How the world works: a teacher's post primary resource

AUTHOR: Debt and Development Coalition

PUBLISHER: Debt and Development Coalition

YEAR: 2010



A teacher’s guide to global justice issues for transition year.. This pack promotes awareness about the causes of global inequalities, understanding of how to bring about change through taking action, and how to cultivate empathy towards people in the Global South linked to a sense of responsibility towards working to support justice.


activities, aid, cartoons, debt, development, economics, education, geography, imf, inequality, justice, post primary, power, trade, transition year, world bank


transition year, youth groups, 16+ years


geography, economics, religious education, history


cd-rom, activity pack


Available from:

**Note: check out updated version of this resource, How the World Works 2 (published 2015)**

Download Download How the World Works PDF

Hard copies and a CD are also available on request from the Debt and Development Coalition by phoning 01-6174835 or email


The resource employs a cross-curricular approach to teaching and is suitable for Transition Year Geography, History, Economics and Religious Education and also links directly to Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate subjects. The core aims of the resource are:

  • To promote awareness about the causes of global inequalities
  • To create an understanding of how individuals and organisations can bring about change through their actions
  • To cultivate considerate understandings towards people in the Third World linked to a sense of responsibility towards working to support justice

Using a range of active learning methodologies, ‘How the World Works’ helps students to explore their attitudes to development as well as learning about a range of issues such as Debt, Trade, Capital and Tax Flows and Aid.

The 77-page resource is comprised of 4 thematic sections:

1) The shape of the world;

2) The causes and consequences of global inequality;

3) Another world is possible and;

4) Taking action.

It is accompanied by detailed teacher notes- curriculum links, aims and learning outcomes, evaluation guides, further resources, timeframe per activity - and is driven by 20 prepared activities that were developed in accordance with the National Council for Curriculum Assessment (NCCA) guidelines.

The activities are diverse and interactive using various learning approaches. For example, there are quizzes, role play cards, multimedia links, fact sheets, cartoons, case studies, project journals and web-based elements.