10.11a Transnational Maquiladoras in Northern Mexico
One effect of globalization has been the creation of maquiladoras, owned by transnational corporations but operating in Mexico, generally along the border with the United States. This case study of maquiladoras offers students the opportunity to analyze a complex problem that has no easy solution. Its goal is to get them to view the costs and opportunities of globalization from the perspective of Mexico as a nation and from the individual perspectives of Mexican managers, workers, and activists.
- HSS 10.11 Students analyze the integration of countries into the world economy and the information, technological, and communications revolutions (e.g., television, satellites, computers).
How has globalization affected people, nations, and capital? / Should the nation of Mexico allow transnational maquiladoras to operate in northern Mexico under the existing conditions?
World War II accelerated the trend of globalization, the freer and faster movement of people, ideas, capital, and resources across borders. The question: How has globalization affected people, nations, and capital? can guide students' investigation through this last unit. ...
Economic globalization took the form of multinational corporations and international financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which supported loans for development and endorsed the principle of free trade. The World Trade Organization (WTO) replaced GATT in 1995. Regional trading blocs also developed, most notably in Europe and later in North America. ...
In addition, critics point out negative aspects of globalization, pointing to environmental concerns, the impact on child labor, women's rights and other issues. Using cost–benefit analysis, students may examine the differential impact of globalization by dramatizing a mock Congressional hearing on NAFTA, including roles for American, Canadian, and Mexican business owners, farmers, and workers. Students might also work through a variety of globalization issues through Model United Nations simulations. ...
- Introduce the investigative question, Should the nation of Mexico allow transnational maquiladoras to operate in northern Mexico under the existing conditions? Tell students that they will do a case study about transnational maquiladoras in Mexico. Explain that for "capital" they will looking for effects on money, the economy, and businesses of all sizes, including transnational corporations.
- Divide students into heterogeneous groups of four. Distribute Student Handout 10.11a and tell the groups to divide up the sources fairly.
- Allow students 30 – 45 minutes to read their sources and prepare their summaries.
- Instruct the groups to begin discussing their sources by this procedure:a. All skim Source 1 (5 minutes max).b. The student responsible for that source tells the group their summary. c. That student leads the whole group in discussing what effects and evidence to select to fill out the line for Source 1 on the Source Analysis Chart. d. All fill out that line on the chart. e. All skim Source 2 (repeat steps a – d for all sources, in order).
- Ask the groups to review their Source Analysis Charts and discuss whether they have included a variety of perspectives, effects to nations and people, and both costs and benefits (These don't have to be equal, but none should be missing).
- Have the groups discuss the investigative question. Then each student should write down a first draft of their interpretation. Steps 6 – 10 are designed for students who have already had instruction in writing interpretations for historical questions and practiced writing them several times. If the students have no experience writing interpretations, the teacher should explain the process of writing an interpretation and model it for the whole class.
- Using the sentence starters from the Support Your Thinking and Challenge an Idea charts, perform a short model conversation for the whole class. Either coach a talkative student to converse with you, or play both roles yourself.
- Switch students into pairs. Pair students from different groups. Instruct pairs to discuss their interpretations (claims) and evidence that supports their interpretations. Have them use sentence starters from the Support Your Thinking and Challenge an Idea charts. Circulate around the room to answer questions and evaluate student participation.
- Have students switch partners and discuss their interpretations following the instructions in step 7. Repeat as often as you think effective.
- Have students refine their interpretations based on the discussion.
- The Library of Congress. The Library of Congress’ Primary Source Analysis Tool supports an inquiry model of instruction by asking students to first observe, then reflect, then question. Their customizable tool includes specific prompts for student interrogation of books and other printed materials, maps, oral recordings, photographs and paintings, and many other types of primary sources.
- The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). NARA has developed a vast collection of document analysis worksheets, ready for classroom use. Their website offers teachers a wide collection of customizable tools – appropriate for working with photographs, maps, written documents, and more. NARA has also customized their tools to meet the needs of young learners, and intermediate or secondary students.