Teacher Resources

In-Class Curriculum: Globalization, Robots, and You

Presented by: 

Teaching virtually because of COVID-19? See our fully online version here. 

Students have important decisions to make about their educations and careers - wouldn’t it be nice if they better understood the forces of globalization and automation first?

Imagine if they could deftly navigate data from the BLS occupational handbook, academic research, and more to gauge salary prospects, the risk of automation, and foreign competition when comparing their options. 

Imagine no more: Tyler Cowen and MRU have partnered with Ian Bremmer and Eurasia Group Foundation to build a five-day curriculum that covers globalization, automation, creative destruction, the elephant graph, and more! Then we apply those concepts to help students rethink personal choices of education and career. 100% free. 

Here is a playlist of the three videos that are included in this curriculum. Watch your students light up as you use the Avengers, smartphones, and photo apps to explain globalization! 

Applicable University Courses:


Getting Started

Below is the material for the in-class version of the curriculum (SEE ABOVE for the virtual version). This is a five-day curriculum that assumes 45-minute classes. It is built in a modular way so that you can pick and choose what works for you. We have also provided various levels of difficulty in the assignments. Mix and match!

All the materials are provided as Google Docs. Click the "day" link to see the folder of materials for that day. Inside each day’s folder, you’ll find a lesson plan as well as a subfolder with the worksheets and supplementary documents for the day. Each lesson plan will link directly to all necessary worksheets and supplementary documents in Google Drive.

Note: We have answer keys, but they are not publicly available. If you are a teacher or professor, please scroll down to request access. 

Teaching from home because of COVID-19? See our fully online version here. 

Day 0

This folder contains the pre-unit assignment, which should be assigned to your students the school-day before you start this unit. We also have a student-facing doc with all the applicable URLs they will use throughout the curriculum. 

Day 1 - Avengers: The Story of Globalization

Essential Question: What is globalization and how universal is it?

Learning Objectives:

  • Define globalization.
  • Explain how technological innovations led to the different phases of globalization.
  • Identify the effect global supply chains have on the world economy.
  • Explain why “Made in China” or “Made in America” labels are misleading terms to characterize the origins of modern products.
  • Evaluate the extent to which any product can be considered global.


Day 2 - Creative Destruction: Technology and Trade

Essential Question: What is creative destruction and what is its relationship to globalization?

Learning Objectives: 

  • Define creative destruction, identifying the relationship between the positives of “creative” development and the challenges of “destructive” market realignment resulting from emerging new products.
  • Identify examples of creative destruction from their own life.
  • Compare creative destruction caused by trade versus technology.
  • Relate creative destruction to global supply chains.
  • Describe how creative destruction of goods/services creates dramatic changes in the workplace.


Day 3 - The Elephant Graph

Essential Question: Who benefits most from globalization?

Learning Objectives: 

  • Understand the “Elephant Graph” and what it relates about globalization. 
  • Classify various demographic groups by where they fall on the elephant graph.
  • Evaluate the net effect that globalization from 1988 onwards has had on various individuals, groups, and countries.
  • Compare and contrast the effects (past, present, and future) of automation and foreign trade on manufacturing.


Day 4 - The Economics of Choosing the Right Career

Essential Question: How will globalization impact labor markets?

Learning Objectives: 

  • Assemble a globalization profile for a variety of jobs, including the following: 
    • How many years of schooling are required for this job?
    • What is a good college major for going into this job?
    • What is the pay for workers with this skill?
    • What is the supply and demand of workers for this job? Where is it trending? Does that mean pay is likely to improve in the future? 
    • Is this job competing against foreign labor? Why or why not? Could virtual presence change this?
    • Is this job automatable?
  • Predict which careers are likely to have a prosperous future in the United States and which are not. 


Day 5 - How to Navigate a Globalized Economy

Essential Question: How can we navigate the economy of a globalized world? 

Learning Objectives: 

  • Synthesize learning from previous four days to re-evaluate personal education and career plans.
  • Critique educational and career choices in a globalized world.
  • Apply principles of creative destruction to recognize that everything they’ve learned about the future workforce will constantly evolve over time.


  • End of Unit Writing Assignment
  • End of Unit Quiz


Answer Keys

We will provide answer keys to verified teachers and professors. 

    Request Answer Key    

Resource Details

Academic Level

High School or University

Tyler Cowen
Professor of Economics
Ian Bremmer
Political Scientist
Tamra Carl
AP Economics Teacher
Andrew Menfi
Personal Finance Teacher

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