12th Grade—What should students study?

Gist: Change and interdependence lie at the core of all global issues, which the article divides into: conflict and its control, economic systems, global belief systems, human rights and social justice, planet management, political systems, population, race and ethnicity, technology, and sustainable development.

Gem 1: The metaphor of the spider web—these topics and issues are interconnected and addressing any one strand reverberates through the others.

Gem 2: The quote: “If we can make it work, it’s probably already out of date!” How can we teach things as they happen? How can we teach things that have already happened in a way that’s relevant to what is happening and what will happen?

Gem 3: The term “planet management” rather than environmental issues. We like this term because it highlights the connections between the natural world and people and the role of human rights, resource division, and technology in environmental issues.

Gem 4: 2 caveats: “Students must learn that their feelings and opinions about these things are understandable but do not substitute for the reasoned opinions of reputable authorities” and “students also must learn that the published materials on global problems and concerns vary greatly in their accuracy and reliability.”