Medicine and its global roots

A secondary school in the south of Scotland brings a global perspective into two Higher Still chemistry units, namely ‘World of carbon’ and ‘Industrial chemistry’, by making a link between traditional and modern pharmaceutical drugs.

Students are shown how modern medicines are often developed from traditional herbal remedies using examples such as Ventolin, which is widely used by asthma sufferers and which started as a herbal preparation derived from the Chinese herb ma huang. Giving a global context to the study of organic chemistry not only offers students insights into how some modern drugs are developed, but also widens their understanding of the truly global nature of science.

This case study is taken from The Global Dimension in the Curriculum, Learning and Teaching Scotland et al, 2001.

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Teaching resources: Find free resources on the subject of Science

Local support: If you are inspired by this case study and would like to do something similar in your school, or are looking for ideas for developing the global dimension, why not contact your nearest Development Education Centre?

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