Attention to educating for citizenship continues to expand and deepen worldwide. Many countries now include citizenship education as an important feature of their official curriculum, albeit in variant forms. Numerous research studies, policy reforms, and curriculum initiatives have been undertaken, as teachers, policy makers and researchers attempt to understand the intricate processes by which young people learn about democratic citizenship, and where and how citizenship education should be located and represented in school curricula.
Educating for global citizenship has been a critical dimension of these discussions and investigations. Recent shifts in the speed and global reach of information and communication technologies, an increasingly interdependent global economy, challenges in human rights and social justice, and the impact of international tragedies and emergencies have, for example, created tensions and conditions that require more integrated, worldwide responses. Not surprisingly, understandings of global citizenship are being explored with increased intensity and, as might be expected, there has been a corresponding – and growing - interest among educators in various parts of the world to strengthen the global dimension of citizenship education in school curricula at all levels.
In Canada, there has been increasing attention to what it means to educate for the global citizenship and provincial curriculum policy developments in recent years. A host of useful ideas in the form of new resource materials and websites to inform and guide teachers’ work have also emerged. The Canadian International Development Agency’s (CIDA) in the global classroom initiative, Classroom Connections’ Cultivating Peace in the 21st Century and Taking Action, Larsen’s ACT! Active Citizens Today: Global Citizenship for Local Schools, and UNICEF Canada’s Global Schoolhouse are a few examples of the many resources that have recently been developed. Despite this growing interest, there has been less attention devoted to examining practices of global citizenship education within Canadian classrooms, leaving a limited understanding of how it is applied in schools.
A wide range of perspectives and practices has emerged, reflecting a considerable growth of interest in this dimension of education. In an effort to clarify the multiple dimensions of global citizenship education, below are two “working” frameworks that provide an overview of core learning goals and key teaching and learning practices associated with global citizenship education from the literature. They reveal both complexity and multidimensionality and provide a lens to analyse and reflect upon the breadth and depth of what it means to educate for global dimension of citizenship.