Fostering the next generation of ‘Active Global Citizens’ is at the core of Truth Partner’s work. But what is Global Citizenship? And how do we support this mission as educators? In this section, we explore the idea of Global Citizenship and reflect on how learning-by-doing can encourage participants to be agents for change.
Our world has become increasingly interconnected. Advances in technology and communication have seen people, goods and ideas traverse across our globe, reaching beyond borders. This has led to two fundamental realizations:
- Our actions impact not only our immediate community but the lives of people living in communities around the world.
- Collective action can be a powerful force in addressing global and local challenges alike.
Global citizenship has been used to describe this global outlook. As global citizens, we are part of a global community that we need to look after. You may have heard of ‘Think globally, act locally– to be mindful of how our daily life choices impact the world and to act consciously to address the challenges faced around our globe.
But the use of citizenship can be a tricky one. Who is a Global Citizen? Who decides who is a Global Citizen? What happens to our national citizenship? These questions have meant that the idea ‘active agents for change’ has often been used to describe our role in our global community. This moves away from global citizenship as a set status, instead of implying a personal and collective journey defined by action and belonging. This means there is no one way to be a global citizen, there is no test to pass or attainment to achieve. Instead, it is about ensuring individuals are aware of global issues, actively reflect on their role in the world, and taking action to combat injustices facing members of our global community.
Fostering the next generation of ‘Active Global Citizens’ is at the core of the partners of the Truth Project’s work. But what is Global Citizenship? And how do we support this mission as educators? In this section, we explore the idea of Global Citizenship and reflect on how learning-by-doing can encourage participants to be agents for change.
If we want to shape the world we live in positively we need the knowledge, experience and skills to do so. Best practices for teaching on global issues emphasize the need for critical awareness, diversity in content and encouraging self-reflexivity. Critical awareness of topics ensures that we engage with the causes as well as the effects of global issues, allowing for us to understand and address the roots of social injustices. This requires ensuring educational content is diverse, including honouring the experiences of those directly affected by the issues we explore and voices sidelined through systems of oppression. This lens enables us to reflect on our own role in these systems, how we engage within it and how to challenge inequalities that arise as a result.
Learning-by-doing or experiential learning is an effective way of upholding these best practices, engaging the interests of learners and providing practical tools for life. Experiential learning is built around four broad principles- Experience, Reflect, Think, Act.
Experience– Through interactive activities such as role-play, teamwork and problem solving, learners are able to directly engage with topics.
Reflect– Learners are encouraged to reflect on these experiences, their actions and interactions in active learning.
Think– Building on these reflections, learners apply what they have taken from this experience to wider, real-world issues.
Act– Learners then harness what they have learnt into action in their daily lives.
This approach to learning threads through Truth Project’s activities. This enables participants to critically engage with topics, build their knowledge and empower them to use their experience to take action. When designing, delivering or evaluating activities, we, therefore, must keep this in mind.
- How are learners experiencing the activity?
- Have we provided time for them to reflect on this?
- How can we help them to relate this to real-world issues?
- Where can we create space for learners to discuss how to activate their learning?
In providing a safe space to experience, reflect, think and act, we can empower participants to see themselves as active agents for change, or even ‘active global citizens’. Happy planning!