Global Citizenship Education in the Era of Globalization

Global Citizenship Education in the Era of Globalization

Titus Ogalo Pacho
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-5268-1.ch016
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Global citizenship education (GCE) has become an important topic in education and development discourses in an increasingly globalised world. Globalisation has affected the world socially, culturally, economically, politically, environmentally, and technologically. This calls for education that can empower learners to become engaged global citizens: learners who can understand that factors like globalisation, the global economic crisis, the refugee crisis, and climate change challenge traditional boundaries because of their ripple effects. Global citizenship education becomes an important tool to aid learners' appreciation the interconnectedness of the world and its diverse cultures, and their role in responding to global challenges. The aim of global citizenship education is to create active and responsible global citizens. Based on a qualitative research approach, this chapter discusses the concepts of global citizenship, global citizenship education, and the role of global citizenship education in sustainable development.
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The topics of global citizenship and sustainable development have become more important in today’s world due to the influence of globalisation and the need for globally-competent graduates imbued with requisite knowledge, skills, values and disposition to participate actively and responsibly in an increasingly global, competitive and diverse settings. The era of globalisation has had a profound effect on education systems worldwide. Interest and debates on global citizenship have increased over the years. At the launch of the Secretary-General’s Global Education First Initiative, 2012, Ban Ki-moon asserted that “... we must foster global citizenship. Education is about more than literacy and numeracy – it is also about citizenry. Education must fully assume its essential role in helping people to forge more just, peaceful and tolerant societies” (United Nations, 2012, p. 8). Ban Ki-moon further underscores the need for global citizenship education when he asserts that “education should give learners a profound understanding that we are tied together as citizens of the global community, and that our challenges are interconnected” (UNESCO, 2015a, p. 14). The United Nations Global Education First Initiative emphasises the promotion of global citizenship where learners become part of and connected to the larger context, the global economy (United Nations, 2012). Fostering global citizenship entails global citizenship education. This challenges education institutions to come up with plausible ways to prepare students for global citizenship.

UNESCO has made global citizenship education one of its core education priorities for the next eight years (2014-2021) (UNESCO, 2014b). Similarly, the World Education Forum (2015) which adopted the Incheon Declaration underlined that quality education should develop the skills, values and attitudes that enable citizens to lead healthy and fulfilled lives, make informed decisions, and respond to local and global challenges through education for sustainable development and global citizenship education (UNESCO, 2015). Additionally, the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) test, which measures the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old learners worldwide, included an assessment of learners’ global competence, involving cognitive, socio-emotional, and civic dispositions (OECD, 2018). These educational and developmental discourses points to the need for global citizenship education to develop learners’ global competence in a globalised world.

Confronted by challenges that come from social, cultural, economic, political, environmental, and technological upheavals globally, it is important to assist and guide learners, researchers, and educators to think and act as responsible citizens of the world. Many problems in the world have an international and even a global dimension, because their effects tend to spill over to other places and countries. Thus, global dimensions should be encouraged in educational curricula, so that learners are prepared not only for national responsibilities but also for international and global socio-political and economic participation.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Qualitative Research: A research approach which focuses on people’s experiences and how they construct meaning of different phenomena.

Glocalization: The process of giving equal weight and being sensitive to both global and local issues and viewing them as complementary.

Global Citizen: Someone who has a wider horizon and appreciates the interconnectedness of the world and their role to make that world a better place for everyone.

Sustainable Development: A balanced development focusing equally on human and material development while safeguarding the environment for the well-being of the present and future generation.

Cosmopolitanism: A philosophy that advocates for global citizenship despite being a citizen of a nation-state. A person who adheres to the tenets of cosmopolitanism is called a cosmopolitan .

Globalisation: An era characterised by intense interconnectivity and interdependence in almost all spheres of life.

Global Competence: Mastery of key knowledge, skills, values and attitudes to live effectively in a globalised society and contribute to make the world a better place.

Case Study: A form of research focusing on an in-depth analysis of one or few scenarios and used as a basis for making inferences on similar scenarios.

Global Citizenship: Implies a sense of belonging to a broader community, beyond national boundaries, that emphasizes our common humanity and draws on the interconnectedness between peoples as well as between the local and the global.

Global Citizenship Education: Is a transformative form of education that equips learners with requisite knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes to actively participate in activities that address social, cultural, economic, political, environmental, and technological issues in global and local contexts.

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