Fostering Global Citizenship in Higher Education: Development of an International Course in Global Health

Fostering Global Citizenship in Higher Education: Development of an International Course in Global Health

Lee Stoner (Massey University, New Zealand), Lane Perry (Western Carolina University, USA), Daniel Wadsworth (Massey University, New Zealand), Mikell Gleason (University of Georgia, USA), Michael A. Tarrant (University of Georgia, USA), Rachel Page (Massey University, New Zealand) and Krystina R. Stoner (University of Georgia, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1674-3.ch039
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Abstract

Despite growing public awareness, health systems are struggling under the escalating burden of non-communicable diseases. Arguably, one must place themselves within the broader/global context to begin to truly understand the health implications of personal choices. Fostering a ‘global citizen' perspective among graduates has become an integral part of the Higher Education (HE) discourse; this discourse can and should be extended to include global health. A global citizen is someone who is aware of global issues, socially responsible, and civically engaged. From this perspective, personal health is not solely an individual, self-serving act. Rather, the consequences of lifestyle choices and behaviours have far-reaching implications. This chapter details: (a) the development of an international global health course designed to foster global citizenship; (b) the research-led pedagogy; (c) the methods of student evaluation; and (d) the importance of such a course within the broader context of HE.
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Introduction

Global citizenship development has become an integral part of the HE discourse; this discourse can and should be extended to include global health. Global health, alongside climate change, is one of the greatest contemporary challenges facing humanity. Considering this, universities have an opportunity to address contemporary societal issues that presumably their graduates will be grappling with after graduation. While there are many ways of engaging students with extant issues, study abroad and other internationally focused pedagogies can serve as a powerful approach. However, it has been argued, with specific reference to global health, that there is a ‘...need for a radical reform to curricula to foster engaged global citizenship; yet little is written depicting how individual courses and their instructors may support such reform’ (Hanson, 2010). This chapter will argue that HE and the process of study abroad can play a key role in the fight against non-communicable diseases (NCDs), a major global health issue. Specifically, a critical understanding of global health can aid in fostering global citizenship, which in turn may empower students to become civically engaged and potentially drive social change.

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