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Teaching and Learning: Global Citizenship

I designed and delivered an Advanced Global Citizenship Course for our Career Accelerator Premium students, a specialized workshop delving deeper into the Global Goals and how to creatively take action to solve issues on a local and international level. International students participated in active-learning activities, discussions, and group work. This workshop was created for culturally and linguistically diverse ESL international students enrolled in the International Career Accelerator Program.

What is Global Citizenship?

Global Citizenship Education empowers learners to understand that there are many global issues that actually affect all of us on a local level. The first step within global citizenship education is to explore globalization, cultural differences, intercultural communication and personal responsibility regarding making a positive impact in society. A goal of global citizenship education is to promote a more peaceful, tolerant, inclusive, secure and sustainable society for all of us. Global Citizenship Education is a strategic area of UNESCO’s Education Sector program and builds on the work of Peace and Human Rights Education. Through global citizenship education, we learn the values, attitudes and behaviors that support a commitment to peace, human rights and sustainable development.

Why Global Citizenship Education is Important

I usually tell my students that this is about being a part of humankind. Yes, we each have a primary country of origin that we have an established citizenship in. We may feel a sense of pride and identity connected to our country of origin or that of our parents. This sense of identity is fantastic and I always encourage students to fully embrace who their cultural identity. I also encourage my students to think about the concept of belonging to a greater sphere, a sense of citizenship of the world, ultimately honoring the experiences of all humans. We want to think beyond our borders, to see beyond our original scope. Instead of focusing on what divides our nation from others, we want to embrace the similarities that we share, as we address the common issues affecting all of us on an international level.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

One great way to teach students about international issues is to show them the UN SDG's. In 2015, world leaders agreed to 17 Global Goals, called the Sustainable Development Goals. These goals address poverty, fighting inequality in a myriad of ways, and addressing the importance of climate change.

Group Discussions and Reflections

Encouraging group reflections and discussions about the global goals is a great starting point as we explore the concept of global citizenship. Questions such as: How can you integrate the Global Goals into your career plans? What legacy do you want for your life? How may you integrate the SDG’s to make a global impact in your professional aspirations?

Taking Action on the Global Goals

One really fantastic thing about the UN SDG's website is that they have so many resources for students to begin taking action, even on a local level. Sometimes it may seem daunting and overwhelming to think about the differences injustices across the world but due to how they have organized the information on the website, it is seamlessly easier to find ways to address these goals one step at a time.

Goal #4: Ensure Inclusive and Equitable Education and Promote Lifelong Learning Opportunities For All

Quality educational opportunities are the foundation to students' socioeconomic empowerment, self-discovery and quality of life.

Although primary school completion rates have increased, unfortunately, non-proficiency rates remain high. It is so interesting to think about how the educational process is changing due to the pandemic and how we as teachers can incorporate technology to further assist students in the learning process.

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