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Educating for Global Competence: A Professional Development Workshop

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Age Levels Primary (5 to 8 years old), Elementary (9 to 12 years old), Middle School (13 to 15 years old), High School (16 to 18 years old), Post-Secondary, Adults

This is a lesson designed for a teacher workshop on using Thinking Routines to spark curiosity and a desire to explore topics in depth. The estimated length of the workshop is 45 minutes, although there are extensions to the learning that could easily double that time (see below).

The first step is to engage in slow looking with the image. I will project it on a screen and we will get close in order to see all of the details. It's a dense image, with copious detail. I'll ask the teachers to look closely, noting where their eyes go, what they focus on.

Once we have had time to scan the image a few times, I'll introduce the See-Wonder-Connect Thinking Routine. See the next resource for the sequencing of questions. For the connect in this instance, I'll ask: How does this painting's subject matter connect to topics you teach, or that are taught in your school?

After completing the Thinking Routine, I'll reveal the title, Manifest Destiny, and ask for reactions to it. Why would Rockman choose that title? What do you think the artist is trying to say?

I'll give some background information about the artist and the painting. There are resources posted that give further information.

The teachers will go back to small groups at tables and brainstorm further how the image (or perhaps another image) could be used in their own context.

The lesson can be extended in a variety of ways. It can be a kick-off to an interdisciplinary study of various issues raised by the small groups, for example. I've used the 3Ys Global Thinking Routine to evaluate the significance of the various issues. Following the 3Ys, I then ask: How can you go more deeply with this topic? What more do you need to learn?

This image is a strong example of an artist's response to contemporary issues. One can't understand the potential impact of global warming without knowledge of science. In that way, it offers great potential for interdisciplinary exploration. But it could also connect to dystopian views in art (literature, visual art, etc.); artistic responses to the contemporary world; the ephemerality of human creations; etc.

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