Sunday, 27 January 2013

Education and Threats to Global Citizenship

There are a number of barriers for global citizenship that have been mentioned in this weeks readings. There is a lack of awareness for global citizenship in the education system as well as a sense of resistance to change anything. But the question is: Why?
Stromquist (1999) comments on how “Global citizenship requires a major eradication of injustice and inequality. The power base underlying the status quo would therefore be deeply questioned and thus opposed by those who benefit from present situations.” This issue becomes political and unfortunately, once politics are involved, even if teachers want to go against a structured curriculum, devoid of political or controversial subject matter, it is very difficult to do so. As a result, students are taught about conflict but not about how to solve and avoid further conflict. Then the problem is that students are not to able to think and use processing skills properly, limiting their global citizenship title. In my opinion, by changing school curriculums to aid these problems, we would not only be making students better global citizens, but also be preparing them for university and teaching them critical analysis skills, ultimately making them even better global citizens.
The Hower reading stresses ways that we can become active global citizens. His idea is that global citizenship “is not an inherent condition and is not conferred in some official, formal way. But it can be realized through action and reflection” (Hower, 2006). But how is this possible if students do not properly learn to act and reflect?
Lastly, Andrzejewski and Alessio question the purpose of educating students. Is it for economic gain or to actually make them better world citizens? They believe that "the primary purpose of education is to prepare students to become stewards of the earth and participants in democracy for global social justice" (Andrzejewski & Alessio, 1999). I agree with this statement because I believe that everyone has the ability to be helpful and kind, it’s just that some people are not properly taught how to do so which is why conflict arises.
This is a video I found about a year 6 global citizenship program, teaching children about the issue faced by other children around the world:

I think this is an excellent program. If we are to start somewhere with our global education, why not have children retain material through being able to relate to it. Seeing how children their own age are affected by world issues is the perfect way to do so.

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