Global Citizenship as a Means for Teaching Environmental Education to Gifted Learners

Global Citizenship as a Means for Teaching Environmental Education to Gifted Learners

Mary L. Slade (Towson University, USA)
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2711-5.ch001
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Abstract

Increasingly, social issues are expanding at global proportions. Some of the biggest threats surround sustainability and environmental challenges. Global learning can prepare future global citizens to acknowledge and resolve social issues. Global citizenship can be used as a means for addressing awareness, knowledge, and action relative to sustainability and environmental education. For the purpose of teaching sustainability and environmental education via global citizenry to gifted learners, a curricular framework was developed to use across disciplines, grade levels, and service delivery options. In essence, the curriculum prepares advanced and gifted learners to raise their awareness of sustainability and environmental issues, teach the necessary tools for taking action, and to prepare them to inspire future citizens who engage in related global community change.
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Global Citizenship

Global teaching develops knowledgeable and engaged global citizens who are open, sensitive, and positive toward other cultures, as well as toward their own culture (Sisk, 2010). The concept of global citizenship refers to a level of citizenship that brings diverse people together in their communal concern and responsibility to resolve shared problems. Teaching global citizenship can lead to increased cultural diversity, increased interconnectedness, and increased interdependence (Gibson, et al., 2008). Citizenship is expressed by individual and collective action in solving the problems of a shared community. Global citizens are engaged in action based on increased knowledge about common issues in order to bring about change. The act of becoming aware and trying to resolve communal issues is expressed as engagement, which is the hallmark of global citizenship. Thus, the outcome of global citizenship is awareness that leads to action to bring about change.

Although all students should develop the knowledge and skills related to global citizenship, our most able students are predisposed to global learning. In particular, gifted learners possess the dispositions, cognitive processes, and inclination for social justice needed for world citizenship. Gifted students’ exceptional intellect, intrapersonal and interpersonal skills, as well as strong penchant for social justice hold the promise of students evolving as leaders and problem-solvers in our future (Gibson, et al., 2008).

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