Crossing Digital Bridges for Global Understanding
Middle School Journal Volume 41, Number 5, ISSN 0094-0771
The international fantasy world that Walt Disney has developed, and others like it, are designed to create a global community experience for amusement park visitors. Disney's portrayal of many nations--their colorful dress, musical traditions, and unique native cuisine--is many students' only "foreign travel" and the experience may leave them with lasting stereotypes. It is the teachers' charge to see that students grow beyond the superficial and begin understanding real-world peoples, problems, and issues. How do teachers help their middle grades students, many of whom will never actually travel the world, achieve a deeper understanding of other cultures? Making virtual cultural connections offers the best alternative to experiencing travel firsthand. In this article, the authors discuss why young adolescents need to develop a global perspective and how they can help them do that. They examine the difference between surface and internal culture learning and offer digital bridges to one important country, Russia. (Contains 3 figures.)
Beal, C. & Bates, N. (2010). Crossing Digital Bridges for Global Understanding. Middle School Journal, 41(5), 19-26.