Getting Started with Global Learning in Citizenship
The World-Class Teaching programme aimed to improve teachers’ capacity to bring Global Learning into the classroom, developing quality teaching and learning materials for their specific subjects, worthy of Ofsted ‘outstanding’ rating.
A recent UNESCO study recognises that although Global Education in different countries and communities is offered in different ways, it nevertheless has a number of uniting elements. The most important among these is fostering in learners:
- an attitude supported by an understanding of multiple levels of identity, and the potential for a “collective identity” which transcends individual, cultural, religious, ethnic or other differences;
- a deep knowledge of global issues and universal values such as justice, equality, dignity and respect;
- cognitive skills to think critically, systemically and creatively, including adopting multiple perspectives;
- an approach that recognizes the different dimensions, perspectives and angles of issues;
- non-cognitive skills including social skills such as, empathy, conflict resolution and communication;
- skills and aptitudes for networking and interacting with people of different backgrounds, origins, cultures and perspectives;
- behavioural capacities to act collaboratively and responsibly to find global solutions for global challenges and to strive for the collective good.
From: Global Citizenship Education, Preparing learners for the challenges of the twenty-first century, UNESCO, 2014.
Global Education is an education perspective which arises from the fact that contemporary people live and interact in an increasingly globalised world. This makes it crucial for education to give learners the opportunity and competences to reflect and share their own point of view and role within a global, interconnected society, as well as to understand and discuss complex relationships of common social, ecological, political and economic issues, so as to derive new ways of thinking and acting. However, Global Education should not be presented as an approach that we may all accept uncritically, since we already know there are dilemmas, tensions, doubts and different perceptions in an education process when dealing with global issues.
There are many definitions of Global Education. The Maastricht Global Education declaration (2002) states:
Global Education is understood to encompass Development Education, Human Rights Education, Education for Sustainability, Education for Peace and Conflict Prevention and Intercultural Education; being the global dimension of Education for Citizenship
(From: Global Education Guidelines: The Council of Europe).
Themes from the World Class Teaching Framework for Global Learning such as: Peace and Conflict Resolution; Poverty; Political Power, Democracy and Human Rights; Migration; and Diversity and Intercultural Relations could be explored through certain elements identified in the programme of study for Citizenship.
The Association for Citizenship Teaching sees the aims and purpose of Citizenship in Global Learning as being:
- it explores strategies by which pupils can make the world more just and sustainable
- to move pupils from a charity mentality to a social justice mentality
- to stimulate critical thinking about global issues
- to promote taking action on global issues that matter to pupils both locally and in the wider world
- to help pupils understand their role in a globally interdependent world
The Citizenship Curriculum has three core objectives:
- for students to develop social and moral responsibility;
- for students to develop a sense of political literacy
- for students develop a sense of agency, knowing that their views matter and that they can take responsible action on those views.
Every section of the revised programmes of study for Citizenship is statutory. The aims of the National Curriculum for Citizenship education in secondary schools include the following:
- for students to acquire a sound knowledge and understanding of how the United Kingdom is governed, its political system and how citizens participate actively in its democratic systems of government; the different electoral systems used in and beyond the United Kingdom and actions citizens can take in democratic and electoral processes to influence decisions locally, nationally and beyond
- to know and understand about local, regional and international governance and the United Kingdom’s relations with the rest of Europe, the Commonwealth, the United Nations and the wider world
- for students to develop a sound knowledge and understanding of the role of law and the justice system in our society and how laws are shaped and enforced; other systems and forms of government, both democratic and non-democratic, beyond the United Kingdom
- to understand diverse national, regional, religious and ethnic identities in the United Kingdom and the need for mutual respect and understanding
- for students to develop an interest in, and commitment to, participation in volunteering as well as other forms of responsible activity
- that students are equipped with the skills to think critically and debate political questions. They should experience and evaluate different ways that citizens can act together to solve problems and contribute to society.
See more at: http://www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk
Embedding Global Learning through the Citizenship curriculum can:
- help young people to understand their role in a globally-interdependent world
- provide a context to enable them to explore strategies to make the world more just and sustainable
- develop their understanding of the key concepts of interdependence, sustainability and social justice
- involve them in thinking about the ethical and moral issues concerning global learning, moving from a charity perspective to one of social justice, social action and volunteering
- stimulate critical thinking about global issues and challenge students to consider
- actions they can take to share their understanding or bring about change at micro and macro levels
Oxfam sees the global citizen as someone who:
- Is aware of the wider world and has a sense of their own role as a world citizen.
- Respects and values diversity.
- Has an understanding of how the world works.
- Is passionately committed to social justice.
- Participates in the community at a range of levels, from the local to the global.
- Works with others to make the world a more equitable and sustainable place.
- Takes responsibility for their actions.