07 SES 02 C, Promoting Social Justice
According to UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4.7, all students must receive quality education in the areas of education for sustainability (ESD) and global citizenship (GCE). Unlike the Millennium Development Goals which focused on so-called developing world contexts, the SDGs apply to all signatory countries, including those in Europe. This paper will report on early findings from a one-year (2018) research project funded by the British Academy. It asks: How can teachers be better resourced to mainstream SDG 4.7 into their secondary classrooms through a critical approach? It investigates the possibilities of an ethical approach to teaching global issues by creating a pedagogical framework highlighting diverse perspectives and complexities including colonial systems of power and aims to create a resource to support teachers in this work through participatory research.
Recently, UNESCO (2015) published Global Citizenship Education: Topics and Learning Objectives which builds from technical consultations and serves as a “pedagogical guidance” (p. 18). It is intended for educators, curriculum developers, trainers and policy makers. The guidance outlines key learning outcomes across several key themes and domains of learning and specified to specific age groups. The document calls for educators to bring attention to revisiting mainstream assumptions and including marginalized voices by focusing on critical skills for civic literacy and promoting informed, engaged, responsible and responsive global citizens (UNESCO, 2015, p. 16). This is an important and challenging task, and we wonder to what extent teachers in Europe are resourced to do this essential work.
As European countries as signatories on the SDGs, and global learning and ESD are included in curriculum, there is a policy imperative to encourage pedagogies that take up complexities and include marginalised perspectives. This is also being called for by critical scholarship in the fields of global citizenship education (GCE) and environmental and sustainability education (ESE) which has raised concerns about extant approaches to teaching global issues. Critical GCE scholars have raised concerns that superficial approaches to global education avoid complex ethical issues thereby, and despite good intentions, contributing to the reproduction of colonial systems of power (e.g., Andrerotti, 2011; Pashby, 2012; Widdows, 2014). Similarly, scholars of ESE have argued that currently mainstreamed approaches to ESD implicitly reinforce existing North–South inequities and supported individualism and competition (e.g., Jickling & Wals 2008; Van Poeck & Vandenabeele 2012; Sund & Öhman, 2014).
A significant contribution of this project is the bringing together of these two fields of critical scholarship in support of SDG 4.7. As a bridging framework, we draw on postcolonial perspectives and particularly post-colonial scholars’ insights on distribution/inequalities, power and epistemology to reorient and generate reflexive and explicit discussions about global equity and justice within education (e.g., Andreotti & Souza 2012; Mignolo, 2011; Willinsky 1998, 2008).
In this paper, we argue the critical scholarship in the fields of GCE and ESE provides a strong rationale for an ethical global issues pedagogy that explicitly takes up difference and diversity and acknowledges the inequalities inherent to who is most impacted and who can take responsibility for creating a sustainable future for all. Importantly, this research also contributes practice-based research. We argue for a secondary school version of Andreotti’s (2012) HEADSUP which identifies seven patterns of thinking and relationships that are often reproduced by educational initiatives: hegemony, ethnocentrism, ahistoricism, depoliticisation, salvationism, uncomplicated solutions and paternalism. And, we draw on findings from our participatory work with teachers. Specifically, we will share some early findings from surveys and focus groups with teachers in the UK, Finland and Sweden to consider the enabling factors and barriers to such an ethical global issues pedagogy.
The larger project involves producing a framework to be shared with teachers and conducting classroom observations with teachers using the framework. As part of the workshops with teachers, we will be collecting data on enabling factors and barriers to teaching complexity and multiple perspectives when engaging with global issues in the classroom. In this paper, we will be reporting on the data collected through workshops involving up to 10 secondary teachers each (n=50): one in Sweden, three in the UK (Manchester, Birmingham, and London) and one in Finland. The targeted locations are in areas with relatively large numbers of immigrants and therefore diverse student demographics. We have also selected these countries for feasibility and impact purposes given the tight 12 month timeline. They each contain strong global education networks and NGOS with whom we are collaborating and drawing on as expert advisors to help with recruitment, feedback on the proposed resource, and dissemination of the final resource. For the workshops, we are targeting teachers of upper/secondary (age 15+) subjects with direct links to global issues (e.g., Geography, social studies, natural sciences). Teachers volunteer to participate and recruitment is being conducted through wide professional networks and social media. Workshops will occur in the spring of 2018. We intend that gaining data across a set of diverse locations will help us to understand enabling factors and barriers to teaching global issues, and this data will inform the ultimate goal of the wider project which is to produce a resource appropriate for teachers across Europe. This data is also important for wider research, policy and practice around what supports teachers will need and what barriers will need to be removed to encourage the mainstreaming of SDG 4.7. Data sources on which we will be sharing preliminary findings include: a) a pre-conference survey regarding enabling factors and barriers to teaching in support of SDG 4.7; b) Transcript recordings of focus groups of up to 5 teachers where participants share a teaching artefact that illustrates their attempt to teach in support of SDG 4.7 and will critically reflect on their teaching. Data will be analysed using content analysis with a specific focus on determining key themes around enabling factors/constraints. It will be interpreted through the use of the bridging framework informed by critical scholarship in both fields and postcolonial perspectives.
