Posted in Colchester High School, Community, Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, General, Programs, Vision Summit/Vision and Strategic Plan

Researching the Impact of Globalization Here and Around the World

glob·al·i·za·tion
noun
1. the act of globalizing, or extending to other or all parts of the world: the globalization of manufacturing.
2. worldwide integration and development: Globalization has resulted in the loss of some individual cultural identities.

Geography 1

A group of Colchester High School students in Ms. Wood’s geography class have recently completed an extensive research project on the impact of globalization in our community and around the world.

The juniors and seniors in the elective course began studying the impact of globalization upon developing countries before Thanksgiving and more recently identified local organizations with whom they conducted interviews in order to discover globalization’s impact in our own community.

The final result was a collaboratively written book incorporating elements of photojournalism and firsthand accounts demonstrating Colchester’s important global connections and the tremendous contributions that our greater community makes here and on a global scale. The students also prepared a gallery-style presentation to discuss their findings.

Cover art from the book collaboratively authored by students in Ms. Wood's geography class
Cover art from the book collaboratively authored by students in Ms. Wood’s geography class
A student discusses her learning with Principal Amy Minor
A student discusses her learning with Principal Amy Minor
A student discusses his learning with Humanities teacher Wayland Cole
A student discusses his learning with Humanities teacher Wayland Cole

Here are some student responses to the question “What geography do we miss out on when we do traditional research on a place?”

“After being in this class, I would really love to travel the world and see for myself the different cultures. I know so much about our world now that I feel if I go to the places, I’ll be able to get a different perspective on the topics I already know about. There is always so much more that I can learn.”

“Burlington is made up of many cultures that one might not think of, and it’s vital that people understand how diverse our community is, even if it’s very small. In order to remind people and inform them of the diversity in our community, it is our duty to create this book. I hope that by making this book, we can open people’s eyes to this diversity—like mine were opened by this project.”

“I think that you miss out on the passion and love that people have for their country. In an interview, you can see the emotions in a person’s face—you can read his or her body language—and it tells a whole lot more than what reading in a book or website will do for you.”

While using many important twenty-first-century skills, the students involved with the research project gained a critical understanding of the importance of a variety of research methodologies, particularly in establishing interpersonal connections and obtaining firsthand accounts.

“My students came to that realization by getting out into the community,” Ms. Wood said. “That really is the heart of the project: students seeing our community in a different way and being excited to share their new understandings.”

In addition to their realization of how many connections Colchester has in the global arena and the number of tremendous contributions our community makes to the nation and the world, many students learned how greater understanding can be obtained by extending beyond traditional research methods and capitalizing upon interpersonal connections in the community. (It is precisely these interpersonal connections in the community to which the Colchester School District Vision and Strategic Plan 2012–2017 so resolutely speaks, particularly in Pathway C: Learning Outside Our Four Walls and Pathway E: Parent, Community, and School Partnerships Among Lifelong Learners. We are listening and working toward our community’s vision for our schools.)

Ms. Wood continued, “My students now realize that there is more to geography than just data and maps; it’s about personal stories. It’s hard to learn about some of these places just by reading, looking at pictures, and using the Internet. A major takeaway was the importance of a personal connection with a place they are studying.”

Geography 3

For more information, please see this class website about the project here. Please also feel free to call CHS at (802) 264-5700 or e-mail Ms. Wood (woodr@csdvt.org).

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