Global Citizenship is a term which has become widely used. It has different interpretations, but with a focus on young people’s positive response and action. It is an integral part of global learning, with a variety of frameworks which illustrate its many facets. A number of different definitions of Global Citizenship exist. They may look different but all tend to encapsulate preparing young people to engage positively with a globally connected (and globally challenged) world. Global Citizenship is a prominent part of most interpretations of global learning.
There are a variety of frameworks which encapsulate what global citizenship means. They tend to draw from one of 3 ethical approaches (humanistic, environmental and political). Their content usually shows knowledge relating to awareness of global issues and themes, skills relating to critical understanding and participation, and values/attitudes underpinning positive action and human relationships. The choice of which to use is entirely contextual – what they all offer is a wide and multifaceted understanding of Global Citizenship that can support school based planning to promote a wider and more holistic approach.
Characteristics of ‘deeper’ Global Citizenship
- Deeper interrogation of issues – including their history.
- A recognition of power relations – including through ideas and language around what should be done by who (with critical literacy being an important tool).
- Not considering actions solely as in terms of the ‘actor’ and ‘recipient’ – which reinforce narrow charitable views of action.
- Ensuring time is spent to consider a wide range of possible responses by various actors in relation to a given issue.
Think about some sort of ‘Global Citizenship’ activity you might have carried out with pupils (or yourself). To what extent did it meet any of these 4 criteria? If some were missing, how could you have done them differently?