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TIME ALLOTMENT: Three 55-minute class periods (excluding homework time for the Culminating Activity)

Modernization is an important issue in the New York State Global History and Geography curriculum. Students are expected to understand how modernization may impact such areas as society, politics, the economy, and the environment. In the Global History and Geography curriculum, a study of historical examples of modernization includes examples of attempts to transform society, such as the Meiji Restoration or Kemal Ataturk. In this lesson, two PBS WIDE ANGLE documentaries -- "To Have and Have Not" (2002) and "1-800-INDIA" (2005) -- will enable students to examine the effects of modernization on two Asian countries: China and India.

Today, China and India are under the microscope more than ever. China is set to play host to the 2008 Beijing Olympics and is now a member of the WTO (World Trade Organization). While the People's Republic of China is still very much a Communist country, it has transitioned to a market economy. Meanwhile, foreign investments by multinational companies to India's technology sector have had rippling effects. The drive for increased technology, communication, and commerce has created a push for modernization that seems unstoppable. The availability of a cheap labor pool has added to the lists of construction workers, factory workers, miners, etc. In India's case, a highly educated, English-speaking labor pool fills the ranks of a growing -- $5 billion dollars a year -- BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) industry.

Through this lesson, student will identify and evaluate the challenges and transformations brought on by modernization.

SUBJECT MATTER: Global History and Geography/World History


Students will be able to:
  • Define the term modernization;

  • Determine the impact of modernization on one's own daily life;

  • Identify the extent to which modernization has transformed Chinese and Indian societies;

  • Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages for societies, groups, and individuals of a transformation to a globalized market economy.

New York State Learning Standards for Social Studies
Standards available online at http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/ciai/socst/pub/sslearn.pdf.

    Standard 2. World History (commencement)
    Performance Indicators:

      1. Students:

      • Analyze historic events from around the world by examining accounts written from different perspectives.

      • Understand the broad patterns, relationships, and interactions of cultures and civilizations during particular eras and across eras.

      • Analyze changing and competing interpretations of issues, events, and developments throughout world history.

      2. Students:

      • Analyze evidence critically and demonstrate an understanding of how circumstances of time and place influence perspective.

      • Investigate key events and developments and major turning points in word history to identify the factors that brought about change and the long-term effects of these changes.

      3. Students:

      • Analyze the roles and contributions of individuals and groups to social, political, economic, cultural, and religious practices and activities.

      • Explain the dynamics of cultural change and how interactions between and among cultures has affected various cultural groups throughout the world.

    Standard 3. Geography (commencement)
    Performance Indicators:

      1. Students:

      • Investigate the characteristics, distribution, and migration of human populations on the Earth's surface.

      • Understand the development and interactions of social/cultural, political, economic, and religious systems in different regions of the world.

      • Explain how technological change affects people, places, and regions.

    Standard 4. Economics (commencement)
    Performance Indicators:

      1. Students:

      • Analyze the effectiveness of varying ways societies, nations, and regions of the world attempt to satisfy their basic needs and wants by utilizing scarce resources.

      • Understand the nature of scarcity and how nations of the world make choices which involve economic and social costs and benefits.

      • Explain who economic decision making has become global as a result of an interdependent world economy.

      • Understand the roles in the economic system of consumers, producers, workers, investors, and voters.

    Standard 5. Civics, Citizenship, and Government (commencement)
    Performance Indicators:

      1. Students:

      • Analyze how the values of a nation and international organizations affect the guarantee of human rights and make provisions for human needs.

      • Identify and analyze advantages and disadvantages of various governmental systems.

New York State Regents Global History and Geography Curriculum Tie-Ins
Curriculum available online at http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/ciai/socst/pub/sscore2.pdf

    Unit Eight: Global Connections and Interactions

      A. Social and Political Patterns and Change

        1. Human and physical geography

        2. Population Pressures and poverty

          d. Cycyles of poverty and disease

        3. Migration

          a. Urbanization

          b. Global migration

        4. Modernization/Tradition -- finding a balance

        5. Scientific and technological advances

          b. Improved standard of living

        6. Urbanization -- use and distribution of scarce resources

        7. Status of women and children

          a. Economic issues, e.g., child labor

          b. Social issues, e.g., abuse and access to education

Advanced Placement World History Curriculum Tie-Ins
Course Description available online at:
(Requires the Adobe Acrobat Reader)

    Major Developments:

      2. Changes in global commerce, communications, and technology

      • Changes in patterns of world trade

      • Industrial Revolution (transformative effects on and differential timing in different societies, mutual relation of industrial and scientific developments; commonalities)