This paper draws on a review of critical literature in ESE and GCE to argue for an ethical global issues pedagogy relevant to today’s complex global issues. It offers some early findings from participatory research with teachers as to the enabling factors and barriers to this type of work in classrooms. We do not yet have any preliminary results to share from the empirical research but anticipate our findings by drawing on a pilot case study of a small group of teachers in Sweden conducted in 2017. Findings indicate a range of factors influence how and why teachers teach global issues: a. the course syllabus (the course goals and the topics and content covered in the course and if global issues are specified), b. how teachers perceive education and teaching more generally (their educational philosophy and views of learning), c. teachers’ anchor points or objects of responsibility in teaching global issues [which can help teachers in their everyday practice but can also be tacit barriers to change, see Sund & Wickman (2008)] d. teachers’ and students’ own experiences of global issues (experiences of living/travelling in a country of the Global South, ethnicity/ethnic background) e. what teachers and students bring to school (in terms of individual assumptions/personal worldviews and the collective constructions/discourses of such assumptions as well as their implications, cf. Andreotti, 2011 on reflection and reflexivity). We will be interested to see whether the teachers participating in this project confirm or challenge what was found in the pilot study. We will consider if there are common enabling factors and barriers across and within geographical contexts or whether the resourcing of teachers will need to attend to a complex matrix of factors. We will also focus on teaching global issues with complexity and including marginalised perspectives.
Andreotti, V. (2011). Actionable Postcolonial Theory in Education. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Andreotti, V. (2012). “Editor’s Preface: HEADS UP.” Critical Literacy: Theories and Practices, 6(1): 1–3. Andreotti, V. & Souza, L. M. T.M. (Eds.) (2012). Postcolonial Perspectives on Global Citizenship Education. NY: Routledge. Jickling, B., and A. E. J. Wals. (2008). Globalization and Environmental Education: Looking beyond Sustainable Development. Journal of Curriculum Studies 40(1): 1–21. Mignolo, W. (2011). The Darker Side of Western Modernity: Global Futures, Decolonial Options. Durham & London: Duke University Press. Pashby, K. (2012). Questions for global citizenship education in the context of the ‘new imperialism’: For whom, by whom?. In V. Andreotti & M. Souza (Eds.), Postcolonial perspectives on global citizenship education (pp. 9–26). New York, NY: Routledge. Sund, L. and J. Öhman (2014). On the Need to Repoliticise Environmental and Sustainability Education: Rethinking the Postpolitical Consensus. Environmental Education Research, 20 (5): 639–659. Sund, P., and P.-O. Wickman. 2008. Teachers’ Objects of Responsibility: Something to Care about in Education for Sustainable Development? Environmental Education Research, 14(2): 145–163. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). (2015). Global Citizenship Education: Topics and Learning Objectives. Retrieved from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0023/002329/232993e.pdf. Van Poeck, K., and J. Vandenabeele. (2012). Learning from Sustainable Development: Education in the Light of Public Issues. Environmental Education Research, 18(4): 541–552. Widdows, H. (2014). Global Ethics: An Introduction. Durham: Acumen. Willinsky, J. (1998). Learning to divide the world: Education at empire’s end. Minneapolis, MN:University of Minnesota Press. Willinsky, J. (2008). Preface. In A. Abdi & G. Richardson (Eds.), Decolonizing democratic education (pp. vii–x). Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
The programme is updated regularly (each day in the morning)
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.