David J. Smith - Author
David J. Smith is a classroom teacher with over 25 years experience teaching middle and high school English, geography and social studies. He achieved national recognition for his unique method of teaching seventh graders to draw maps of the entire world from memory, now published as a highly successful curriculum, “Mapping the World by Heart.” In 1992, Smith won the U.S. Department of Education's “A+ for Breaking the Mold” Award for his work. Since 1992, he has been a full-time educational consultant, giving lectures and workshops on informational technologies, geography and global issues to teachers, parents, student groups and others throughout the United States and in Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Time magazine, NBC's Today Show, the L.A. Times and the Associated Press, among others, have acknowledged Smith and the success of his curriculum. Smith has also written articles for The New York Times Education Life section, “The International Educator” and “The World Paper.”
Through his work with teachers, Smith developed the idea of creating a realistic picture of the world that would be understandable and accessible to young people. By imagining a village where each inhabitant represented 62 million individuals, David was able to pare Earth's population down to a village of 100 people. The result is If the World Were a Village: A Book about the World's People.
Upon shrinking the world's population, proportions and relationships become more meaningful, statistics more manageable. Based on published figures, If the World Were a Village reveals some startling disparities. For instance, in the world village, there are 38 school-aged villagers --- but of the 38 only 31 of them attend school and only 24 of them have enough food to eat. The world keeps changing and growing, and the data in the book has been kept current; between 2002 and 2014, it has been updated 23 times.
Smith believes that this book promotes “world-mindedness,” which is an attitude, an approach to life. At a time when parents and educators are looking to help children gain a better understanding of the world's peoples and their ways of life, If the World Were a Village is a unique and objective resource. Through the surprising statistics and Smith's tips on fostering a world view, children are encouraged to embrace the bigger picture and to establish their own place in the global village.
David Smith was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He has lived in England, Hawaii and Oregon, but now lives in Victoria, British Columbia.