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- Content: A clear outline of the content covered by the delivery guide;
- Thinking Conceptually: Expert guidance on the key concepts involved, common difficulties students may have, approaches to teaching that can help students understand these concepts and how this topic links conceptually to other areas of the subject;
- Thinking Contextually: A range of suggested teaching activities using a variety of themes so that different activities can be selected which best suit particular classes, learning styles or teaching approaches.
|6.1. Why are some countries richer than others?||Scale|
|a. What is development and how can it be measured?||• Definition of ‘development’ and the ways in which countries can be classified, such as AC, EDC and LIDC.|
|• Global distribution of ACs, EDCs and LIDCs||G|
|• Economic and social measures of development, such as GNI per capita and Human Development Index, and how they illustrate the consequences of uneven development.|
|b. What has led to uneven development?||• Outline the human and physical factors influencing global uneven development||G|
|• Explore the factors that make it hard for countries to break out of poverty, including debt, trade and political unrest.||G, N|
|6.2. Are LIDCs likely to stay poor?|
This enquiry question is studied through one case study of an LIDC to answer sub-questions a, b and c
|a. How has an LIDC developed so far?||• Overview of the economic development of an LIDC, including influences of population, society, technology and politics, particularly in the past 50 years, or post-independence.||N|
|• Explore whether Rostow’s model can help determine the country’s path of economic development.||N|
|• The extent to which the relevant Millennium Development Goals have been achieved for this LIDC.||N|
|• Investigate how the LIDC’s wider political, social and environmental context has affected its development.||G, R, N
|b. What global connections influence its development?||• The country’s international trade, such as potential reliance on a single, or few, commodities and how this influences development.||G, N
|• The benefits and problems of trade and Trans National Company (TNC) investment for development.||G, N|
|• The advantages and disadvantages of international aid or debt relief for its development.||G, N|
|c. What development strategy is most appropriate?||• Compare the advantages and disadvantages of one top-down and one bottom-up strategy in the country||N, L|
In this topic students should be encouraged to understand the concept of development as uneven and complex. Development is widely understood as a process of modernisation or industrialisation, but encouraging students to critically analyse this concept should help them to appreciate other development ideologies, particularly sustainable development, to include contexts beyond the economic (social, environmental, cultural, and political development for example).
Development can also be understood at different scales. Globally, patterns of development are highly uneven and the development gap between rich and poor continues to grow. Students should be able to use data such as HDI, GNP, cellular telephone subscriptions, population structure etc. to assess the development of a country and how this may have changed over time. They should also be able to use their world locational knowledge to identify and map countries at different levels of development around the globe. Students should then be encouraged to suggest reasons for uneven development, building up their understanding of the factors that both help and curtail the process of development. To stretch students’ understandings, the concept of neocolonialism, and the idea that some countries are excluded from the global economy, could be introduced.
In section 6.2 students should apply their knowledge and understanding in 6.1 to contextualise a case study of an LIDC. Students could be encouraged to play an active part in locating its development data from reliable sources. In doing so, students could triangulate this data to critically assess the extent to which the Millennium Development Goals have been met.
Common misconceptions or difficulties students may have
Development is happening in various ways across the world. For example, medical aid is having a positive influence on health in Sub-Saharan Africa but this region is still lagging behind most others. Students may struggle to understand why this is the case, especially when related to global trade and legacies of colonialism.
Global interconnections are an important focus for Geographers, and students have the opportunity here to analyse links between places. It is important that students examine the relationships between their LIDC case study and other nations, particularly when it comes to trade and exports. The power relations between nation-states (and between nation-states and TNCs) are fundamental in creating this patchwork of uneven development.
Conceptual links to other areas of the specification – useful ways to approach this topic to set students up for topics later in the course
The concept of uneven development is relevant at a number of scales. This could be used to explain the uneven development of the UK, and how South-East England is more developed than other regions. Also, the various development models (e.g. Rostow) could be used to explain how the UK economy functions in this period of ‘post-industrialisation’.
Approaches to teaching the content
This topic is data-driven and changes very quickly. The ‘state of play’ of world development is not easy to ascertain and the literature is vast and open to different conceptions of development across the political spectrum. In recognising this, this delivery guide suggests learning activities very much in the ‘enquiry’, ‘dialogic’ and ‘thinking’ styles.
It is vital that students understand the different classifications of development and their origins. Many classifications for example MEDC / LEDC, the North-South divide etc. are now obsolete. Economic development (and the lack of it) around the globe has created a more complicated structure. There are opportunities here to build on students’ prior learning of development and what constitutes being ‘more’ or ‘less’ developed.
Students should be asked, what do countries that are more developed look like? In doing so, students create a spider diagram that illustrates the characteristics of advanced countries that enjoy a relatively high quality of life. Subsequently, students could categorise these characteristics into economic, social, political, cultural etc. (or come up with their own), creating a model map. Students then think about the characteristics of low-income developing countries, and emerging and developing countries.
