07 SES 05 A, Citizenship 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”.
Global Citizenship Education (GCE) is now the term generally used in international fora and debates and is the predominant concept in the scholarly literature. But the concept of GCE is complex and ambiguous as it 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 .
Across Europe, despite the level of integration of GCE in formal education tends to be rather limited, there is a visible trend towards supporting the adoption of a global perspective within school curricula (Tarozzi & Inguaggiato, 2016). The embedment of GCE into the education systems at all levels, in coordination with the competent local and state authorities, and through a whole school cross-curricular approach, involving community representatives, continues to be a priority for decision makers and practitioners working on a European strategy framework for expanding GCE and improving its quality (North South Centre of the Council of Europe, 2012; 2015).
Marshall (2011) underlines that calls for the integration of GCE in schools come from a wide range of different organisations – intergovernmental bodies, national governments, NGOs, the media and the voluntary and business sectors. These calls convey an equally diverse range of agendas, including sustainability, intercultural understanding, human rights, equality, social justice but also economic integration and the acquisition of competences for the global economy. Therefore “all calls must be contextualised”, historically, politically, culturally and geographically, and “situated among wider instrumentalist agendas” (Marshall, 2011, p. 412). Two instrumentalist agendas are prevalent: the technical-economic instrumentalism where the curriculum is related to economic changes and the future employability of students; and the global social-justice instrumentalism, which facilitates an understanding of particular interpretations of economic, political, legal or cultural injustice and demands an emotional and often active commitment to social justice issues (Marshall, 2011).
In sum, GCE is a complex, ambiguous, and highly normative concept. It is “subject to a wide range of interpretations in the diverse contexts in which it is appropriated and promoted” (Oxley & Morris, 2013, pp. 301-302). 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” (Andreotti, 2011, p. 307). In the international literature on GCE , moreover, we can find a broad range of perspectives (Pashby, 2016) with some drawing on liberal humanistic frameworks (Noddings, Nussbaum, UNESCO), and others adopting more critical ones (Andreotti, Birk, Pike, Rizvi, Shultz).
This paper analyses the emergence of GCE in the policy discourse of a Local Authority in Italy, the Autonomous Province of Trento (PAT), which has recently amended its legislation on education to facilitate the inclusion of GCE in the curriculum of the schools under its jurisdiction, and has also taken on a role at the national level to promote the integration of GCE in formal education. The paper addresses the following questions: What motivates PAT to take on GCE at both the provincial and national level when others seem to be disinterested? How is GCE interpreted by PAT? Which instrumentalist agendas are at play?
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. 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 North South Centre of the Council of Europe. (2012). Final Report of the 2nd European Congress on Global Education. Education, Interdependence and Solidarity in a Changing World, Lisbon, 27-28 September 2012 North South Centre of the Council of Europe. (2015). Strategic Reccomendations. 3rd European Congress on Global Education. Education for a Global Citizenship. Unity in Diversity. Organised in the framework of the Joint Management Agreement between the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe and the European Commission. Zagreb, 26-28 November 2015 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. (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. 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 Tarozzi, M., & Inguaggiato, C. (2016). Global Citizenship education in Europe. A Comparative Study on Education Policies across 10 EU Countries. Research deliverable issued within the European project “Global Schools”, Trento. Italy: Provincia Autonoma di Trento
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