This lesson is an exercise in setting priorities; given multiple opportunities in the actual classroom situation to set priorities related to their own learning styles and performances, students may be encouraged to carry out a similar task. School-wide situations might also be handled in a similar manner. The transference of methods and reasoning from exercises such as The New Nation to everyday situations would provide for real learning.
You are a government official in charge of designing a Five-Year Development Plan for your new nation.
Your nation (give it a name!) is located somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere and is, by general agreement, a technologically underdeveloped area. The majority of your people are engaged in producing an agricultural product that is processed and sold outside of your nation. The remainder of your people are subsistence farmers, small scale fishermen or craftsmen producing wood and leather products for your small tourist trade.
At one time your nation was governed by a European colonial power. Your political system, education system, and to some degree, your present cultural patterns, all reflect this fact. The majority of your people are illiterate, although a few have received their education overseas. Most adults speak the language of the colonial power that once ruled your country in addition to one of the three languages native to your people. Your nation's elementary and secondary schools can only accommodate less than half of the children. You have one, small four-year college that is mainly concerned with preparing teachers for the schools.
Your nation has significant mineral resources, but they are almost totally undeveloped. You do have several potentially useful seaports, but as with your road and rail systems, they are only partially developed at the present time. Ideologically, you have been neutral for years and have received limited foreign military and technical assistance from all major industrial nations. The present government seems reasonably stable, but is shaky because of its newness to governing. Your borders touch upon several other nations, two of which are extremely unstable and have experienced military takeovers during the past year.
You have been instructed to prepare an allocation plan for your nation's well being and progress. Given the preceding description of your nation, this plan will deal with the major areas of the national concern.
You will act in a double capacity. First, as an individual preparing to meet with your government colleagues, you will consider the problems described in the Five-Year Plan and make an allocation (equaling 100%, and not to exceed 25% in any one of the categories) of the nation's resources to the various categories given. (See the chart following.)
Secondly, when you and your team colleagues have completed individual allocations, you will meet as a team and discuss all personal allocations.
Through the process of negotiation arrive at a composite list of allocations that all members of the team are willing to support.
Finally, each team will prepare a brief, written report that lists your team allocation percentages, and at least two reasons for each choice.