      3. Demographic and environmental changes (migrations; end of the Atlantic Slave trade; new birthrate patterns; food supply)

      4. Changes in social and gender structure (Industrial Revolution; commercial and demographic developments; emancipation of serfs/slaves; tension between work patterns and ideas about gender)

    Major Comparisons and Snapshots

    • Compare the causes and early phases of the Industrial Revolution in western Europe and Japan

    • Compare the Haitian and French Revolutions

    • Compare the conditions of women in the upper/middle classes with peasantry/working class in western Europe

    Major Developments:

      1. Impact of major global economic developments (the Great Depression, technology; Pacific Rim; multinational corporations)

      6. Social reform and social revolution (changing gender roles; family structures; rise of feminism; peasant protest; international Marxism; religious fundamentalism)

      7. Globalization of science, technology, and culture

      • Developments in global cultures and regional reactions, including science and consumer culture

      • Interactions between elite and popular culture and art

      • Patterns of resistance including religious responses

      8. Demographic and environmental changes (migrations; changes in birthrates and death rates; new forms of urbanization; deforestation; green/ environmental movements)

    Major Comparisons and Snapshots

    • Pick two revolutions (Russian, Chinese, Cuban, Iranian) and compare their effects on the roles of women

    • Compare the legacies of colonialism and patterns of economic development in two of three areas (Africa, Asia, and Latin America)

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WIDE ANGLE, "To Have and Have Not" (2002) and "1-800-INDIA" (2005) (selected clips)

New Worker Class
Photo of Dwanzhi She in his new apartment.
Migrant Workers
Photo of a Chinese migrant construction worker.
Transformed Work.
Photo of female Indian BPO workers.
Shopping Culture
Photo of shoes in a shoe store in India.
Night Transport
Photo of BPO cabs in India.

Web Sites:

  • BUSINESS WEEK, "The Great Migration" (int'l edition)
    This article discusses the reasons migrants have for leaving their homes for the cities. Personal stories add to an understanding of perspective.

  • BBC NEWS, "China's Rural Millions Left Behind"

    This article discusses how new migrants from the countryside are treated unfairly as members of an underclass. Migrants suffer countless indignities in the cities. They also run the risk of losing their land back home as the government makes deals for development with foreign companies and imposes stricter guidelines and taxes on rural Chinese.

  • NEWSWEEK, "This is Really Home"
    This article discusses the working conditions of illegal migrants and the violations of human rights in cities. The Chinese government claims migrants are a major problem.

  • Unicef, "Migrant Children Beset by Growing Pain"
    This Web site shares the stories of migrant children and their anguish when separated from their parents, who have had to leave for cities in search of work. Families may be separated for long periods of time.

  • The Earth Institute South Asia Program
    This site offers a short background on the economic growth and development of industries in India, especially in the technology sector.

  • Asia Source Interview from ASIA SOCIETY
    Isher Ahluwalia is currently the Vice Chairperson of the Planning Board of the Government of Punjab and a member of the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council for the Government of India. In her interview, she discusses India's economic development in the coming years.


For the class:

  • Computer monitor or computer connection to television/projector for clip viewing

  • Chalkboard, Whiteboard

  • World (political) map or globe

  • Sentence strips for "Word Wall" (new vocabulary words/terms, as needed)

For each pair of students:

  • Computer with Internet access

For each student:


Prior to teaching this lesson, you will need to:

Bookmark the Web sites used in the lesson on each computer in your classroom, or upload all links to an online bookmarking utility such as www.portaportal.com.

Preview all of the video clips and Web sites used in the lesson to make certain that they are appropriate for your students, currently available, and accessible from your classroom.

Download the video clips used in this lesson onto your hard drive, or prepare to stream the clips from your classroom. RealPlayer is needed to view the video clips. If your classroom computer does not have it, download RealPlayer for free at www.real.com.

Refresh your knowledge of the key topics of modernization, fair trade, and globalization. A few Web sites to consult include www.globalexchange.org), providing background information on the WTO and its impact on society; and the World Trade Organization site, at www.wto.org, the site provides a view on the benefits of membership, the organization's purpose, structure/organization, and agreements.

Prepare a list of five to ten key vocabulary words/terms that students will encounter as they view the sites and clips. It may be in the form of a handout with definitions included. Create a "Word Wall" in your classroom as you add new words/terms.

Organize the order of all handouts and photocopy one for each student.

When using media, provide students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, a specific task to complete and/or information to identify during or after viewing of video segments, Web sites, or other multimedia elements.

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