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ERIC Number: ED308126
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Jan
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Teaching Beyond the Borders: A Review of the Global Studies Latin America Unit.
Cohen, Julian
The New York City Board of Education's unit on Latin America (Global Studies Grade 9) is a welcome and useful aid to teachers seeking to develop a social studies curriculum with a global perspective. Besides the contemporary relevance, the methodology of the curriculum closely adheres to current thinking on teaching social studies. The lessons and activities are based on open-ended inquiry, triggering student involvement with the use of primary documents and short secondary sources. Equal emphasis is given to economic, social, and cultural history. On the whole, the lessons are a useful starting point or supplement for the teacher. The unit's most surprising weakness, however, is its complete inability to develop a sense of global awareness. Latin America is treated in geo-political isolation. Linkages are not developed when they should be and lessons fail to point out intercontinental connections. In addition, each Latin American country is treated in isolation. Constant comparisons between the United States and Latin America may encourage some students to stereotype South America as undemocratic and poor. The structure of teaching strategies precludes a sense of historical development and periodization. This absence of historical rooting is concomitant with the weak attention given to skills development and writing. In their attempt to provide creative, motivating activities, the authors have robbed the students of too many chances to indulge their own creativity and practice their writing skills. The unit is less inquiry-based than it would appear, as students are not taught to ask questions themselves. (GEA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A