Sunday, September 8, 2013

An Admonishment to Teach Social Studies: The West and the Rest

Image by johnantoni CC BY-SA 2.0
In 2004, Meic Pearse published a book entitled Why the Rest Hates the West: Understanding the Roots of Global Rage. I have to confess that I have never read the book (yet), but the title has always stuck with me.

I was reminded of this book somehow when my friend, Sherri, recently shared this video clip with me. It is from the BBC and it shows a historical view of the relationship between health (lifespan) and wealth (per capita income) in 100 nations of the world. Not surprisingly, many Western nations are at the top of the heap, but the gap between the West and the Rest might surprise you. It's worth the 5 minutes to view the clip:

If it's true that most nations of the world aren't as "far behind" the West anymore, why do so many nations have such animosity toward the West?

This has me thinking about the importance of teaching geography, history, economics, languages, international relations, and peacemaking as integral parts of school. If it's true that the "Rest" really do hate the West, we need to do a better job of collectively working towards greater understanding!

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