|Established as Toronto's first public college in 1966, Centennial College offers programs in business, communications, community and health studies, science and engineering technology, general arts, hospitality and transportation.|
Global Citizenship as a concept is not new but has taken on new meaning as a result of globalization and the understanding that what happens at local and national levels do have an impact globally. "Lynn Davies (2006) suggests global citizenship education has grown out of the practice of global education which had its focus in international awareness through participatory learning and engaging in holistic learning activities (p.6). She argues that adding citizenship into the concept reflects the shift towards a focus on human rights and responsibilities, implying a more active role that moves beyond an awareness of the issues"1 (Shultz and Jorgenson).
What does it mean to be a global citizen?2
We are living in an increasingly global world. Travel by air, sea and land makes it possible to move across great distances and cross boundaries and borders, as tourists, immigrants, volunteer workers and business travelers. Advances in communication technology enable us to communicate with others around the world, even in remote places.
As citizens around the globe and as part of the whole world, we need to recognize and value the diversity and differences of others. We may also see that there can be differences in economic and environmental resources, political and social systems, human rights, and access to technology that may give advantages to some people and disadvantages to others. We recognize that inequalities exist.
The global citizen becomes aware of the world and their place in it as citizens. A citizen participates in their community, whether it is local or global and takes responsibility for their own actions.
To be a citizen in the global sense means recognizing that we must all be aware of our use of the world's resources and find ways to live on the earth in a sustainable way. When we see others are treated without justice, we know that we are responsible for trying to ensure that people are treated justly and must have equitable opportunities as fellow citizens of this world. We must think critically about what we see, hear and say, and make sure that our actions bring about positive changes.
As a result according to Banks, "Citizenship education needs to be changed in substantial ways to prepare students to function effectively in the 21st century. Citizens in the new century need the knowledge, attitudes, and skills required to function in their ethnic and cultural communities and beyond their cultural borders. It is also important to enable individuals participate in the construction of a national civic culture that is moral and just community and embodies democratic ideals and values, such as those embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Students also need to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to become effective citizens in the global community."3 Back to Top ↑
"Critical anti-racist education highlights the material and experiential realities of minoritized peoples in their dealings with the school system. Anti-racism also means learning about the experience of living with racialized identities, and understanding how students' lived experiences in and out of school, implicate youth engagement and disengagement from school. Anti-racism uncovers the ways in which race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, ability, power and difference influence and are influenced by schooling processes. Anti-racism interrogates the processes of teaching, learning, and educational administration as well as the ways in which they combine to produce schooling successes and failures for different bodies. Anti-racism opines that questions of power, equity and social difference are significant for learning outcomes and the provision of opportunities for all youth."4 Back to Top ↑
Critical Democratic Perspective
A perspective that combines the democratic and critical traditions. From this perspective democracy is conceived as a way of life rather than simply as a form of government that relies on voting. The way of life proposed is one that is guided by inclusive and robust notions of social justice and equity, and focuses on the needs of all individuals and the involvement of all concerned in the decision making process. Proponents are actively encouraged and apply the skills (e.g. analysis, de-construction, synthesis, comparing) and dispositions associated with critical thinking (e.g. open-mindedness, creativity, sensitivity to different perspectives). But, most of all, a critical democratic perspective intrinsically includes an action component to critical thinking. Hence a critical democratic perspective while encouraging fair and open discussion is not complete or fulfilled without some activism that attempts to go beyond the neo-liberal beliefs of excessive individualism, narrow standardization, and competition. Back to Top ↑
Deficit mentality refers to the failure of educators or their unwillingness to look at the causes of underachievement among students from low socio-economic backgrounds or from racially or ethnically diverse backgrounds. The general tendency of educators in such situations is to identify the student, the family or the community or environment as the cause of underachievement. We know that often student outcomes are affected by the expectation of teachers, and the curriculum used in classrooms. The idea that students from low socio-economic backgrounds or from racially or ethnically diverse backgrounds will perform at a lower level than their counterparts impacts teacher's expectations and attitudes and negatively impacts student accomplishment. Back to Top ↑
To embed global citizenship, social justice and equity in an institution is to make it more visibly available in curriculum and programming, student life and all other aspects of the institution's work. The necessary components for embedding global citizenship and social justice education are relevant policies and programming. Back to Top ↑
Equity has been defined in many ways. At the core of each definition is the issue of justice and rules and regulations to ensure freedom from bias or discrimination. In Global Citizenship - From Social Analysis to Social Action, (2008) Chet Singh5 defines Equity as:
"A framework that allows us to pursue economic and social justice for minoritized groups in society. It considers current and historical contextual factors in the development of initiatives to eradicate inequities. Equity differs from equality in that treating everyone ‘the same' may in fact impose barriers. Though a policy or practice may be equally applied to all, it may have a discriminatory effect. Equity initiatives and approaches start from an examination of policy, procedures and practices that have the appearance of being fair but unintentionally screen out minoritized and racialized peoples." (p.244)
In the postsecondary sector, one of the major areas of discussion under equity is access to postsecondary education. This is an issue that generates a lot of interest and anxiety especially as the world economies move more and more towards a knowledge based economy. For someone without any form of postsecondary education, how can the postsecondary sector assist them acquire and utilize the skills they need? How do we help as many young people as possible overcome real or perceived barriers in order to participate in postsecondary education? Back to Top ↑
The word inclusion is values oriented based on the assumption that all people have a right to be included in all settings and activities. For true inclusion to occur in an educational setting, educators have to discover and understand where each of their students are academically, socially and culturally in order to facilitate their learning.
A much misused word since in the popular discourse it is simply used interchangeable with the word ‘teaching'. Etymologically it refers to the person who walked children to school and guided them in their learning. Hence pedagogy is associated with teaching and learning. However there is much more to the complexity of pedagogy. As Roger Simon puts it: "[Pedagogy] refers to the integration in practice of particular curriculum content and design, classroom strategies and techniques, a time and space for the practice of those strategies and techniques, and evaluative purposes and methods. All of these aspects of educational practice come together in the realities of what happens in the classroom. Together they organize a view of how a teacher's work within an institutional context specifies a particular version of what knowledge is of most worth, what it means to know something, and how we might construct representation of ourselves, others, and our physical and social environment. In other words, talk about pedagogy is simultaneously talk about the details of what students and others might do together and the cultural politics such practices support. To propose a pedagogy is to propose a political vision. In this perspective, we cannot talk about teaching practice without talking about politics." "Empowerment as a Pedagogy of Possibility," in P. Shannon (ed.) Becoming Political: Readings and Writings in the Politics of Literacy Education (Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 1992), p. 140. Back to Top ↑
Post-Colonial / Anti-Colonial
The colonial era which was characterized by the physical control of lands and resources was followed by independence and a period that was characterized by the post-colonial era. In recent years the dialogue has turned more to anti-colonial which is described by Dei6 as
Social action is when individuals interact with society in order to achieve a specific goal. It is a sociological concept that looks at the interaction of people within a society. Back to Top ↑
Tools for Critical Analysis
There are many tools for critical analysis in the area of global citizenship and equity education. One such tool is by Heather Hackman who looks at ways in which educators can encourage the development of students. It comprises of the following steps:
1Shultz, L. and Jorgenson, S. Global Citizenship Education in Post-Secondary Institutions: A Review of the Literature