23 SES 01 C, Citizenship Education
In recent years, global citizenship education (GCE) has been a trending concept used by national and international educational institutions, as well as researchers, to explain the increase in the internationalisation of education. The rise of GCE is set against globalisation and ever more diverse populations within nations, in the condition of super-diversity (Vertovec, 2007,2009). GCE has emerged as a result of the shift from multiculturalism to post-multiculturalism. The implication of this shift is an emphasis on international education, where GCE is one of the key markers in schools’ responses to providing an internationally minded curriculum. This at times has resulted in schools incorporating GCE in their visions and mission statements, sometimes without a full understanding of the extent of this concept.
For schools in Europe, which are facing mass migration, one of the key challenges is catering to such a diversified population and allowing for different groups to co-exist harmoniously with a common sense of identity. Adoption of an internationally minded curriculum is aligned with the practices of international schools and providers, which have faced myriad issues catering to diverse school populations (Hayden & Thompson, 2016). As a result, numerous schools in the United Kingdom, United States (US), Australia & Singapore, have crafted school mission statements that cite the use of ‘cosmopolitanism’ or ‘global citizenship’ and have moved towards adopting a more internationally minded curriculum (Schattle, 2008).
This research study focuses on a comparative analysis of GCE in two primary schools, one international school in Singapore and an independent school in Australia. The research focuses on how these two schools have engaged in the processes of internationalisation of their education through the adoption of international education models, utilising the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) or the International Baccalaureate Programme (IB) and other local curricula to generate hybrid internationally minded education programs.
The study is located within the domains of “comparative education” and “international education,” areas of enhanced research interest as a result of the growth of international schools globally and the existence of state and independent schools that have adopted international curricula (Hayden, 2006; Hayden & Thompson, 2016). An internationally minded curriculum is perceived to evoke notions of inter-culturalism, transnational connectivity, and global sensitivity in its design of curriculum, implicit pedagogical approaches, assessment practices and research knowledge and skills. It is believed that embedded within such a curriculum is a distinctive set of knowledge and skills, relevant to both the global and national schooling landscapes (Joseph, 2012). However, in a more market driven competitive schooling environment, GCE is also at times linked to branding and used by schools to position themselves advantageously in their specific school market contexts.
Drawing on various theoretical resources on global education, GCE, international education, as well as theories of post-multiculturalism, this research sought to investigate how each case study school responded to the concept of GCE through their curriculum. The broad overarching research question framing this study is: How have schools, with an internationally-minded focus, responded through the curriculum (IPC and IB respectively) to the impact of globalisation and the attempt to produce global citizens? The research specifically investigated firstly how each case study school has responded to the concept of GCE through their curriculum. It also aimed to examine the factors that enabled the take-up of GCE through curricula in the two case study schools. Qualitative data from semi-structured interviews, document analysis, school website analysis, as well as field notes, were analysed both inductively and deductively, teasing out the key themes. Document analysis included school policy papers, curriculum materials, syllabuses, websites, newsletters and other forms of documents that shed light on the issues being researched.
The study adopts a qualitative approach to construct the two case studies. As the study explores the case study schools’ international-mindedness focus and examines their respective school cultures that frame the general practices aligned to global citizenship education, a case-oriented approach was appropriate and allowed for an interpretive analysis. For this study of global citizenship education in two schools in two different national contexts, a collective case study approach has been used, which involves ‘studying multiple cases simultaneously or sequentially in an attempt to generate a broader appreciation of a particular issue’ (Crowe et al., 2011, p. 2). For this particular study, the design type has been adapted from Yin’s (2014) model of a single case design and a multiple case design as illustrated in Figure 2 below. My approach might be seen then as a hybrid one. With a multiple case design, I have two separate cases, situated within two different contexts - the global citizenship practices in an elementary international school in Singapore and an elementary independent (non- government) school in Australia, both of which are located within the global citizenship educational landscape and within the broader global education policy field (Lingard & Rawolle, 2011). Cross-case analysis was conducted to sieve out similarities and differences in the way the schools are advocating global citizenship education. Emergent meta- level conceptual themes around policy for `global citizenship education' and ‘internationalization’ of the curriculum are discussed: enablers and constraints; and the relevance of distinctions between global citizenship and global education are also addressed. Qualitative data from interview transcripts, document analysis, website analysis as well as field notes were analysed both inductively and deductively, teasing out the key themes from interviews, various documents such as policy papers, curriculum materials, syllabuses, the websites and other forms of documents that shed more light on the issues presented. The analysis of each case study began with a brief overview of the global citizenship education policies in the two schools and of their international curricula models, followed by a separate interpretation and juxtaposition of interview data (Phillips & Schweisfurth, 2014).
