09 Jan How do we create transformative global citizens?
There is a shared resolve among educators across the world to ensure that young people acquire social, civic and global-intercultural aptitudes by promoting democratic values and fundamental rights, social inclusion and non-discrimination as well as active citizenship across all disciplines.
However, this raises many challenges, not least in a society epitomised by growing inequality and the rise of nationalism and populist ‘post-truth’ politics which is using social media as an agent for ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’ with the purpose of provoking fear and hatred of ‘the other’.
All these challenges, on the one hand, raise questions about notions related to leadership, citizenship, belonging, otherness, recognition of diversity and active democratic participation at the personal, local and global level and, on the other hand, require an ‘evolution’ of teaching roles towards supporting learners in developing not only knowledge and skills, but perhaps most importantly, values.
Why are we in teaching and learning if not to be able to help enrich the lives of our students?
My research work is centred on developing and integrating innovative approaches to ‘Global Citizenship Education’. In particular it builds on a ‘transformative value-creating’ dimension of global citizenship education. The word transformative refers to a clear focus on self-reflection and awareness, while the words value-creating denote taking actions in order to create value in society.
I recently conducted a 24-week pilot survey study investigating 45 teaching staff involved with global citizenship courses in Japan, the United States and Europe.