About Culture Study
World Cultures, in their broadest sense, are the ways in which different groups of humans perceive, express, and address the needs of their lives, in context of the specific environment in which they happen to live. As with the study of the natural world, the study of world cultures provides another endless stream of questions to ponder, which link to and may motivate future studies in history, technology, foreign language & customs, and the fine and performing arts:
- What kinds of stories do the people of (pick a country) tell themselves about themselves, and about people foreign to them?
- In what forms are their stories communicated? (music, poetry, dance, drama, puppetry, novels, etc.)
- How has their culture crafted solutions to fundamental human problems, such as the need for light? shelter? warmth? cooling? food? water? transportation? social interaction? education? etc.
- How and why have their design solutions changed over time?
- What do the answers to these questions tell me about the physical and social realities of life in (pick a country)?
- What value or joy may I derive, personally, from learning about the language, customs, arts, or design solutions of a culture very different from my own?
The study of world cultures provides a rich array of topics for Quercus Academy scholars to discuss, and more opportunities to explore similarities and differences in life experience. In addition, the study of world cultures encourages scholars to think of places and ways in which they might contribute to making the world a better place for all.
Scholars explore the cultures of the world through a combination of library and on-line research, travel, experimentation, and interaction with foreign correspondents scattered about the globe.
Recommended Children’s Books & Documentaries
A set of highly recommended children’s books and documentaries about world cultures (with reviews) can be found in the Library.
Curriculum Materials for Culture Study
One big, beautiful, POLITICAL map of the world, showing the locations of countries and major cities of the world. We have, and love to study this one from National Geographic.
One big, beautiful, up-to-date World Atlas, for browsing and researching all the little details and statistics about our world.
“The Travel Book” by Lonely Planet. This is an indispensable resource for whetting the appetite. It is a beautifully illustrated, giant coffee-table book that offers a 2-page spread on every country in the world, highlighting some of the natural and cultural wonders that would make each country worth visiting.
“Mapping the World With Art” by Ellen Johnston McHenry. A lovely series of instructional videos that teach both how to think about and how to accurately draw various geographical regions of the world.