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Teaching World Cultures: Three ProQuest Resources

Why Study Culture?

“In today’s world, understanding both our similarities and our diversity becomes increasingly important. Through an understanding and appreciation of cultural difference, children will be better prepared to live in an ever-shrinking global community. And increasingly, our classrooms are becoming miniature models of the global community itself.”—Nancy Jervis, Ph.D., China Institute

The quote above shows just how vital it is for students to study culture.

Students need to be prepared for our increasingly interdependent, globalized and networked world. Migration and immigration are causing societies to become more culturally and linguistically diverse.  The nature of the workforce is changing as globalization continues to level the playing field for workers worldwide.  And many of today’s issues—ranging from climate change to public health to terrorism–have a global dimension, requiring people to work with others from different cultures and nations to solve such problems.

In the introduction to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the authors identify the understanding of other perspectives and cultures as an essential feature for college and career readiness. Common Core Standards require students to read a variety of literature and informational texts and encourage a focus on deep research by asking students to gather information from multiple resources.

Below, I highlight three ProQuest resources to help meet CCSS literacy requirements and to develop increased cultural awareness in your students so that they are equipped for college and career.

Three ProQuest Resources:

1. CultureGrams contains primary and secondary source cultural content for more than 160 countries. There are four editions: the World Edition (for students in middle school and up) and the Kids, States, and Canadian Provinces editions (for students in upper elementary school).  Each country contains up-to-date information on the people and their customs and courtesies as well as facts on lifestyle (housing, diet, recreation, etc.) and society (government, economy, education, etc.).  Students can access interviews, videos, recipes, graphs, maps and more. The Curriculum Standards PDF shows all the of the national standards met or developed by each CultureGrams product.

Argentina

Screenshot of Argentina in CultureGrams

2. SIRS Issues Researcher contains a World Cultures Leading Issue with articles on multiple perspectives to help students with their research. The World Cultures Leading Issues, along with the hundreds of other Leading Issues, are crafted to help students analyze and synthesize a wide variety of resources and present a cogent argument.  Perfect for debates or papers covering more than one side to an issue, each sub issue contains an essential question with supporting pro/con articles.

World Cultures Leading Issue

Screenshot of World Cultures Leading Issue, SIRS Issues Researcher.

3. eLibrary has hundreds of culturally-relevant Research Topic pages, including ones on indigenous peoples, religious groups, ethnic foods, as well as many on literature and the arts, such as haiku and folk dance. These pages contain links to editorially-selected articles and websites as well as a trove of primary source documents, videos and images.  Here is a sampling of the type of eLibrary Research Topic pages relevant to the study of culture:

eLibrary Research Topic Pages

Collage of screenshots of three eLibrary Research Topic pages

How to Find Research Topic Pages:

Students can find these pages via keyword search or by clicking on the following link on the search page in eLibrary:

Research Topics link on the Basic Search page

Screenshot of eLibrary link to list of Research Topics

Tell Us What You’re Doing!

Are you using ProQuest to help your students learn about different cultures? Did you create a lesson plan using one of our products? If so, we’d love to here about it! Let us know in the comment box below.

 

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