I am a student at the University of Florida currently finishing my Master's in Elementary Education. I plan to start teaching this coming school year (Aug 2011), and I could not be more excited to finally have my own classroom.
There a few questions that I am trying to sort out in my own thinking and beliefs before I start teaching, and I thought I would pose them here for everyone's thoughts and reflection.
-How do you begin to teach global issues? What is the best way to introduce the umbrella term "global issues" to students before diving into one or two specific issues?
-What is the earliest age global issues should be taught? How can you incorporate them into the curriculum when there is no block of time devoted specifically to teaching them?
-Are there any global issues that should not be taught in elementary school? If so, which ones? How can we approach sensitive or controversial global issues? What do you do if you don't have the support of your principal and/or administrator?
I know these are extremely broad questions with many different answers, but I would LOVE to get people's perspectives. Don't feel obligated to answer all of them, and if you have any other thoughts about global issues education in the elementary school curriculum, I would love to hear them!
Merry Merryfield sent this link to her listserve back in December; it might answer one or more of your questions: http://www.oxfam.org.uk/education/teachersupport/cpd/controversial/
Best of luck!
Erica, If your students study Japan, and they look at the map, they should start to infer that a country surrounded by water will also face natural disasters such as monsoons, earthquakes, floods, tsunamis... There are enough good non-fiction books and articles, (Time for Kids), to support the learning of what these natural disasters mean for the people who live there. The Hopi, who live in Northeast of Arizona, face drought. Their lives were built around praying for rain, planting maize a certain way, etc. Thinking about geography and how geography dictates the way one lives is a great way to begin the study of any culture around the world.
you may also learn from a book called Quran , it will help you so much.