Education for Global Citizenship:
The Needs of Teachers and Learners
In today's global environment, social studies educators have the opportunity to expand their students’ vision of the role of citizenship in developing a democratic understanding by adopting multiple perspectives on citizenship. Global citizenship education is becoming an important component in citizenship education in many countries. While global education or world studies has been advocated and practiced in schools and colleges across the world since the 1970s, global citizenship education is a relatively new concept. The insertion of ‘citizenship’ into global education implies something more than, or different from, previous conceptions. The linked question is whether global citizenship education is not simply more informed local citizenship education. In fact, global citizenship education is usually directly concerned with social justice rather than the more minimalist interpretations of global education that focus on ‘international awareness’ or being a better-rounded person. Neither is world citizenship education only about being economically active and technologically literate in a world system. Citizenship clearly has implications in terms of rights and responsibilities, duties and entitlements, concepts that are not necessarily explicit in global education. One can have emotions and multiple identities without doing much about them; citizenship implies an active role. 2. Causes and Influences
2.1 Tension between local, national, and global forces
Many elements seem to spawn global citizenship, but one is noteworthy: the continuous tension that globalization has unleashed between local, national and global forces. An interesting paradox of globalization is while the world is being internationalized, at the same time it’s also being localized. The world shrinks as the local community (village, town, city) takes on greater and greater importance noted this feature and saw the growing importance of techno poles, (2003) or highly-technologized city-states that hark back to classical Greece. If this trend is true then it seems global citizens are the glue that may hold these separate entities together. Put another way, global citizens are people that can travel within these various boundaries and somehow still make sense of the world. 2.2 Standardization
Any rights and obligations accorded to the global citizen come from the citizens themselves, growing public favor for “universal rights,” (2001) the rise of people migrating around the world, and an increasing tendency to standardize citizenship. Difference may exist on the cultural level, but in bureaucracies, increasing favor is placed on uniformity. Efficiency and utilitarianism lie at the core of capitalism; naturally a world that lives under its aegis replicates these tendencies. Postal agreements, civil air travel and other inter-governmental agreements are but one small example of standardization that is increasingly moving into the arena of citizenship. The concern is raised that global citizenship may be closer to a “consumer” model than a legal one. Like much social change, changing scopes of modern citizenship tend to be played out in both large and minute spheres. Habermas (1998) tends to place global citizenship in a larger, social context, arguing that nations can be central engines of citizenship but culture can also be powerful. He regards the formation of the “European citizen” as a kind of natural epiphany of governmental conglomeration within the forces of globalization, only remotely alluding to the corporate conglomeration that has been both the recipient and cause of worldwide economic expansion. Others, including Iyer (1979) see globalization and global citizens as direct descendants of global standardization, which he notes, for instance, in the growing homogeneity of airports. Standardization and modernity have worked together for the past few centuries....
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