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Being and becoming global citizens

Being and becoming global citizens

Research 5 minute read

A new framework and tools will support countries in the Asia-Pacific region to effectively implement and monitor global citizenship education.

There is increasing international recognition of the need to foster engaged, active and critical learners that take action for sustainable development. That is why global citizenship education is now an important element of curricula, policy and practice around the world. I

Almost a decade ago, a target for global citizenship education (GCED) was set under United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4.7 – ‘to ensure all learners acquire knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development.’ However, education systems continue to grapple with how to define, enact and assess GCED in ways that reflect changing local and global conditions for students, teachers and schools.

A new global citizenship education (GCED) framework has the potential to support countries in the Asia-Pacific region to monitor progress toward SDG 4.7. The global citizenship education framework is relevant to learning systems, schools, and staff supporting upper primary school students.

The framework is the result of a collaborative research partnership into global citizenship education between the Asia Pacific Centre for International Understanding (APCEIU) under the auspices of UNESCO, and the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Centre – a long term partnership between ACER and the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The new research responds to the need for tools and resources to enact, monitor and evaluate global citizenship education, particularly in schools in the Asia-Pacific region. Curricula, policy documents and assessment reviews were conducted in South Korea, Australia and the Philippines. A review of reports, studies and articles on GCED and focus group workshops and questionnaires from teachers, principals and education experts were also included.

The research supports the goal and objectives of the Southeast Asia Primary Learning Metrics’ (SEA-PLM) global citizenship assessment framework. It builds on results to offer a comprehensive GCED implementation framework, tools and guidance aligned with the evidence base and target cohort and 6 countries included in SEA-PLM.

Importantly, the research found that teachers describe GCED in many ways, with varying levels of complexity. Deeper understanding and potentially higher quality impact are associated with complex ideas.

The research also found that high quality GCED enactments are holistic endeavours – they involve a range of actors, such as policymakers, school leaders, teachers, parents and carers, community members and of course, students. Similarly, good practice in GCED assessment is based on good assessment practices. The evaluation of quality in GCED should consider all those that influence outcomes – teachers, schools and systems.

The findings indicate the need for teachers and school leaders to work together to develop a common language and goals related to GCED. To evaluate impact, education systems should develop and use holistic frameworks for GCED implementation. Evidence on what works in GCED is also needed to inform program design across all elements – systems, schools, teacher and student knowledge, values and behaviours.

The findings and recommendations from the research have been summarised in a short report. Policymakers in Southeast Asia can also use the associated policy brief to inform uptake and quality of global citizenship education and future policies, practices and investments.

The next phase of the study will aim to further refine the GCED quality framework and to develop a readiness toolkit for schools and government to use for enacting GCED.


Further reading

Read the full report, Being and becoming global citizens: Measuring progress toward SDG 4.7. Phase I: Monitoring teacher and school readiness to enact global citizenship in the Asia-Pacific region.

Read the policy brief, Monitoring and evaluating global citizenship education in the Asia-Pacific region.

Ready the summary report, Being and becoming global citizens: Measuring progress toward SDG 4.7. Phase I: Monitoring teacher and school readiness to enact global citizenship in the Asia-Pacific region.

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