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Teaching global citizenship education in New Zealand through a Centres of Asia-Pacific Excellence framework.

Global citizenship education

Global citizenship education encourages young people to think critically about the challenges facing our world today and respond in ways that create a more equitable, inclusive and sustainable future. Teaching global citizenship education requires a holistic and interwoven approach. 

The Centres of Asia-Pacific Excellence have developed a framework to teach global citizenship education in a way that reflects our unique geographical positioning within the Asia-Pacific region. In this clip, Dr Donella Cobb from the University of Waikato’s Centre for Global Studies in Education introduces this conceptual framework.

Dr Donella Cobb talks about the conceptual framework for global citizenship education in Aotearoa New Zealand at the Growing Global Citizens in Aotearoa Teacher Forum 2021.

© Centres of Asia-Pacific Excellence

This framework is underpinned by four interwoven concepts that guide young people towards transformative action and sustainable change.

A framework for global citizenship education in Aotearoa New Zealand.

© Centres of Asia-Pacific Excellence

These concepts teach learners to: 

  • understand three big ideas about global citizenship 

  • know about global citizenship through local and global contexts

  • act in response to global challenges, inequalities and injustice 

  • change the future through critically evaluating change.

Each of these four concepts is explained below.

Understand global citizenship 

Global citizenship education is underpinned by three big ideas. When taught together, these three big ideas provide a holistic and comprehensive understanding of global citizenship. These three big ideas include understanding:

  • global identity

  • global connections

  • global challenges.

Global citizenship education is underpinned by three big ideas: global identity, global connections and global challenges.

© Centres of Asia-Pacific Excellence

Global identity aims to strengthen young people’s awareness of who they are in the world through relationships with people, place and environment.

Global connections foster curiosity to learn about, learn with and learn through cultures, languages, people and places within our local and global communities.   

Global challenges invite young people to work collaboratively to identify, critically examine and creatively respond to the challenges facing our world today.

In this clip, Dr Donella Cobb from the University of Waikato’s Centre for Global Studies in Education talks about the three big ideas that underpin global citizenship education in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Dr Donella Cobb, Co-Director of the Centre for Global Studies in Education at the University of Waikato, talks about the three big ideas that underpin global citizenship education in Aotearoa New Zealand at the Growing Global Citizens in Aotearoa Teacher Forum 2021.

© Centres of Asia-Pacific Excellence

The colours in the visual framework reflect taiao (environment), hononga (connection) and Te Kore (the nothingness: the realm of potential).

Together, global identity, global connections and global challenges communicate the potential for global citizenship education to empower young people towards collaborative action.

© Centres of Asia-Pacific Excellence

Together, these colours communicate the potential that exists when young people connect with each other and the environment – both within Aotearoa and within the wider world. These colours also reflect the transformative potential when young people are empowered towards collaborative action to achieve inclusive, sustainable and culturally responsive changes for the future.

Know about context 

Young people learn about global citizenship through context. Knowing about local and global contexts helps young people to understand the three big ideas that underpin global citizenship (global identity, global connections and global challenges). 

Knowing about the histories, stories, cultures, languages, customs, environment and geographies that are unique to each context enables learners to develop a deep sense of identity. It also helps them to build strong and meaningful connections and to develop the knowledge to effectively respond to global challenges.

Young people learn about global citizenship through context.

© Centres of Asia-Pacific Excellence

These are some contexts for learning about global citizenship:

  • Local community: Young people develop a strong sense of belonging when they are grounded within their local communities, iwi and hapū. Knowing their local histories, stories, legends and environment helps learners to develop a strong sense of their identity. Building authentic relationships supports learners to develop a deeper awareness, understanding and appreciation of the cultures and languages within their community. The local community also provides an important context through which to respond to global issues and challenges. 

  • Aotearoa New Zealand: Equipping learners with the knowledge and skills to respond to the challenges facing our world today comes from strengthening their knowledge about the Tiriti o Waitangi/the Treaty of Waitangi and the histories that have shaped Aotearoa New Zealand as well as the environmental challenges and socioeconomic inequalities that impact on our collective wellbeing. 

  • Asia-Pacific region: Aotearoa New Zealand is geographically positioned within the Asia-Pacific region and shares important connections with our Pacific, North Asia, Southeast Asia and Latin America neighbours. Young people learn about global citizenship by developing knowledge of the cultures, languages, histories and environments within the Asia-Pacific region. 

  • Global: As members of the global community, understanding the challenges and inequalities facing our world today comes from knowing about the diverse geographies, environments, cultures, languages, histories and political systems within our world.  

Act on global challenges 

Young people are encouraged to take collaborative action within their classrooms, kura, schools and/or local communities to respond to the challenges, injustice and inequalities that affect our shared humanity.

Learners are encouraged to take collaborative action within their classrooms, kura, schools and/or local communities.

© rafaelbenari, 123RF

Learners are taught how to ask questions, challenge assumptions and learn about global challenges from a range of perspectives, experiences and sources. Taking action requires young people to:

  • investigate the impact of these global challenges on themselves, their whānau, their local communities and Aotearoa New Zealand

  • reflect on prior experiences, understandings, assumptions and bias 

  • critically analyse, synthesise and evaluate information presented in media, social media and online platforms to identify and challenge bias, assumptions and stereotypes

  • identify and justify the best course of action by critically evaluating possible actions and critically reflecting on intended outcomes 

  • take collaborative and collective action by working alongside peers, organisations and experts, both within and beyond their classrooms, kura and/or school. 

Evaluate change

Evaluating change ensures that action results in sustainable, inclusive, culturally responsive and socially just change. Young people are encouraged to critically evaluate the outcome and impact of their actions.

Evaluating change ensures that actions result in transformative change.

© france68

Evaluating change requires young people to:

  • reflect on changes in their own attitudes, behaviours and actions 

  • evaluate action by critically examining the impact on key stakeholders within their local and global communities 

  • reflect on outcomes by identifying whether action has contributed towards a more socially just, equitable, inclusive and sustainable future

  • make recommendations, identify next steps, and evaluate future courses of action.

Provocations

Why is it important for young people to take action in response to global challenges, inequalities injustice?

What would happen if young people did not take responsibility for global challenges, inequalities and injustice?

Some people argue that young people are too young to act on global challenges and issues. What do you say to this?

Useful links

Learn more about the United Nations Act Now campaign and become part of the global campaign for action. 

Encourage young people to take action against climate change by introducing them to the climate action superheroes

Visit the United Nations Be the change initiative to learn how to ‘walk the talk’ in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Commit to action and become part of the solution by reading The Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World.

Learn how to put the Sustainable Development Goals into daily action- see 170 daily actions to transform our world.

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