Human Development and Diversity

Links to Pages with Lesson Plans for Human Development and Diversity

This page provides links to pages with lesson plans with learning activities that cover everything in the IB guide for this topic. Lesson plans include resources to use on an interactive whiteboard and worksheets to print. The pages have full student access to give maximum flexibility to the teacher and the student. There are theoretical notes for extended reading and teacher notes at the top that provide timing information lesson objectives and activity instructions.


1. Development Opportunities

The multidimensional process of human development and ways to measure it:

  • UN Sustainable Development Goals criteria
  • validity and reliability of development indicators and indices, including the human development index (HDI) and gender inequality index (GII)
  • empowering women and indigenous or minority groups
  • Detailed illustrative examples of affirmative action to close the development gap

Synthesis, evaluation and skills opportunities

How actions to support human development involve spatial interactions from local to global scales

Evaluating Development Indicators

This page provides a concise look at the role of development indicators in the measurement of development. It begins with a student activity based on defining sustainable development, focused on the SDGs and the Brundtland definition. It uses a simple drag and drop quiz to look at indicator definitions before students develop a criteria on which to evaluate different indicators. The lesson looks at the HDI and GII indicators in more detail before evaluating the holistic goals of indicators through a thought provoking video by Linda Vanasupa.

Empowering Women

This page provides a large number of activities to explore the issue of gender inequality and empowerment of women. It begins with a thought provoking discussion based on the UN choice for Ambassador for women  Wonder Woman, before looking in more depth at the face of gender inequality through a series of UN posters. This is followed up by a multiple choice quiz. Students then look at the characteristics and steps required for a country to achieve women empowerment through a number of informative resources before revisiting the UN Ambassador role through some personal (real life) stories. Students then make use of the video library of empowerment success stories to build examples at a range of scales.

Empowering Indigenous or Minority Groups

This page develops resources mainly on indigenous groups. It begins with two starter diagram that reflect indigenous economy and students attempt to develop an understanding of indigenous existence. A number of resources then focus students' attention on the challenges and role of indigenous people in modern society. There is a learning walk activity in the classroom based on the resources and information on the Cultural Survival website. Students then go on to explore the problem of the 'second stolen generation' in Australia before completing a noting sheet based on the 100 Black Men in London NGO as well as a NGO of their own choosing.

The importance of social entrepreneurship approaches for human development:

  • the work of microfinance organizations and their networks
  • alternative trading networks such as “Fairtrade”
  • TNC corporate social responsibility frameworks and global agreements

Synthesis, evaluation and skills opportunities

How actions to support human development involve spatial interactions from local to global scales

Social Entrepreneurship Approaches

 This page introduces social entrepreneurship and the role of micro-finance and their networks. First, students students develop an understanding of social entrepreurship with a quick characteristics categorizing activity. This is followed up with an introduction to micro-finance schemes and the factors that make them successful. Students develop an understanding of different models of micro-finance and how they build networks. Students then research and present back on the Kiva micro-finance organisation and how they are supporting human development with an innovative approach of networking lenders directly with the borrowers.

Fair Trade

This page provides focused resources on Fairtrade. It begins with a graphic worksheet based on a Fairtrade International Video. Students then collate the numbers using a series of embedded interactive maps and graphs. This is followed up by a detailed PDF presentation on the ways Fairtrade impacts the life of small scale farmers. Students then follow this up by researching different case studies of fairtrade producers on the Fairtrade International website.

TNCs and Social Responsibility

This page looks at the role of corporate social responsibility and begins with an short intro video to the Rana Plaza disaster and resulting global accord. Students then discuss what factors motivate corporate social responsibility. This is supported by the cropped clip from the documentary The Corporate. Students then go on to look in more depth at the actions of the Rana Plaza Accord and identify its positives but also question its impact. Students then return to the TNC case studies AB Imbev and Apple Inc. to look at their specific social responsibility campaigns. The Apple example is introduced first with a mystery activity based on nets placed outside Foxconn factories.


2. Changing Identites and Cultures

The global spectrum of cultural traits, ethnicities and identities, and ways in which the spectrum of diversity is widening or narrowing at different scales

Synthesis, evaluation and skills opportunities

Differing evidence and perspectives on how diversity is changing at local, national and global scales

Introduction to Culture

This page begins with a lovely starter activity in which students make their own cultural iceberg. This is followed up with a detailed example and then students compare the cultural icebergs of the USA and Germany and consider one for their home/host country. Students then explore Fran Martin's models of how cultural identity can be represented and how it  impacts relationships of difference, before looking at a clipped TED talk from Chimamanda Adichie. Students go on to look at three examples of narrowing or widening diversity. The first is the process of 'Americanization' of the global culture, the second is Japanese 'hybridization'  with Western culture and the third, which relates at the national and local level relates to loss of language, due largely to urbanization.

The effects of global interactions on cultural diversity in different places:

  • the diffusion of cultural traits, and cultural imperialism
  • glocalization of branded commodities, and cultural hybridity
  • cultural landscape changes in the built environment

Synthesis, evaluation and skills opportunities

Differing evidence and perspectives on how diversity is changing at local, national and global scales

The Diffusion of Cultural Traits and Processes

This page introduces the concept and process of cultural imperialism.  Students first explore examples they know at a range of scales and then go on to look at the most dominant referenced example, 'Americanization'. A cartoon and short video are used as well as a clip from Forrest Gump. Students then develop a detailed example of cultural imperialism at the national scale, involving the Australian government policy of assimilation against the indigenous populations. Students are are introduced through the movie trailer for Rabbit Proof Fence and then students use text and video resources to examine how Australia's dominant white culture has overpowered its indigenous cultures.

