05 June 2008

Global Perspective

(Click on the map to download. Source: www.heiverden.no)

At my school, we are in the process of designing the space in a renovated building that will house administrative offices, student services, the education department, and all the language and area studies departments. One of my colleagues in French envisions a giant globe etched in the floor at the entrance and a sign saying, "The global perspective starts here." I love the idea, and it has made me reflect on ways that we can integrate a global perspective in an equally clear and concrete way in our curriculum. Of course, we already emphasize Norwegian culture and develop our language learning activities around the cultural context in Norway, but I think we could do a better job of being more intentional about examining Norway and the US in a more global perspective.

I started looking for materials online and went first to the CIA World Factbook. I had used the flags, the country profiles, and the maps before, but today I discovered the ranking pages that list all the countries in the world and their ranks for population, child mortality, exports, imports, debt, gdp per capita, consumption of oil and electricity, etc. The Factbook is in the public domain, so the text, map, and images can be used freely.

The World Factbook (CIA)
Norway's Country Profile (Look for the bar graph icon for links to the ranking pages.)
Flags of the World
Maps of the World

Later, I found my way to the site for the United Nations Association of Norway (FN-Sambandet) and from there to Globalis, an online interactive world atlas, with a large number of resources for the language classroom.

Country names in Norwegian and flags
Norway Profile in Norwegian
U.N.'s Millenium Development Goals (in Norwegian)
Norway's Campaign for the Millenium Development Goals (in Norwegian)
Video Ad for the Millenium Development with Jens Stoltenberg
Norway's Progress (in Norwegian) / USA's Progress
Comparative Country Statistics (in Norwegian)
Global Blogs (Many in Norwegian)
Online world atlas with many maps, including one of Mt. St. Helens (near my hometown)

A few more links of interest from other sites:
World map with country names in Norwegian (free download)
Norway's Relationship to Norway (In Norwegian / From UD)
USA Profile (In Norwegian / From UD)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Utenriksdepartementet)
UN's Millenium Development goals (in English)
NORAD (Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation)

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