Raising Global Students

World news via the internet and food-

Simple snack- a few dried figs; flip over the package and learn “product of Turkey”- then pause for a moment to marvel that this product arrived safely in America and even on a strict budget such a treat can be had- one packed with nutrients too! Then open the internet to Global News and find out a little bit more about Turkey, the place of origin…

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/10/turkey-criticised-over-media-freedoms-and-judicial-independence-in-eu-report Topical and relevant to any High School IB students actually curious about how their education as future global citizens can be transferred from events which are happening “out there” to events that could affect what is or continues to be available here- and it is this broadening of recognition of ways in which trade continues to influence not only our perceptions of when, where, and how countries do work together, but also how even relatively simple products that one might take for granted- the little package of figs sold for under three dollars Canadian and is portable, makes an instant energy snack, and has a shelf life- needs no refrigeration – yet packs a solid amount of calcium and fibre in a few bites. Additionally it may be rehydrated if used in soups or stews or compotes, adding both flavour and extra “punch” to both a vegetarian and a carnivore’s diet. So how did it make the trail from growing in a Turkish garden to the grocery aisles down the street, and in what way does our purchasing this food item make a dent in helping a country overseas? Where do trade and politics intersect?

Students are encouraged to do their own further research, coming up with a thesis focus and could even plan an interactive debate on the merits of global trade sanctions, and which parts of a community may inadvertently be “punished” when sanctions are imposed. In plain English- who might still benefit- who might get hurt?

When we as educators encourage the active constructing of project based learning and not merely encourage but also allow for student input into further directions they may wish to explore, we are offering opportunity for student leaders to emerge. And of course, one needn’t stop at “figs.”

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