This Inquiry into Practice publication, Learning and Teaching Global Matters in Local Classrooms, is the most recent addition to the series. It examines and shares varied perspectives, curricula, instructional practices, and resources intended to enhance student learning related to the infusion of global and international dimensions of education into classroom and schoolwide teaching and learning. It is organized in three sections: Educator Perspectives, Inquiry into Practice, and Resources. In this introduction, we briefly discuss how the text is organized, common themes that emerged across the sections, and concluding reflections.
The first section, Educator Perspectives, provides insights from a range of university scholars and fieldbased leaders who, in multiple and distinct ways, have made learning and teaching about global matters in local classrooms a core feature of their work. Each was invited to comment on purposes, opportunities, and challenges related to infusing global and international dimensions into teaching and learning. Therefore, this section offers both contrasting conceptual perspectives and concrete suggestions that can impress the reader with a sense of urgency, critique, hope, and challenge when engaging in the complex and shifting work of teaching and learning about global matters.
The second section, Inquiry into Practice, presents the 11 school-based and university-linked professional inquiries undertaken over a two-year period. The inquiries focus on a range of topics including critical global citizenship, the use of children’s literature to develop students’ understanding of sustainability in science education, and the refugee experience in personal and global understanding of “home.” The inquiries were carried out mostly with OISE partner schools and districts located in the city of Toronto and the GTA (regional municipalities including Durham, Halton, Peel, and York). This region of Canada provides a distinctly international, diverse context for this type of study. Local schools and districts linked with OISE’s Initial Teacher Education program have become sites of fascinating explorations into the possibilities of learning and teaching in pluralist contexts. The collection of inquiries in this publication speaks to the process of crossing borders demarcated by tangibles such as regions, nationalities, citizenship, and also by less tangible mindsets, identities, beliefs, and understandings. The voices across the project represent stakeholders in education: including voices of youth, beginning and experienced teachers, administrators, and researchers.
The Resources section provides an annotated bibliography of print, media, and web resources to support those interested in teaching with global perspectives in mind. Recommended by project leaders and participants, by the authors, and by experts with various lenses, these resources are offered as a means to extend the exploration of the topics, ideas, and questions posed throughout the publication.