With grade 12 IBDP students now only a matter of weeks away from their final exams, in my economics class we are coming to the end of the specification. The last topic is Development Economics – the smallest in terms of content to understand and learn, but arguably the most important topic with respect to humanity. As the name suggests the topic looks at why poor countries became and remain poor and what the developed countries can and should do about it. In essence it comes down to the arguments for and against globalisation.
I like to finish the topic, and therefore course, with a question that combines all the students’ economics knowledge whilst getting them to think about gloabilsation from an economics perspective and assess whether, on balance, it is something to be encouraged or held back. After all they are tomorrow’s captains of industry, government officials and global citizens. In the past I would provide the students with a provocative article or section from a book and base the question on that. However, I’m realising that using imagery could be so much more simple and effective at the same time. Certainly the evidence provided by John Medina is compelling.
The following is the photograph I intend to use. The question will be a variation on: “To what extent does the picture prove that globalization is a failed experiment”. I need to think more about the question to get it more in line with IB language and what the students are used to, but the essence will remain the same.
Although it is far better than I could do, as a picture it doesn’t meet many of the standards set by Presentation Zen. But I like it for its imperfections. Normally I would show this different picture in class as a discussion point, but I can’t find any licensing information for it. As I’m trying to be better at only posting creative commons images, the picture above is a good replacement. Using an image would be different for the students who in IBDP economics rely entirely on written data and commentary from which to respond. It would certainly get them to think differently. From my perspective the picture has a number of levels that I hope the students will uncover, both pro and anti globalisation. Some of these aspects could be:
- The disparity of income between rich and poor and how globalisation results in this;
- The slightly smoggy middle distance representing the impact of globalisation on the environment;
- That despite being poor some of their basic needs are being met – clothing and shelter are visible;
- The use of adverts representing choice for consumers;
- The buildings in the background representing development and aspiration of future economic prosperity; and
- The train line representing the importance of infrastructure.
It will be interesting to see how it works out.