26 SES 07 B, Educational Leaders Using What They Have Learned, Leading Teachers And Impacting Global Citizenship Education
Global citizenship education in the current field of educational research is a trending term used by national and international educational agencies and researchers to explain the increase in the internationalisation of education (Pais & Costa, 2017). A recent study by Goren and Yemini (2017) on the progress and evolvement of GCE research within the last decade, indicated a surge among educators and policymakers globally in seeking to integrate GCE into their curricula. This has come about as the result of a direct response by the education institutions to prepare students to thrive within the globalised world and for the globalised workforce (Brown, Lauder, Ashton, & Tholen, 2006; Goren & Yemini, 2017). The emphasis on GCE has also surfaced partly as a result of transnational mobility and the growing importance of a global perspective, often articulated within the concepts of “global engagement” (Paige, Fry, Stallman, Josić, & Jon, 2009), “global citizenship” (Cabrera, 2010) or “global mindedness” (Andreotti, 2011; Mannion, Biesta, Priestley, & Ross, 2011).
This shift has resulted in the need for education systems to develop cosmopolitan dispositions in students (Lingard, Nixon & Ranson, 2008). This can be defined politically as a ‘position or principle, emphasizing hybridity, multiplicity, inclusivity and acknowledgement of diverse cultural forms and expressions …or culturally by an openness to other cultures, values and experiences’ (Woodward, Skrbis & Bean, 2008, p. 208-209). According to Rizvi (2008), the type of education that students currently attain in schools should facilitate ‘intercultural understanding’ and confer an ‘international outlook’, so as to enable them to have a better understanding of the diverse, multifaceted nature of the globalized environment in which they live (p. 20).
This research is a comparative study of global citizenship education in two schools, an international school in Singapore that has adopted the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) and an independent school in Australia that has adopted the International Baccalaureate Primary Year Programme (IB [PYP]). The study is situated against the impact of globalisation on these schools’ curricula, goals and practices. Central to this research is an examination of the curricula and practices aimed towards the production of “global citizens” The research looks at how international curricula and GCE have been enacted in these two institutions within differing national, political, policy, economic, social, economic and market contexts. The study also examined the factors that enabled the take-up of GCE in particular ways in the two case study schools.
Studies have shown that successful implementation of GCE is only attainable if teachers and school leaders are committed to the implementation of the principles of GCE (Hallinger, Walker, & Lee, 2010; Lee, Hallinger & Walker, 2012; Madhlangobe & Gordon, 2012). Given the centrality of school leadership to school culture and policy, this has hence resulted in a critical need for new approaches to educational leadership, where leaders are cognizant of the need to demonstrate culturally responsive organisational practices and competencies (Madhlangobe & Gordon, 2012) to address the emerging demands of their ethnically diverse student populations and to ensure that schools are able to enhance the intercultural experiences and cosmopolitan outlook of their students. There will be a focus on understanding the distinctive “cosmopolitan disposition” of the school leaders that helped drive the GCE agenda in the two respective schools. Cosmopolitan disposition includes principles, which emphasise inclusivity, multiplicity, hybridity and recognition of the various cultural languages and practices. It also refers to an openness towards various “cultures, values and experiences” (Woodward, Skrbis, & Bean, 2008, p. 211).
Practitioners in both contexts are therefore faced with the challenges of constructively engaging the policy frameworks and finding innovative approaches to address GCE.
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. 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 although various factors within the specific contexts of schools, such as curriculum and resources, school culture, and the utilisation of human and financial resources play an important role in determining and moulding how schools engage with GCE, the experiences of school leaders in both contexts were instrumental in the schools’ attempts at embedding GCE within the curricula. Given the centrality of school leadership to school culture and policy, the school leaders’ roles were imperative in facilitating the take-up of GCE in the respective schools. Leaders in both contexts were faced with the challenges of constructively engaging with the policy and curriculum frameworks, which included the schools’ strategic plans. These were aligned to the schools’ as well as national policies and evidenced innovative approaches to address the complexity of contemporary diversity, as well as the demands of the global world. In the case of both schools, this was attainable because the leaders in both schools were actively looking at models that would enable them to enhance the learning of their students as global citizens. The school leaders in both contexts had considerable autonomy to design their curricula. Both school leaders, were committed to their visions of developing global citizens. They took an active role in driving GCE in the school, through the introduction of the international curricular model and by keeping themselves abreast with global curriculum initiatives. These curricula initiatives assisted in the take-up of GCE that enabled the schools to attain their vision of developing global citizens. The school leaders’ cosmopolitan dispositions had played an important role in determining and moulding how both schools engaged with global citizenship education. However their varied leadership styles, the structured top-down approach versus the more relaxed ground-up approach had also in a way affected the GCE take-up in the school.
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