30 SES 12 A, Global Citizenship Education and ESE (Part II)
Paper Session Part II, continued from 30 SES 05 A
This proposal arises from a research project entitled Connecting Water to Global Citizenship via Education for Sustainable Development (CW2GC) that is funded by the Economics and Social Research Council, UK. The project has two overarching goals which are 1) to develop academic and practitioner knowledge around the ways in which community-based waterway regeneration project evolve in different geopolitical contexts and 2) to reveal whether ESD that young people who are involved with these projects experience influences their sense of identity in relation to the notion of global citizenship.
Emerging findings reveal a powerful sense of global mindedness and global justice among the youth we are engaging with, which they demonstrate in a variety of different, often unconscious ways. Why then is there an apparent rejection of an embodied sense of global citizenship? There is evidence from the data that many of our respondents might be defined as Critical Global Citizens detailed in Oxley’s and Morris’ typology (Oxley & Morris, 2013). We suggest that this critical reflexivity is engendered through active engagement with water bodies, where connections with the hydrologic system fosters connections with the human system. And yet participants living in the majority world context of South Africa vehemently rejected the identification of themselves as global citizens. For them, Global Citizenship is perhaps too closely associated with neoliberal understandings of the notion, as set out by Pashby et al (2020). In the two cases that we are working with in the UK this rejection of the validity of the idea of global citizenship is less prevalent. Here we find a less uniformly negative reaction to being identified as a global citizen, ranging from what might be seen as a sense of global citizenship as aspirational, through to an acceptance of it as an inevitable marker of identity.
We have begun to outline some of the contestations involved in coming to understand what global citizenship is. Mannion (2011) provides a particularly sharp critique of the rapid expansion of its use at the turn of the decade and Pashby et al (2020) echo others in identifying the lack of a national legal framework or a national-based narrative imaginary to identify with, along the lines of the kind of in-group/out-group thinking that is understood to give meaning to the notion of citizenship.
Furthermore, if we take a reflexive orientation to GC we are led to inevitable questions about agency. Before a young person can have agency as a global citizen they are confronted by an often invisible structure that impedes them not just on a global level but arising from their ‘habitus’. For a grounding discussion of the evolution and definition of 'habitus' we refer to David Swartz's book Culture & Power, The Sociology of Pierre Bourdieu, in which he states “Habitus results from early socialization experiences in which external structures are internalised”. 'Habitus' became one of Bourdieu's “conceptual trademarks” (Swartz, 1998, p. 9). But it does not present a guide to how a young person impeded by internalised structures catalysed by education and political and economic disenfranchisement can engage in conversation about globalisation let alone engage actively as a global citizen. In our presentation we will speculate on why these different responses might arise; including how structuration theory might inform our understandings.
We will also talk about how the pandemic may influence how young people view themselves in relation to global citizenship, drawing on some of the data from our interviews which have spanned the pandemic.
Our research is an ethnographic investigation of community-based waterway regeneration projects in England and South Africa, building case profiles through three phases. Case selection involved snowball sampling, guided by the researchers’ developing trajectory of ethnographic familiarity of specific regions within each country, their vulnerability to water crises, the cases’ potential to be representative and to provide data that can be used for cross-case comparison. Phase 1 involved background socio-economic contextualisation from existing data sources such as census data and through new data from walking interviews and focus group discussions and household surveys in areas where cases are situated. Phase 2 involves a degree of participatory observation of project activities among some of our cases. In cases where our ability to observe activities was curtailed by the pandemic, we accessed online materials designed by the organisations to inspire active engagement with the waterways during the pandemic and accessed and listened to feedback from, and about user engagement. We have also developed River Reverie audio and paper guides for volunteers in our case study organisations to record their ideas about being involved in the projects, as they walk along the waterways where they volunteer. This will allow for the remote generation of data, within the limitations of governmental restrictions of movement and interaction. An important element of ethnographic research is member-checking of interviews and we found this process both rewarding and challenging. We had to adapt our methods to be done online, remaining sensitive to issues like the digital and socioeconomic divides, through for example, providing transcripts of our group interviews, colour coded to identify speakers, and giving interviewees options to contact us using different communication platforms. Phase 3 involves data analysis and knowledge mobilisation preparation, including developing descriptive statistics from the surveys; coding of field notes and transcribed audio-recordings of qualitative data; cross checking coding between research team members. The research methods are informed by transactional methodologies (Ohman and Ostman, 2007) and ethnography (Dillabough and Yoon, 2017) which rely on the gathering and generation of data in action and are thus flexible and responsive to evolving circumstances; something which has proved significant during the disruptions to our research.
Through this study we aim to contribute to theory and evidence in three distinct areas: hydro sociology, GCE and ESD. The focus of this proposal is specifically GCE, but it is also relevant to hydro-sociology and ESD. In relation to GCE, our data suggests redefining debates about global citizenship, in favour of global awareness, global mindedness, or a global outlook (Bourne, 2014). Previous work in this area has addressed this question of conceptualisation but the UNESCO adoption of global citizenship has had a defining influence. However there is resistance to the use of the term citizen as it conflicts with legal frameworks on national citizenship, amongst other things. In our research the issues are questions of equity of access in relation to global citizenship. Our data suggests that people living in geopolitically unstable settings, do not have the resources (be they economic or social) inherent in the notion of a cosmopolitan definition of global citizenship. Moreover, being a citizen entails being responsible, and someone with little resources and/or agency is heavily overburdened by the notion of such a responsibility. Being globally aware, or having a global outlook, on the other hand, does not entail a capacity to travel or to work in a different country, neither does it carry the mantle of responsibility that citizenship does. Our comparative research enables us to contrast perspectives of global citizenship between England and South Africa. We will discuss the meaning of these different interpretations and what underpins them in our presentation; including through the theoretical lens of environmental justice as it is conceived by authors such as Arturo Escobar (e.g. 2020) and Achille Mbembe (e.g. 2019). We will also discuss our developing model/heuristic for community based waterway regeneration projects built from best practice, practical experience, and observations across all our research sites.
Why education and global competence will be key for the success of the SDGs by Prof. Dirk Van Damme, Webinar, Thursday 7 May 2020, 11:00-12:30 CEST Bourn, D., (2014). University of London, Development Education Research Centre, & Global Learning Porgramme for England. The theory and practice of global learning. Escobar, A. (2020). Pluriversal politics: The real and the possible. Duke University Press. Mbembe, A. (2019). Necropolitics. Duke University Press. https://doi.org/10.1215/9781478007227 Niens, U., & Reilly, J. (2012). Education for global citizenship in a divided society? Young people’s views and experiences. Comparative Education, 48(1), 103–118. https://doi.org/10.1080/03050068.2011.637766 Öhman, J., & Östman, L. (2007). Continuity and change in moral meaning‐making—A transactional approach. Journal of Moral Education, 36(2), 151–168. https://doi.org/10.1080/03057240701325258 Oxley, L., & Morris, P. (2013). Global Citizenship: A Typology for Distinguishing its Multiple Conceptions. British Journal of Educational Studies, 61(3), 301–325. https://doi.org/10.1080/00071005.2013.798393 Pashby, Karen, Marta da Costa, Sharon Stein, and Vanessa Andreotti. 2020. “A Meta-Review of Typologies of Global Citizenship Education.” Comparative Education 56 (2): 144–64. https://doi.org/10.1080/03050068.2020.1723352.
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