Glocalization and Cultural Hybridity

This page has resources and activities that explore glocalization of branded commodities and cultural hybridity. The lesson tends to avoid the cliché examples, such as McDonalds. It begins with a gallery of glocalized brands that enables students to understand the process This includes some of the more famous food franchise examples. Students then look at the economic background that explains glocalization before looking at a number of more detailed examples of glocalization, including TV programs such The Office, Hollywood movies, Tesco and HSBC. Students then go on to look at the process of cultural hybridity of Mexican-US culture and the drivers of that change. Finally students debate the issue "This house believes that the glocalization of brand commodities increases the process of cultural hybridity".

Homogenous Urban Environments and Attempts to Stand out

This page introduces the idea of converging urban landscapes and how cultural landscapes in the built up environment are becoming more homogenized. It begins with a look at the theoretical urban models and how they suggest cities evolve. It then uses some fun gallery activities, such as name that city to develop what we mean by a cultural landscape. A presentation shows the rapid change and emergence of global cities and then students use a second presentation of urban collages to investigate the drivers of this change. These drivers are further developed through a number of short news articles before students explore how cities attempt to distinguish themselves through iconic signature architecture and cultural plants.

How diasporas influence cultural diversity and identity at both global and local scales

  • Case study of a global diaspora population and its culture(s)

Synthesis, evaluation and skills opportunities

Differing evidence and perspectives on how diversity is changing at local, national and global scales

Diaspora and their Influence on Cultural Diversity

This page firstly looks at the global trend in diaspora through a number of maps and graphics. Students are introduced to some well known diasporas and they recap the cultural influence of Chinese through their resources in the global superpowers lesson. Following a short text on the types and causes of diaspora, students discuss their influence on cultural diversity and identity. Following this students develop a case study on the Moroccan/North African diaspora. In addition to looking at their global influence, regional and local impacts are developed through a number of focused videos based on the Banlieu in Paris and Mollenbeek in Brussels. Issues such as diversity, identity, cultural integration and radicalization all emerge.


3. Local Responses to Global Interactions

Local and civil society resistance to global interactions:

  • rejection of globalized production, including campaigns against TNCs and in favour of local sourcing of food and goods by citizens
  • rise of anti-immigration movements

Synthesis, evaluation and skills opportunities

How acceptance of, or resistance to, global interactions takes different forms and occurs at different scales

The Rejection of Globalized Production

This page provides a comprehension introduction into the role of civil society groups, in all their forms. It begins with a student synoptic mindmap activity, which aims for them to make connections across their course to problems with globalized production. This is supported by a selection of cropped news articles that illustrate some of the issues. Students are then introduced to the academic voices of discontent through Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein and Vindana Shiva. Following this, students look at the increasing importance of civil society groups in terms of their influence on corporate and governmental policy and decision making and their savvy use of technology and social media. The Pinky Show and online petition group Avaaz are illustrated before students conduct their own research into local campaigns and activism in favour of local production.

Anti-Migration Movements

This page provides a short introduction to the rise of anti-immigration movements. It begins with students outlining the arguments and reasons behind the growing trend of anti-immigration movements through a news headline activity and Daily Mail news article. Students then make notes on the reasons for the growing anti-immigration movement and their mechanisms through a video library referencing, Denmark, the USA and the growing far right in Europe. Students then research one anti-immigration movement in their local region to identify their aim, structure of organisation as well as successes or conflicts.

Geopolitical constraints on global interactions:

  • government and militia controls on personal freedoms to participate in global interactions
  • national trade restrictions, including protectionism and resource nationalism

Synthesis, evaluation and skills opportunities

How acceptance of, or resistance to, global interactions takes different forms and occurs at different scales

National Controls to Restrict Global Participation

This page develops a number of resources that enable students to explore the ways some governments and militia groups restrict the personal freedoms of their citizens to participate in global interactions. It includes a starter activity/discussion on why countries may wish to control the internet. A more detailed video activity then explains how China censors the internet through its Great Firewall. Students then go on to look at a number of other examples, including Eritrea's restriction of NGOs, Bhutan's controls on tourism, Uzbekistan's use of exit visas and Turkey's blocking of social media during a time of crisis.

National Controls on Trade

This page introduces examples of protectionism and examines which countries are the biggest protectionists. It then looks at the emerging 'America First' policy and the implication for US business of increased protectionism under Donald Trump. Students then go on to look at the arguments that support increased protectionism for many African nations. Before looking at the issue of resource nationalism, first through a number of short examples and then a FT video the emerging pattern of resource nationalism and the reasons behind it.

The role of civil society in promoting international-mindedness and participating in global interactions, including social media use and campaigning for internet freedom

  • Two detailed examples of places where restricted freedoms have been challenged

Synthesis, evaluation and skills opportunities

How acceptance of, or resistance to, global interactions takes different forms and occurs at different scales

Civil Society Promotes International Mindededness and Global Interactions

This page develops resources on international mindedness and how civil society groups work to improve global interactions. The starter activities begin with a look at the IB and its interpretation of international mindedness. Students discuss how their school reflects these characteristics. Two detailed examples are then developed. Firstly, the work of Amnesty International in raising awareness and fighting for the rights of the Rohingya people in Myanmar and secondly, the role of activists in their use of social media to drive regime change as part of the Arab Spring in 2009/10.


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