Teaching Geography: Teacher Talk
[Channel-talkgeography] workshop #8 Global Forces/Local impact
From: Allyn Dokus <email@example.com>
Date: Thu Apr 24 2008 - 13:01:40 EDT
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The first past of this workshop showed some of the major impacts of globalization. I found it interesting to see the enormous Nike factory in China at work. While the worker there makes @ $80/month, this is a comfortable income for most people in that part of the world. It definately gives a different perspective on the idea of a 'sweatshop' and the inherent evils that go along with them. While some in the west may boycott certain products that they think are using 'slave-like' labor, they may not be considering that the job acvtually improves life rather than the other way around.
Quality of life must be truly relative. The classroom segment spent time trying to answer the question of how to measure quality of life. GNP? Death Rates? What's the best indicator? Can demographics be proper indicators at all? If we look at the GNP of China, do we think they have a good quality of life? With such low numbers, probably not. But then ther is the Nike factory worker that lives comfortable with the $80 monthly. The numbers must be analyzed and interpreted properly if we want them to mean anything at all.
The question was posed, 'does globalization mean that location and region no longer matter?' I think the segment answers the question by showing how important location truly is in the global economy. Proximity to water transport is oh so key. Especially as fuel costs rise, the costs of shipping cannot be underestimated. and if one must always ship by land, those costs will always be much much higher than the neighbor who has the option to ship by water.
The classroom segement where student were students were shown the level of the Schulkill river was very important to me. The teacher said that she wants students to understand that they can be part of a solution, not just of a problem. As an educator, I want to share this same vision with studetns. While environmental isssues may seem very bleak, It's important that young people gain the attitude of optimism rather than pesimism. The outlook of the many individuals will determine the outlook of the single society.