In schools, this theme typically appears in units and courses dealing with geography, history, sociology, and anthropology, as well as multicultural topics across the curriculum. Young learners can explore concepts of likenesses and differences among cultural groups through school subjects such as language arts, mathematics, science, music, and art. In social studies, learners interact with class members and discover culturally-based likenesses and differences. They begin to identify the cultural basis for some celebrations and ways of life in their community and in examples from across the world. In the middle grades, students begin to explore and ask questions about the nature of various cultures, and the development of cultures across time and place. They learn to analyze specific aspects of culture, such as language and beliefs, and the influence of culture on human behavior. As students progress through high school, they can understand and use complex cultural concepts such as adaptation, assimilation, acculturation, diffusion, and dissonance that are drawn from anthropology, sociology, and other disciplines to explain how culture and cultural systems function.
Knowing how to read, reconstruct and interpret the past allows us to answer questions such as: How do we learn about the past? How can we evaluate the usefulness and degree of reliability of different historical sources? What are the roots of our social, political and economic systems? What are our personal roots and how can they be viewed as part of human history? Why is the past important to us today? How has the world changed and how might it change in future? How do perspectives about the past differ, and to what extent do these differences inform contemporary ideas and actions?
People have wants that often exceed the limited resources available to them. The unequal distribution of resources necessitates systems of exchange, including trade, to improve the well-being of the economy, while the role of government in economic policy-making varies over time and from place to place. Increasingly, economic decisions are global in scope and require systematic study of an interdependent world economy and the role of technology in economic growth. As a result, a variety of ways have been invented to decide upon answers to four fundamental questions: What is to be produced? How is production to be organized? How are goods and services to be distributed and to whom? What is the most effective allocation of the factors of production (land, labor, capital, and entrepreneurship)?
This theme typically appears in units or courses dealing with geography, culture, economics, history, political science, government, and technology but may also draw upon the natural and physical sciences and the humanities, including literature, the arts, and languages. Through exposure to various media and first-hand experiences, young learners become aware of how things that happen in one part of the world impact other parts of the world. Within this context, students in early grades examine and explore various types of global connections as well as basic issues and concerns. They develop responsive action plans, such as becoming e-pals with a class in another part of the world. In the middle years, learners can initiate analyses of the consequences of interactions among states, nations, and world regions as they respond to global events and changes. At the high school level, students are able to think systematically about personal, national, and global decisions, and to analyze policies and actions, and their consequences. They also develop skills in addressing and evaluating critical issues such as peace, conflict, poverty, disease, human rights, trade, and global ecology. 2b1af7f3a8