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What is development? To answer this simple question in this module is actually not simple. It is even more complicated given that the world has changed dramatically these last 15 years, what we can call now the "globalized world", which is the life-span of many students in this module. What changes are we actually aware of this last 15 years?

Becoming more keenly aware of the world around you requires reading up, which means reading up on newsweek, watching some documentaries of life in other countries and perhaps picking up a habit of simply googling up on countries or reading the CIA world factbook for starters in this module.

Building up this cultural capital of being aware of what is "life" like in othe parts of the world will help you in this module, better than memorising the fact that it is the Pacific Ocean separating Japan and the American continents. There is a place for that, but you need to know MORE than that!

What is development? It encompasses economic, social, cultural, political and last but definitely not the least, the environment.

What makes a nation or place developed? Or underdeveloped?

    More Economically Developed Countries (MEDCs)

Look at countries like Finland (where ikea came from), Italy, France and the United Kingdom. Include in your consideration, Japan and think Tokyo when I say Japan.

What common characteristics do you see these countries share?

    Less Economically Developed Countries

Look at countries like Angola, East Timor, Peru, Cambodia and even our neighbour, Indonesia.

What common characteristics do you see these countries share?

These are observations we can gather to associate certain characteristics with countries that are tagged either MEDCs or LEDCs.

USE SPECS to examine each characteristics you can think of.

What is not covered in this module is Newly Industrialized Countries (NICs) or what is better known as Newly Industrialized Economies (in economic geography terms) which includes countries and economies like Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Recently, some people (like Newsweek) are suggesting that Vietnam may jolly well be joining this league.

Disclaimer: This is a Singaporean educational website

Update: 9/1/2007

Explore development online

I will be bringing you students through this website more, but you will definitely benefit from explore it more after class or before (if you have not taken your lesson).

BBC higher geography website - Development and Health

Use the website to get ideas on what affects development. It is a nice visual representation of what factors affect which areas the most. You can use your atlas to find out the countries identified in each region.
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