Teaching Resources—Development: Introduction (including lesson plan with slides)

The world is healthier and wealthier today than ever before. As the world has become more connected and technologically advanced, some countries have made drastic improvements in life expectancy and economic growth. Many have also implemented economic policies that encourage trade; many have received developmental assistance from larger countries that see strategic value in providing aid. But others, especially those that have experienced political instability, natural disasters, and long-term domestic conflict, have seen less improvement.

It’s easy to think of the world as divided into two groups: developed and developing. But countries that are called developed, including the United States, still have room for improvement. As income inequality rises and climate change threatens the planet, countries are exploring ways to continue the positive trend of global development while paying more attention to equality and environmental sustainability.

In this module, we will

  • explore global development trends—both positive and negative—over the last fifty years; 
  • study the history of North and South Korea to learn how different economic policies can drastically affect the developmental outcomes for a country; 
  • recognize that developmental assistance is not just a philanthropic endeavor but a strategic one;
  • discover how technological advancements have contributed to development;
  • understand how the United States has spent its money abroad to encourage development and further its interests at the same time; and
  • learn about the Sustainable Development Goals, the United Nations’ new framework for countries to develop in an environmentally friendly and economically inclusive way.
Referenced Module