ERG SES D 10, Migration and Education
The concept of global citizenship is contested (Dower, 2000; Linklater, 2002; Miller, 2011), yet education is certainly one of the fields where this idea is most seriously used, particularly in the literature that theorises the need for a new citizenship education with a global orientation (Pashby, 2011). Global citizenship has “taken on the status of a ‘global’ or ‘travelling’ educational policy” (Oxley & Morris, 2013:301) and in the past two decades, Global Citizenship Education (GCE) has moved from the margins to the mainstream. According to Bourn (2015:23), “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”.
On the one hand, the focus of much discussion and scholarly work on GCE shifted from whether global citizenship is a legitimate term worth talking or writing about, to developing pedagogical frameworks that facilitate an understanding of GCE (Andreotti, 2006; Bourn, 2015; UNESCO, 2014), the incorporation of GCE into curricula (UNESCO, 2015) and the assessment of how GCE is practiced (Blackmore, 2016; Oxley & Morris, 2013).
On the other hand, GCE became firmly established in international policy. Global citizenship was included in 2012 as one of the three priorities of the UN Global Education First Initiative, and subsequently, within the 2015-2030 Sustainable Development Goals, GCE, together with Education for Sustainable Development, was identified as a key educational approach to be mainstreamed at all levels in: (a) national education policies, (b) curricula, (c) teacher education and (d) student assessment (SDG 4.7.1). Across Europe, the embedment of GCE in the education systems at all levels in coordination with the competent local and state authorities continues to be a priority for decision makers and practitioners that, through Global Education Network Europe (GENE) and the North South Centre of the Council of Europe, work to expand GCE and improve its quality.
An increasing number of education specialists, theorists and practitioners feel comfortable using GCE language and terminology. The purpose is to facilitate the acquisition of an “ethos of global citizenship” (Pike, 2008), or “a sense of global-mindedness that encourages students to develop a consciousness of global connectivity and responsibility” (Pashby, 2008:17) and become “active national citizens with an informed global conscience” (Pike, 2008:48). In this vision, being a globally-minded citizen means being aware of global inter-connectedness, responsibly interacting with and understanding others while being self-critical of the own position and maintaining a “dialogical and complex understanding rather than a closed and static notion of identities” (Pashby, 2011:428).
The language and practice of GCE is undoubtedly entering school practice, and scholars are beginning to use different pedagogical frameworks to study how GCE is understood and practiced within formal education (see for example, Blackmore, 2016; Bryan & Bracken, 2011; Gaudelli, 2016; Rapoport, 2015). A recent study conducted in the USA demonstrates that terms such as global citizenship and globally-minded citizen are still rarely used in classrooms, teachers are confused about the ideas behind global citizenship and in many cases feel insecure and uncomfortable about teaching GCE (Rapoport, 2015). More empirical research on GCE is needed in order to uncover “dominant modes of pedagogic practice and knowledge orientation in mainstream schooling” (Marshall, 2011:424).
This paper, which is part of a wider PhD research, addresses this need by focusing on the following broad research questions: What does GCE mean for local secondary school teachers? How do teachers translate GCE into pedagogical practice?
The geographical focus of the research is the Autonomous Province of Trento (PAT), a border mountainous province in northern Italy that enjoys a special autonomy within the Italian regional system. PAT distinguishes itself nationally for its commitment to international development cooperation, and since 2015 significantly scaled up its support to GCE through its leading role in the EC funded “Global Schools” project on the integration of GCE in school curricula. The methodology chosen is Grounded Theory (GT), in particular the constructivist interpretation promoted by Charmaz (2000; 2006) and the informed version suggested by Thornberg (2012). Informed GT rejects the notion of pure induction, and promotes a process and a product of research thoroughly based in data by GT methods, while being informed also by existing research literature and theoretical frameworks. Intensive interviews with teachers was identified as the main data gathering method. Intensive interviewing in fact “facilitates conducting an open-ended, in-depth exploration of an area in which the interviewee has substantial experience” (Charmaz, 2014, p. 85). It is particularly suitable for constructive GT as it enables learning about the participants’ words and meanings while at the same time allowing researchers to explore areas of emerging theoretical interest when participants bring them up. Intensive interviews were conducted between February and June 2017 with 21 teachers from 9 lower secondary schools. Teachers were identified on the basis of two criteria: 1. Teachers had some exposure to GCE through in-service education; 2. Teachers’ attempts in incorporating a GCE perspective in their practice was known within or beyond their school. The following channels were used: 1. Personal contact; 2. Indication of teachers by representatives of PAT’s education office; 3. Snowballing. The teachers interviewed are from 9 schools that are: 1. Located in the main urban centres and also in the rural valleys; 2. Have a low and also a high percentage of students with migration background; 3. Are included and not included in PAT’s EU funded project “Global schools” project. In line with GT, theoretical sampling was used to identify new subjects to interview, and gather pertinent data to further elaborate and refine the categories constituting the emerging theory. A documentary analysis of provincial legislative & policy documents, plans & guidelines on education and on international development cooperation and GCE was also carried out.
