Staff – University of Copenhagen

Global Citizenship Education: A Biased Field

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleResearch

Global citizenship as an idea has become an increasingly important issue on the educational agenda since the late 1970’s. The importance allotted to this issue is clear in the attention given to it by for example UNESCO where global citizenship education (GCED) is an area of strategic focus. Increasingly schools all over the world are attempting to or expected to educate the global citizen, but how exactly do you educate the global citizen? What does this global citizenship consist of? While surely the type of training and education needed to train a global citizen will vary greatly depending on culture, pedagogical approach and various other factors, it is also a question worth asking, whether ‘global citizenship’ is one and the same all over the world, or whether we should come to terms with the idea that the way global citizenship is practiced in different environments may vary greatly.
Another question that begs an answer is whether it is at all possible to be citizens of the world in the same way that we are citizens of a country. While some may dismiss global citizenship as a mere linguistic fancy, there is also evidence, which this paper will attempt to discuss in a preliminary way, that it is possible to develop a feeling of global citizenship in a society. However, it is very important to keep in mind that global citizenship education as treated in the literature so far has been quite Eurocentric (this includes North America).
A survey of research on GCED found that two thirds of the research published after 2000 was written by researchers based in the US and if you add other English-speaking countries such as Canada, England, Australia and New Zealand, the proportion is even higher. English in the field of education research often serves as the international lingua franca. Since there is also a tendency among English speaking academics to not be able to read many other languages, the material that would be published about GCED in Chinese, Japanese or Arabic, for example, would have much less global impact than the material published or translated into English, so material in English is likely to have a relatively larger impact than material in most other languages.
Key words: global citizenship education, English dominance, human-beingness.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWaiyu Yanjiu
Volume33
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)49-54
Number of pages6
ISSN1005-7242
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2016

ID: 173259251