Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Remember Gapminder?

I searched this blog and found that I've mentioned Gapminder eleven times since 2006. Really, it's that good and valuable. Whether you use it to prepare presentations for students or ask them to use the Gapminder tools to create presentations to your class, it well worth whatever time and effort it takes.

Kevin James reminded me once again of Gapminder on his AHS Comparative Government blog.

You can use the Gapminder tools to display the relationships between variables and try to determine whether there are simply correlations of actual cause and effects.

You can choose from a large number of variables for each axis of the graph. And you can choose a specific year or a number of years. You are able to choose specific countries for the graph (UK, Russia, China, Nigeria, Mexico, and Iran, perhaps?). Each country is represented by a bubble in which size indicates the size of the population. The default setting for colors is each country's continent, but you can change that as well. If you choose a number of years, you can "play" the sequence in order to watch changes over time.

At the Gapminder site, you can access a great number of resources, including some specifically for teachers. There's a version of Gapminder (Gapminder World Offline) you can use on your computer, so you don't need to have Internet access for projects or demonstrations. There are videos, handouts, and lesson plans. There are Teacher's Guides to the Global Development Quiz and to Hans Rosling's presentation, "200 Years that Changed the World."

Rosling's presentation "Human Rights and Democracy Statistics" is a great introduction to that topic and to Gapminder's potential.

"The River of Myths" is a recent presentation that is also worth taking a look at.

Write in the comment section, and tell us about your experiences using Gapminder.

Teaching Comparative blog entries are indexed.

The Second Edition of What You Need to Know: Teaching Tools is now available from the publisher

The Fifth Edition of What You Need to Know is also available from the publisher.

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