While this web site encourages explorers of all ages to investigate on their own, it
also offers guidelines and materials for more structured explorations.
For Teachers contains a range of activities for teaching each learning module
and follows the sequence of map, text, charts and graphs, data table, and case studies.
The activities progress from facilitating comprehension to reinforcing critical thinking
skills, and they encourage student participation and group learning. The activities are
designed for use in geography, social studies, environmental studies, history, economics,
international studies, and current affairs classes.
Point of View
The point of view of these learning modules is:
- Economic development is a means to a better life for people everywhere, especially those
living in low- and middle-income countries.
- All countries, rich and poor, face environmental problems that are often closely linked
with efforts to reduce poverty and improve people's standard of living.
- The relationship between economic development and the environment is complex, and
reliable data are often scarce.
- Rising economic activity can both cause environmental problems and, with the right
policies and institutions, help solve them.
- Greater economic strength and higher standards of living in all countries contribute to
a healthy, vigorous world economy.
- The increased interdependence among countries that accompanies economic development can
benefit all countries.
- This interdependence means that meeting the needs of people today without jeopardizing
our ability to meet the needs of future generations is an issue that affects all people in
Goals and Objectives
The learning modules have two main goals:
- to increase students' knowledge and understanding of
the often complex relationship between sustainable development
and the social, economic, and environmental conditions
in a country;
- to strengthen students' ability to perform statistical
calculations, to make and interpret maps, charts, and
tables,; to analyze and synthesize information to make
inferences and generalizations; and to think critically
when analyzing information, making decisions, and solving
As a result of using these learning modules, students should
be able to:
- recognize basic areas of social, economic, and environmental
concern that affect people in all countries;
- compare and contrast social, economic, and environmental
conditions in developing and industrial countries;
- demonstrate an understanding of the relationships between
population growth rate, GNP per capita, and access to
- make inferences from statistics about living conditions,
levels of economic development, and issues of sustainable
- express opinions about sustainable development and use
statistics to support them.
Teaching the Learning Modules
This Teaching Guide has teaching units to accompany each
learning module. These teaching units contain a full range
of questions, activities, and exercises. You can get answers
by clicking on the Answers icon.
Begin teaching each indicator by discussing the definition
of the indicator, then continue with the map, text, charts
and graphs, data table, case studies, and photos.
Activities included here are not organized by increasing
The blank comparative data table
is designed so that, in most cases, space is available for
students to add more data if you wish to have them do so.