Global Citizenship Education and Responsibility

Libby Giles, January 2017

This paper outlines a philosophical basis for the notion of global citizenship. It links to principles of universal responsibility and sets out a rationale for GCED – it’s purpose, practice, and aspirations.

Citizenship is defined by behavioural characteristics and reponsibility, giving legitimacy to global citizenship. Legally, it can be said that noone is a citizen of the world because there is no world polity to empower rights, privileges and duties.

Cosmopolitanism is the traditional philosophical view of global citizenship that links us all in a universal moral community. While belonging to a moral community, global citizens are entitled to live differently. At the same time it is vital is that we recognise the uniqueness of cultures and knowledge; communicate and take on the world’s problems and opportunities together.

GCED is timely to meet current needs of young people in their future studies and endeavours; and to meet the aspirations and requirements of national curricula and international agreements.

GCED provides a framewok that links all areas of school life – academic, co-curricular, and pastoral care.

A philosophical approach to teaching and learning specialises in transferrable skills and attributues – questioning, ethical decision making, critical thinking, confidence, and participation in the community for the greater good.

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