Thursday, August 26, 2010

Geography Lesson @ S1-01: Demographic Transition Model

Attended the lesson by Aurelius this afternoon. It was the 2nd time... er I should say the 3rd time I heard about similar thing - Population Pyramid and the Demographic Transition Model (DTM). Thanks to James, too :) The preliminary introduction of the big topic during the meeting :)

The purpose is not just a lesson visit to see how lessons could be further sharpened, but also for us to learn and possibly surface good classroom practices. Hence, it's also part of my learning journey :)

The lesson started off by helping students to understand what it meant by "Trend". I was still quite puzzle over why the teacher needed to take length to explain the word. Well, I think that's where I learnt that it's important to explain the words with a relevant context even though it might be just a simple word.

For example, in Maths, we ask students to observe trends or patterns established by numbers. However, in this subject, to describe a trend, it's more than words, but in broad areas like "form", "functionalities". It seems to be a different kind of 'animal' in another subject.

1. Understanding of Trend... with Phone as an example

The Form
  • "Old phones are bulkier and newer phones are much more smaller and light"
  • TR: What else do you see in the outlook?
  • The screens of the newer phone gets bigger.
  • The old phone - keypads are big big while the new ones touch touch
  • The new ones are more stylish ?
  • Nowadays have lots of functions like internet... now only can call
2. Next, looking at Population Pyramid:

So, there were so much to get out of the population pyramid!
Not just superificial information based on comparison of the bars. There were so much to get out of it, when breaking the pyramid into 3 tiers!

Here were some questions and responses. Indeed, I was impressed by some of the questions and responses from the students :)

  • TR: Tell me what's the birth rate like for Congo?
  • High Infant mortality rate
  • TR: What group are we talking at the middle tier?
  • Death Rate.
  • Ties back to the field work out there
  • Harsh brought up a possible observation (which could probably be used to argue about the trend) that it could be in the past that the birth rate was not that high. Hence, resulting the concave shape
Next, by comparing the birth rate of India and Congo; both countries have high birth rate; but India's might not be as high

Another question was asked:
Which group actually has a larger group of people in the society working?
  • For India, the change of population from one group to another (upwards) is quite minimal, as compared to Congo.
  • By comparing the "tip" of each pyramid, one is able to tell people from which country live longer.
Other observations of low birth rate:

  • Because living standard is high, and therefore have less children.
  • Does it mean that in a develop country, the country will spend less in infant or children?
  • The parents tend to spend more money on the children because they have less children.
  • So, it doesn't necessary mean there's less money spend on infants.

Into the next activity, which was to draw distinguishing features of both developed and less developed countries throuh 3 pictures (which broadly focused on transport, standard of living and infrastructure). I think it would be easier for students to remember if these 3 broad areas were articulated at the start of the task. Some responses from students include:

  • The road is pretty rough and that means the government might have spent less money in its infrastructure.
  • The picture with a truck carrying more people - Soh Fan: Because the population was very dense. The crowd in the tiny truck. So, it means that they don't have money to spend on taxis.
  • Ziying: Why is it that while the country is poor, there's such high birth rate
  • Mayur: It's because the survival rate of their children is low

Moving on to the Demographic Transition Model

Here's an interesting explanation about the DTM?

  • Stage 1: High birth rate & High Death Rate (e.g. tribal society)
  • Stage 2: With a bit of technology, but people still cling to their culture... better living, better food... need people to work... so still high population, and birth rate start to grow
  • Stage 3: Start to have stage 3, death rate has dropped... death rate is low... however, birth rate starts to drop
  • Stage 4: Standard of living has gone up, people also doesn't want to bear so much children.

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