Worldmapper has published a useful and thought-provoking world map scaled to show relative population sizes:
Consider the following quotation (included with this map) from Hania Zlotnik in 2005:
Out of every 100 persons added to the population in the coming decade, 97 will live in developing countries.
Helping students become more globally aware should be a top priority in our schools. Around the time of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday in the United States, we tend to hear more discussion about issues of diversity and multicultural education. The fact is, the world is extremely diverse and we need to help each other become more comfortable living in our diverse environment. Despite federal desegregation and the U.S. civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, many U.S. schools continue to be segregated and communities in many areas continue to be grouped in ethnically homogeneous ways. While people are (ostensibly) free to rent or purchase homes in the United States wherever they want, I think the causes of equal treatment and replacing racism and ethnocentrism with understanding and respect are in many cases hindered by the segregated patterns of living (and schooling) which continue in many U.S. localities.
Every educator should take seriously his/her responsibility to help students become more globally aware and respectful of the customs, cultures, languages and traditions of different groups. Toward this end, the maps created and shared by the Worldmapper group are extremely helpful. Try browsing maps by category and do some exploring. Consider having a different group of students take one of the maps and explain its significance and meaning to other students as a daily or weekly activity.
Projects like Global Voices Online are really important to the cause of promoting global awareness and habits of respectful global citizenship. Consider having your students in the coming year use the Global Voices Online website as part of their research sources for any type of study with an international aspect!
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