This past weekend, I was lucky enough to be a part of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) conference taking place here in Washington. I presented a bright and early 8 am session titled, “Hands-on Activities for Global Citizenship in the Primary Classroom,” and was fortunate to find myself spending 90 minutes with a wonderful group of early-education, early-risers.
Imagine that you lived in a small island nation in the South Pacific, like Nauru or Vanuatu. For you, the regular reports about Arctic ice melt, sea level rise and more violent storms from global warming hit home – predictions show your island under water in the not-too-distant future.
Now think about the resentment you might feel to the large, industrialized nations that contribute the most to your island’s bleak future. How is it right that your people, with such a small carbon footprint, have to endure the consequences of the heavy carbon use on the rest of the planet?
With so many Population Ed materials on-line and at your fingertips, you might wonder what you and your fellow educators would gain from participating in one of our in-service workshops? In short, you’ll walk away with a highly in-depth knowledge of how to teach population concepts for your specific student group, an understanding that can be hard to glean from a printed pdf. Not to mention a wealth of new resources.
The World Population Video is one of our signature teaching tools, simulating the history of population growth over the past two millennia and projecting growth into the near future. White dots appear on a map of the world, each representing clusters of 1 million people. The map begins in year 1 C.E. and moves forward in time to the year 2030. As time ticks by, more and more dots are added to the map; what started with roughly 150 dots in 1 C.E. ends with over 8,000 (i.e., 8 billion people) in the year 2030.
Last week, I presented six workshops at three universities in northern Utah – Weber State University, Utah Valley University, and the University of Utah. Two specific local topics came up in almost every session – large families and the Kennecott copper mine.
Whether it's Saudi women protesting for the right to drive cars or a Pakistani girl (Malala) speaking out for girls' education in the face of brutal violence, we regularly see examples of gender inequality in the world's headlines. In fact, in every country, there is some disparity between the opportunities afforded men and women. Since 2006, this disparity has been calculated by the World Economic Forum. In their just-released Global Gender Gap Report 2013, they provide scores and and rankings for 136 countries.
At first glance, it may seem that population issues are too complex to teach to students in grades K-2. Not so! In fact, population relates to many of the core principals in an early childhood classroom: sharing, investigating the natural world, considering others and discovering a sense of place in a community.