ERG SES D 13, Secondary Education
Since the late 1960s, the global dimension in education seems to be slowly moving from the margins to the mainstream. According to Bourn (2015, p. 23), “the first decade of the twenty-first century witnessed the biggest ever expansion of support, interest and engagement with learning about global and development issues in the leading industrialised countries”. The term Global Citizenship Education (GCE) emerged in the 1990s at a time of increased interest in the concept of citizenship and in the need to reconceptualise it in relation to the global domain (Steiner, 1996). It emerged from within the development education movement in the UK as “a way of interpreting personal and social responsibility and engagement in global and development issues, with a nod to educational agendas around identity and political citizenship (Bourn, 2015: 22). GCE is now the term generally used in international fora and debates and is the predominant concept in the scholarly literature.
Pashby (2008; 2011) talks about a global imperative in education. The prevalence of a discourse of globalisation and of the need to respond educationally to global problems puts increasing pressures on schools to engage with and respond to the global, by facilitating the acquisition of “a sense of global-mindedness that encourages students to develop a consciousness of global connectivity and responsibility” (Pashby, 2008, p. 17). Students are seen as “global citizens in the making”. There is a strong vision that a ‘global’ citizen is one who is aware of global inter-connectedness, “who ‘responsibly’ interacts with and ‘understands’ others while being self-critical of his/her position and who keeps open a dialogical and complex understanding rather than a closed and static notion of identities” (Pashby, 2011, p. 428).
But GCE is complex, ambiguous, and challenging. First, it “emerges from a nexus of interrelated discursive fields, each of them contested as well as marked by particular histories, challenges, and possibilities” (Pashby, 2016, p. 69). Andreotti (2011, p. 307) underlines that the “different meanings attributed to ‘global citizenship education’ depend on contextually situated assumptions about globalisation, citizenship and education that prompt questions about boundaries, flows, power relations, belonging, rights, responsibilities, otherness, interdependence, as well as social reproduction and/or contestation”. Second, the concept of GCE is “entwined with a number of overlapping ideas including development education, democratic education, education for cosmopolitan citizenship, peace education and human rights education” (Oxley & Morris, 2013, p. 302) as well as intercultural education and education for sustainable development. Third, in promoting GCE, it is important to recognise that it may have complex and contradictory consequences that educators may not always be able to envision and predict as globalization “defines a particular problem space” in which difficult and controversial contemporary issues arise (Pashby, 2008, p. 24). Lastly, as Pashby (2016) underlines, the field is not homogeneous as the international literature on GCE includes a broad range of perspectives with some drawing on liberal humanistic frameworks (Noddings, Nussbaum, UNESCO), while others adopting more critical ones (Andreotti, Birk, Pike, Rizvi, Shultz).
The purpose of the research, on which this paper is based, is to learn whether and how teachers conceptualise citizenship and particularly global citizenship and what curricular devises and pedagogies they use to address (global) citizenship in their classrooms. It combines two underrepresented interests. First, it responds to Marshall’s call for empirical research on GCE to uncover “dominant modes of pedagogic practice and knowledge orientation in mainstream schooling” (Marshall, 2011, p. 424). Second, as the bulk of the writings on GCE is from England, Australia, Canada and the US, it adds the case of Italy, where GCE is being practised but is marginal within pedagogical academic discourses
Andreotti, V. (2006). Soft versus critical global citizenship education. Policy & Practice: A Development Education Review, 3, 40-51. Andreotti, V. (2010). Postcolonial and post-critical ‘global citizenship education’. In E. Geoffrey, F. Chahid & I. Sally (Eds.), Education and social change: Connecting local and global perspectives (pp. 238-250). London: Continuum. Andreotti, V. (2011). The political economy of global citizenship education. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 9(3-4), 307-310. Birk, T. (2016). Critical cosmopolitanism as a new paradigm for global learning. In I. Langran, & T. Birk (Eds.), Globalization and global citizenship. interdisciplinary approaches (pp. 38-55). London and New York: Routledge. Bourn, D. (2015). The Theory and Practice of Development Education. A Pedagogy for Global Social Justice. London, New York: Routledge. Marshall, H. (2011). Instrumentalism, ideals and imaginaries: Theorising the contested space of global citizenship education in schools. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 9(3-4), 411-426. Noddings, N. (2005). Educating Citizens for Global Awareness. New York: Teachers College Press Nussbaum, M. (2002). Education for citizenship in an era of global connection. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 21(4), 289-303. Oxley, L., & Morris, P. (2013). Global Citizenship: A Typology for Distinguishing its Multiple Conceptions. British Journal of Educational Studies, 61(3), 301-325. Pashby, K. (2008). Demands on and of Citizenship and Schooling: "Belonging" and "Diversity" in the Global Imperative. In M. O'Sullivan, & K. Pashby (Eds.), Citizenship Education in the Era of Globalization. Canadian Perspectives (pp. 9-26). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers. Pashby, K. (2011). Cultivating Global Citizens: Planting New Seeds or Pruning the Perennials? Looking for the Citizen-subject in Global Citizenship Education Theory. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 9(3-4), 427-442. Pashby, K. (2016). The Global, Citizenship, and Education as Discursive Fields: Towards Disrupting the Reproduction of Colonial Systems of Power. In I. Langran, & T. Birk (Eds.), Globalization and Global Citizenship: Interdisciplinary Approaches (pp. 69-86). London & New York: Routledge Pike, G. (2008). Citizenship education in a global context. In M. O'Sullivan, & K. Pashby (Eds.), Citizenship education in the era of globalization. Canadian perspectives (pp. 41-51). Rotterdam/Taipei: Sense Publishers. Pike, G. (2008). Reconstructing the legend: Educating for global citizenship In A. A. Abdi, & L. Shultz (Eds.), Educating for human rights and global citizenship (pp. 223-237) Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. Rizvi, F. (2008). Epistemic virtues and cosmopolitan learning. The Australian Educational Researcher, 35(1), 17-35 Shultz, L. (2007). Educating for Global Citizenship: Conflicting Agendas and Understandings. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 53(3), 248-258
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