The analysis of the interviews is ongoing. Preliminary results indicate that in the school studied, GCE is as an invisible presence. This is linked to three factors: 1. No dedicated GCE curriculum, nor explicit place for GCE in the timetable; 2. Term GCE is not generally adopted in the schools; 3. No formal spaces and opportunities for teachers to discuss what GCE means or how it can be translated into pedagogical practice. Although invisible, GCE is present and the teachers interviewed talked about the different ways in which they interpret GCE and they engage with it in their work. Teachers’ accounts suggests a perceived lack of distinction between GCE and citizenship education. Teachers use the two terms interchangeably. There is also a certain overlap with what teachers refer to as “interculture”. Teachers identify a number of competences that they intend to develop in students through GCE and these are broadly in line with those identified in the UNESCO’s GCE framework (UNESCO, 2015). However, a number of key dimensions seem to be weak in the practice of the teachers studied. One is the opportunity to learn about identities, the concept of multiple identities and its relation to the global dimension of citizenship. The other one is the exploration of the active dimension of citizenship by developing in learners the motivation and willingness to act effectively and responsibly at the local, national and global levels. Teachers seem to adopt three modalities to integrate GCE in their practice: 1. Responding to prompts in class/school and seize opportunities to address GCE topics and issues; 2. Making explicit choices about the curriculum to prioritise themes and topics that allow for the global dimension of citizenship education to come to the fore; 3. Developing and delivering specific GCE projects in collaboration with other teachers.
Andreotti, V. (2006). Soft versus critical global citizenship education. Policy & Practice: A Development Education Review, 3, 40-51. Blackmore, C. (2016). Towards a pedagogical framework for global citizenship education. International Journal of Development Education and Global Learning, 8(1), 39-56. Bourn, D. (2015). The Theory and Practice of Development Education. A Pedagogy for Global Social Justice. London, New York: Routledge. Bryan, A., & Bracken, M. (2011). Learning to read the world? Teaching and learning about global citizenship and international development in post-primary schools. Charmaz, K. (2014). Constructing grounded theory (2nd Edition ed.). Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC: Sage. Dower, N. (2000). The Idea of Global Citizenship - A Sympathetic Assessment. Global Society, 14(4), 553-567. Gaudelli, W. (2016). Global Citizenship Education. Everyday Transcendence. New York, Abingdon: Routledge Linklater, A. (2002). Cosmopolitan Citizenship. In E. Isin F., & B. Turner S. (Eds.), Handbook of Citizenship Studies (pp. 317-332). London: Sage. 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. Miller, D. (2011). The Idea of Global Citizenship. Nuffield's Working Papers Series in Politics, https://www.nuffield.ox.ac.uk/politics/papers/2011/David%20Miller_working%20paper%202011_02.pdf Oxley, L., & Morris, P. (2013). Global citizenship: A typology for distinguishing its multiple conceptions. British Journal of Educational Studies, 61(3), 301-325. doi:10.1080/00071005.2013.798393 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. doi:10.1080/14767724.2011.605326 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: Sense Publishers. Rapoport, A. (2015). Global citizenship education. classroom teachers' perspectives and approaches. In J. Harshman, T. Augustine & M. Merryfield (Eds.), Research in global citizenship education (pp. 119-135). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing Inc. UNESCO. (2014). Global citizenship education. Preparing learners for the challenges of the 21st century. Paris: UNESCO. UNESCO. (2015). Global citizenship education. Topics and learning objectives. Paris: UNESCO. Thornberg, R. (2012). Informed grounded theory. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 56(3), 243-259. doi:10.1080/00313831.2011.581686
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