Saturday, December 26, 2009

Learning from the bottom up

What if learning in the classroom was more of an emergent process like the growth of a city as in the game Sim City? What if one idea were to lead to the next to where students needed very little supervision and where they covered the educational bases but also developed areas of their own interest? Welcome to the world of Global Challenge. 

Global Challenge is a unique opportunity for students to live in a microcosm or world within a world. In this book, the world is laid out in easy to follow steps. Teacher and student follow these steps with daily activity guides. But once it starts, anything can happen. Sure, the patterns of history are all the same, but outcomes are different. “A” students become challenged and your former “F” students see a chance for success. In the end everyone wins and there is something for every type of student and every type of learner.

It starts with the random distribution of United Nations countries. From there, students begin their research to find population, capital, per capita income, gross domestic product, historical and cultural facts. This is the basis for all game strategy. Students quickly learn about geography, economics and the politics of world power before the game even starts.

Just like the ever-changing world we live in, classroom dynamics change weekly as the class simulates the migratory and social patterns of history. Students start alone, but quickly form alliances. Nations emerge, and towards the end of the semester, we have all the conditions of the cold war.
By reading this book, you will quickly learn how to get your students to devour information from the textbook, magazines, newspapers and Internet. All information is now money, protection, power or the key to peace. No longer just test material, knowledge becomes power, freedom, and peace. You will learn how to organize information into seven categories, and how to create a classroom economy out of all work. Students will actually ask you if they can compile extra information, or do extra work for money.

In fact, a furry of activity will take place just because of the economy that you have created. Students will meet on their own at lunch, before or after school, at home, or online. Don’t be surprised when you see your “F” student in the library with maps and books. Instructions for creating the map, game cards, game questions, checkbooks and point systems are all detailed inside. Topics for discussion, research projects, possible scenarios, lessons for anger management are all contained inside this book. In fact, a full semester is all laid out for you. Self contained and self managed, Global Challenge will allow you to leave your class if necessary. You might just be able to attend a meeting, meet with a parent or take care of your paper work.

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