Summer 1991 // Volume 29 // Number 2 // Tools of the Trade // 2TOT2

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International Interdependence

This leaders' guide was designed to be used as a supplement to the 4-H curriculum in international and cross-cultural education.

Gary L. Maricle
Program Administrator-Agribusiness
East Environmental Science and Agribusiness
Magnet High School
Kansas City, Missouri School District

"There are those who believe that helping the agricultural economies of the developing countries will increase competition and hurt the U.S. producers. Nothing could be further from the truth. Studies by USDA, the World Bank, and others show that as a nation's economy strengthens and its foreign exchange earnings rise, a top priority is almost always more food, better food, and improved food security. In other words, there is more demand for what the U.S. farmer has to offer. Developing countries are the market of the future." (John R. Block, former Secretary of Agriculture, 1989)

Considering the studies mentioned, and the positive mindset of the U.S. assistance to developing countries presented by Block, the Windows on the World 4-H Leaders' Guide was designed to help in working with 4-H members to fulfill two major goals:

  1. Increase awareness and understanding of the developing world.

  2. Understand the importance the developing world has for them, as individuals, as members of their communities, as Americans, and as citizens of the world.

This leaders' guide was designed to be used as a supplement to the 4-H curriculum in international and cross-cultural education. These six units are targeted primarily at the teenage audience, and should complement Parts III and IV of the "...And My World...," series. They're designed as hands-on unit activities to help participants identify ways to use community resources, both people and materials, to increase awareness of current international development.

This guide was formatted so that each of the six units has activities that can be covered during a typical or special 4-H meeting. Objectives accompany each activity, and the leader should be fully aware of the desired outcome before doing the activity. Each unit builds on the information gained in the previous one. Because of this, it's best to work through the units sequentially. However, each unit could still be a valuable tool if taught individually, or in combination with other 4-H materials.

Each of the six units of this new leaders' guide has four components:

  1. Instructions for the leader for teaching the unit.
  2. An overview that introduces the concept of each unit.
  3. Activities to reinforce the 4-H member's understanding and learning by experiencing various situations.
  4. Fact sheets and handouts that offer concrete examples of the unit's overall concept.

The units are broken into topical categories and include:

Unit I: What Is Development? Evaluates the existing knowledge of the 4-H member about development, and gives a basic definition of development.

Unit II: You and the Developing World: Windows of Contrast. Contrasts between developed and developing countries are discussed, using specific examples.

Unit III: Your Community and the Developing World: Windows of Change. Describes how change affects the communities in which we live, as well as developing communities.

Unit IV: Your Country and the Developing World: Windows on Trade and Jobs. Develops an understanding of how development and trade work together.

Unit V: World Security and Development: Windows on International Cooperation. Demonstrates the reasons why developing countries are important to the United States.

Unit VI: Your Future and Development. Helps 4-H members understand the complexity of development, decision making, and democratic values as citizens.

In addition to this complete curriculum, a newly released video is also available. This 10-minute video capsulates all the aspects of "Windows on the World" in a concise, easily understood manner. It can be used in addition to the units, or can stand alone as an informational video for many audiences.

To obtain more information on this complete international development educational curriculum, Windows on the World: Images of Interdependence, contact the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, 50 F Street, N.W., Suite 900, Washington, D.C. 20001.