Getting Started with Global Learning in English
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 recognises 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 education that opens people’s eyes and minds to the realities of the globalised world and awakens them to bring about a world of greater justice, equity and Human Rights for all.
- 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).
This Handbook provides a sample of ideas from the categories outlined in the National Curriculum. It is hoped that this will model a process of curriculum development which can be applied to other themes and topics and result in Global Learning being systematically embedded in English teaching.
The National Association for the Teaching of English (NATE) supports Global Learning because:
- English is a subject with a global dimension. The subject involves students’ place in the world as well as the world of literature and language study.
- English is a cosmopolitan language with a cosmopolitan literature; our pupils’ knowledge of language and literature should reflect this global dimension.
- English lessons are concerned with the ways language is used to represent the world and the ways people experience it. Pupils’ language, understanding and feelings develop through a wide range of activities from discussion and role play to personal writing and immersion in literature.
- Reflecting on global issues and communicating with communities around the world gives the subject vital richness.