The findings indicate that various factors within the specific contexts of schools, such as curriculum and resources, school culture, school leaders’ and teachers’ values, and the utilisation of human and financial resources play an equally important role in determining and moulding how schools engage with GCE in their quest towards internationalisation. This response was situated in multiple influential contexts, which include the national contexts of the schools, including the nature of each society, the geo-political positioning of the society, the provision of schooling, the nature of schools and the specific policies governing the schools, which have influenced their approaches towards GCE. Firstly, both schools saw a need to navigate the global-local dynamics to engage with an internationalisation that is context-specific (Fielding & Vidovich, 2016) . Secondly, the school leaders in both schools demonstrated cosmopolitan competencies and were hence able to respond to and adopt organisational practices that were aligned to the demands of the 21st century global society. Finally, the targeted utilisation of human and financial resources was also a significant enabler that further cemented both schools’ practices towards GCE. The human resources, which included the selection of staff, appointing teachers with diverse teaching CVs and international experience, value added to the organisation and moved the GCE agenda forward. In the area of financial resources, both schools had a targeted approach in their utilisation of funding for professional development and curriculum development resources aligned to GCE. A key overarching finding of the research relates to the tensions between critical democratic and educational domains and neo-liberal market rationales, which had affected the schools’ decisions in curricula and GCE enactment within both schools. Despite their commitment to GCE ideals, they were mindful about being distinctive and remaining competitive within their educational markets. The global focus was thus linked at one level to their overt branding and positioning in their respective school markets.
Crowe, S., Cresswell, K., Robertson, A., Huby, G., Avery, A., & Sheikh, A. (2011). The case study approach. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 11(1), 100. Fielding, M., & Vidovich, L. (2016). Internationalisation in practice in Australian independent secondary schools: a global-local nexus?. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 1-15. Hayden, M. (2006). Introduction to international education: International schools and their communities. London: United Kingdom, London: SAGE Publications Ltd. Hayden, M., & Thompson, J. (2016). International schools: Current issues and future prospects. United Kingdom: Symposium books. Joseph, C. (2012). Internationalizing the curriculum: Pedagogy for social justice. Current Sociology, 60(2), 239-257. doi:10.1177/0011392111429225 Lingard, B., & Rawolle, S. (2010). Globalization and the rescaling of education politics and policy: implications for comparative education. In M. A. Larsen (Ed.), New thinking in comparative education: Honouring Robert Cowen, (pp. 33-52). Phillips, D., & Schweisfurth, M. (2014). Comparative and international education: An introduction to theory, method, and practice. New York; London: Bloomsbury Academic. Schattle, H. (2008). Education for global citizenship: Illustrations of ideological pluralism and adaptation. Journal of Political Ideologies, 13(1), 73-94. doi: 10.1080/13569310701822263 Vertovec, S. (2007). Super-diversity and its implications. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 30(6), 1024-1054. doi: 10.1080/01419870701599465 Vertovec, S. (2009). Transnationalism. Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon;New York;: Routledge. Walker, G. (2016). International schools and International curricula, in Fielding, M., & Vidovich, L. (2016). Internationalisation in practice in Australian independent secondary schools: a global-local nexus?. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 1-15. Yin, R. K. (2014). Case study research: design and methods. Los Angeles: SAGE.
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