Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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LINK: Social Studies in Action Home Image of a middle school student.
LINK: Population and Resource Distribution Home
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About the Class

Classroom Profile | Lesson Background

Read this information to better understand the lesson shown in the video.

Content: Too Many People, Too Few Resources
Since 1960, the world population has doubled to 6.1 billion people. According to the United Nations Long-Range World Population Projections (1999), North America and Europe represent the smallest percentages of the world's population, and Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa represent the largest. In fact, ninety-nine percent of the world's population growth is concentrated in underdeveloped countries. By 2025 only three of the more developed countries -- the United States, Russia, and Japan -- are expected to be among the world's most highly populated. Even so, The New York Times 2002 World Almanac reports that by 2050, 87.3 percent of the world's population will be living in underdeveloped nations.

Just as world population has increased, so have consumption costs more than doubled in the last 30 years. However, most increases have been in wealthy countries. While the wealthiest countries account for only 20 percent of the globe's population, they consume approximately 86 percent of the world's resources. Meanwhile, the poorest 20 percent of the world's population account for a mere 1.3 percent of consumption. The United Nations Population Fund summed it up when they declared that "half the world still exists on less than $2 a day." And it's expected to get worse, as poverty, AIDS, urbanization, and aging populations all contribute to increasing stress on resources.

Ms. Forristal and a student at the head of the class.Teaching Strategy: Role-Playing and Simulations
Interactive teaching strategies like role-playing and simulations work best when they're presented spontaneously to students. However, effective use of role-playing requires preparation, a well-defined format, clearly defined goals and outcomes, and time to debrief after the simulation. Role-playing and simulations require students to improvise using the information available to them. In the process, they encourage critical thinking and cooperative learning. These teaching tools can also be effective in helping students clarify attitudes and ideologies and make connections between abstract concepts and real-world events.

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