In consolidating this learning, students compare their model maps of each classification to definitions of ACs, EDCs, and LIDCs in the accompanying learner resource – Classifications of Development.
World locational knowledge is an important element of development geography. This task gives students the opportunity to map a number of different countries according to their status as an AC, EDC or LIDC.
Students receive the cards from the accompanying Learner Resource 2: Country Data, sorting them into ACs, EDCs and LIDCs based on the data. They then use these with an atlas to create a world map that locates these countries, annotating it with key data. To extend learning, students could compare it to a global GDP map, describing the pattern that emerges.
In recognising the multifaceted nature of development, students should be presented with a range of different development indicators that cover these different contexts. For example, how life expectancy refers to social conditions, how agricultural employment may signify the level of economic development, and the ratio of women’s to men’s literacy rates can indicate cultural values.
Students could be tasked to explain what the data would reveal about a country, and in highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of each, which are more effective in reflecting the level of development (Learner Resource 3: Development Indicators).
Once students have completed their grid, get them to complete the diamond nine to rank which development indicators they think are most useful.
Using Learner Resource 3: Development Indicators, this task aims to get students thinking about the different characteristics of development indicators. Choose some indicators and ask them which is the odd one out. Categorising and classifying will help students identify similarities and differences, and strengths and weaknesses, of the use of different indicators in measuring development.
The focus should not be on the actual ‘answer’, but on the rationale behind it i.e. why do students arrive at their conclusion? What makes that indicator the odd one out?
Whilst GDP figures show a rise in income over the past twenty years for most countries, how much of this has actually led to further ‘development’ and improved people’s lives? We could suggest that whilst GDP has risen, the standard of living for the majority has not (in both the developed and the developing world). Pose these questions to students and invite them to debate, before asking them to read The Economist article.
After reading, it may be necessary to define or explain the meaning of certain parts of the article, e.g. “inclusive wealth”, “manufactured capital”, “natural capital”, “human capital”. Students should then, individually, write down a list of three to ten key statements from the resource.
Subsequently, in groups, students come to a consensus on what they regard as being the five key points of the text. Finally, the whole class could then come to a consensus on the five key points, debating the merits of using ‘inclusive wealth’ as a measure of sustainable development.
Students create a fact file for a low-income developing country. They should use reliable sources of data (see Learner Resource 4: Useful Links). Students should describe the location of the country, create a map, give information about its demographics, physical and human geographical features, the structure of the economy (e.g. farming, mining, fishing, any manufacturing, service sector, employment in these areas) etc.
They could situate these descriptions alongside available data, for example, HDI, GDP, birth rates, child mortality etc. And they could also research the lived experiences of people living in these countries, explaining their quality of life and how the country’s level of development influences this.
This ‘mystery’ aims to get students thinking about the factors that have helped prevent the Democratic Republic of Congo from developing. This would be a good activity to introduce some key reasons behind the Congo’s troubles that students could go on to investigate further. This sets up various skills: interpreting, sorting information into relevant and irrelevant, connecting, theorising, explaining etc.
Students should sort the cards provided in Learner Resource 5: Why is the Democratic Republic of Congo one of the least developed countries in the world? accordingly and aim to answer the question, developing their ideas and drawing connections between them.
More visual resources can be found in Learner Resource 4: Useful Links to take this activity further, and students could think about the potential for development in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The aid debate has taken place for several decades now, and continues to shape the way geographers and others think about the process of development. Many would argue that aid is not a solution for development. This activity encourages students to think about this quandary.
First, students sort the statements in the accompanying Learner Resource 6: Help or hindrance? into two categories:
(i) aid as a positive element in the development process; and
(ii) aid doesn’t contribute to the development of the poorest countries.
They could also be asked to justify their decision and extend their thinking. In taking the activity further, students could assume different sides of the argument and be invited to debate the issue as a class.
Development projects have traditionally been ‘top-down’, that is, orchestrated and led by institutions or governments external to the developing country, and have often involved huge amounts of borrowing (compounding debt problems). However, many more development strategies taking place today are from the ‘bottom-up’ occurring at community level with little capital obligation. This activity gets students thinking about the two approaches, but it does rely on students having a solid understanding of an LIDC case study first.
Using the accompanying Learner Resource 7: Top-down or bottom-up?, students first classify the statements into top-down or bottom-up development programmes, suggesting why they think they fit into one or the other. Second, students classify the advantages and disadvantages of top-down and bottom-up development programmes. Third, students think about the LIDC case study and what is preventing it from developing. In doing so students create a development programme for the country, including one or more (top-down and bottom-up, aid, development strategies) that aim to address the development issues experienced in that country.
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