Thursday, December 18, 2008

Inequality GM

This is a Global Module that would fit in very well with our second year Core class, COR 240: Capitalism & Democracy. It would be a good fit for Economics or Sociology classes as well.


Week 1

Let’s take the opportunity to get to know each other. You’ll find three folders in the Week 1 area, one called Introductions, one called Perceptions, and one called Questions.

During a normal week, unless otherwise directed, always remember to post at least two times.

We’ll begin our reading and discussing next week. With this in mind, we want you to do a few things this first week.

1. Post an introduction in the Introduction folder. What are your interests? Do you have experience travelling overseas? What do you hope to learn in the Global Module? Also, take the opportunity to greet your fellow students and find out more about them. Be sure to include contact information such as your email address or IM.
2. What are your perceptions of your partners in the Global Module? For the _____ students, what do you think of the US? For the American students, what do you think of when you think of _____? Post your initial views in the Perceptions folder.
3. Post any questions that you might have in the Questions folder. Some of you are probably quite experienced in working online, and might have even participated in Global Modules before, and could help out your classmates if they have any concerns.

Keep in mind that you should always feel free to contribute to the Casual Conversations folders found elsewhere on the site. Feel free to introduce a topic or post questions. The password for the Casual Conversations folder is: moose.

Thanks, and we’re really looking forward to getting started.

Week 2

This week we begin our discussion of inequality. We will be using four short articles. The following links take you to the Global Issues website, which provides information on poverty (, and to a portion of the Millennium Development Goals ( website. In addition, we will be reading the Nobel Prize speech of the 2006 recipient, Muhammad Yunus (, as well as a description of microfinance from the Grameen Bank site ( Please follow these links and read the four articles.
Once you have read the texts you will answer a series of questions. You will be required to post answers at least twice, although you can contribute more often if you wish. You can either post an original answer to a question or comment on the posting of another student. Either way, your postings should be detailed and analytical. If you are late posting for the week do not simply answer a question that has already been answered by another student – contribute in a new way. Build upon your fellow students’ answers. Think of it as the class as a whole answering the question.

1. How bad of a problem is global poverty? Is it getting better or worse?
2. What are the biggest obstacles to bringing about change?
3. What are the Millennium Development Goals? How can they help to decrease global poverty?
4. In his Nobel Prize acceptance speech Muhammad Yunus proposed that “Poverty is the absence of all human rights.” What does this mean?
5. What is microfinancing? How does it work?

Week 3

Let’s continue our discussion this week, focusing on specific examples from our two countries. Work on the following question. Be sure to post at least twice this week.

1. How In his Nobel Prize acceptance speech Muhammad Yunus proposed that “Poverty is a threat to peace.” Do you believe him?
2. How serious of a problem is poverty in your own country?
3. Can you suggest specific actions for reducing poverty on an individual or community level?
4. Can you suggest specific actions for reducing footprints on a national or global level?

Week 4

Sadly, it’s already time to say goodbye. Each student should post at least once this week.

1. What have we learned about poverty in our two countries, and in the larger world?
2. Do we have an obligation to try and end global poverty?
3. What have we learned about each other and ourselves from this discussion?
4. Would you like to say goodbye to your new friends? What do you want them to know about your country?

In addition, Champlain College students should write a short reflective piece to be posted in their ePortfolio. What did you learn from the process? What were the similarities and differences that you discovered? What might explain them? What political, religious or cultural influences shaped these views? Are the viewpoints expressed in the Global Module shaped more by personal or larger societal influences?

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