar or related concepts, though perhaps from different perspectives, are highlighted. Pike and Selby suggest that by exploring such connections in a sequence of activities students can better appreciate the interconnected nature of global issues.
The suggested time frame serves as a rough guide to the length of time necessary for students to understand the activity. Most of the activities are designed to fit within a 40 minute lesson. Materials and other necessary requirements for the activities, such as classroom layout or space, are also included. The resource lists assume an average class size of 30 students, though most activities will work successfully with groups ranging from 15 45. Student worksheets and other photocopy material often appear after the activity descriptions.
Pike and Selby provide step-by-step descriptions, written from the student perspective, of how the activities proceed. They offer a rationale for each activity, often provide further guidelines for teachers to maximize student learning, and frequently include questions for debriefing the activities. The questions serve to gear the students’ thinking toward issues and perspectives that may not have been considered or articulated. An extension section suggests ideas for specific follow-up work, either in class or outside school.
These global education activities are designed to be flexible learning tools that can be used in either infusion or integration modes of implementation. Their inherent flexibility offers countless possibilities for modification and adaptation, thereby meeting the particular needs of curricula, students and teachers. In the Global Classroom 1 deals with such concepts as Environment and Sustainability, Health, Perceptions, Perspectives and Cross Cultural Encounters, Technology and Futures. In the Global Classroom 2 deals with the concepts of Peace, Disarmament, Deterrence, Rights and Responsibilities, Equity, Economics, Development and Global Justice, Citizenship, and Mass Media. I found many activities that I would certainly use in my classroom. I would have to decide on whether others are as appropriate for student use.
Kenneth Boyd – Rosetown Central High School. Rosetown, Saskatchewan.