Models of Development - Lesson Plan

Models of Development - Lesson Plan: 2 x 1 hour lessons

A series of 'off the shelf' lesson plans and resources for use in the classroom. These lessons deal with Models of Development and are relevant to the following specifications:

  • Edexcel: Unit 5B
  • OCR: Module 2886


The lessons aim to get students to look at three different countries and to develop an appreciation of similarities and differences in relation to the problems they face in development. This is set against the backdrop of the models of development covered in the presentation.

The intention of choosing the three countries is to highlight how other factors, not in the control of a government or international agency can restrict the potential for growth and make life very difficult for inhabitants of the country. Specifically, the terrain and climate of the three countries represents a significant problem in addition to the extent to which the countries have been subject to other problems such as money laundering, political and official corruption and violence.

The student is also directed to look at the relevance of the Rostow model to the three countries concerned. In this respect, Djibouti has been deliberately chosen as an example of a country with seemingly a very high proportion of its economic activity in the tertiary sector - something the Rostow model would imply should be present in stage 4 or 5 of development.

There are of course good reasons for the apparent anomaly but the important point is for students to understand the need to be flexible and selective in their use of data and what it tells them as well as being aware of the limitations of economic models.

There has been a liberal use of images and maps in the activity and the presentation - this is a deliberate attempt to try to help students visualise some of the problems and issues as well as provide a source of context in terms of the location of each country.

The lesson can be used as a means of providing students with the opportunity of answering the questions through written format or the questions can be used as the basis for research in small groups - no more than three - for later discussion with the whole group.

The extension activities provide opportunity for further research and consolidation of understanding. The Biz/ed Virtual Developing Country worksheet is accessible but the Todaro-Smith article may well be challenging for A' level students. Judicious reading and selection of information in the article will, however, be of great benefit to students, particularly those aspiring to the higher grades.

Learning Objectives:

At the end of the lessons, students should understand the following:

  • The main features of the different models of development
  • The limitations of these models in explaining development
  • The different characteristics of countries in different regions of the world in relation to the extent of their development
  • The similarities and differences in the factors that limit the potential and movement towards further development


Lesson Structure:

The lesson structure will be dependent on which route the educator wishes to go in terms of a written output from students or whether a more group based/discussion activity is required.

It is suggested that the first part of the lesson is based around an exploration of the different development models using the Presentation. As the Presentation is revealed, a question and answer session can be undertaken to provoke the students into considering the strengths and weaknesses of the models.

The importance of this process in relation to an understanding of the different characteristics and problems faced by countries in different regions is essential to avoid the thinking that each developing country is stereotyped into a set of classifications, i.e. that they are all heavily dominated by agriculture, that they all suffer from drought and so on.

There will of course be general similarities that can be highlighted - climatic factors, lack of infrastructure and so on but even these will differ and should be appreciated by the student.

Following the presentation and discussion, the activity can be tackled with the emphasis on provoking further thinking and understanding of the student through support, questions and direction in completing the task.

If a written submission is chosen, the task should be completed within two lessons but the discussion route could spill over into a third lesson.

Related activity: 
Related mind map: