GCE at school
Many European NGOs have developed good practices and educational proposals to include GCE in school settings in their countries. Some Ministries of Education have formally recognised the value of GCE while in other situations GCE has spread and developed directly in schools. In all cases, over time, a change has occurred.
Initial GCE experiences focused on telling the story of major global problems and relied on external experts not belonging to the school setting, who came from international cooperation.
GCE promoters later realised that, in order to be effective, the approach had to be school based, with the involvement of school teachers, who were key figures in the continuous integration of GCE into education settings.
Today UNESCO encourages various GCE approaches in schools: as a cross-cutting approach to the various subjects, as a global approach involving whole schools or as a subject in its own right.
With respect to the cross-cutting approach to the various subjects, UNESCO stresses how Global Citizenship Education can be integrated into disciplines such as civic education, social studies, environmental studies, geography, history, religious education, science, music and the arts. The latter - and especially the visual arts, music and literature - can develop a sense of belonging and facilitate understanding and dialogue between people of different cultures; the arts can also play a key role in the critical analysis of social issues. Sport can offer students an opportunity to develop a positive approach to issues such as teamwork, diversity, social cohesion and equity. With this type of approach, GCE encourages collaboration among teachers, each of whom can deal with issues related to Global Citizenship Education from a different perspective.
The cross-cutting approach may seem difficult to put into practice, in the absence of commitment or previous experience, but it responds to deeper learning needs by encouraging participation among groups of teachers, as well as among groups of students.
In the global approach proposed by UNESCO, GCE themes and issues are expressed in school priorities and school ethics, involving the whole educational establishment.
Global Citizenship Education offers the opportunity to transform the content of the school curriculum, the learning environment and teaching and assessment practices. Examples of a global approach include integrating GCE learning outcomes into existing subjects at all levels, using participatory learning methods, celebrating international days, raising awareness, setting up action-oriented groups, community engagement and networking between schools and different locations.
The implementation of GCE as an independent subject is less effective, in the perspective of the Get up and goals! project, even if it is present in some countries, such as the Korean Republic.
The Get up and goals! project and the didactic resources for GCE
The Get up and goals! project promotes GCE both as a cross-cutting approach to different subjects and as a global approach involving educational establishments.
On the one hand, the project aims at reviewing the objectives, contents, methodologies and evaluations of the teaching and learning environments of each discipline, orienting them towards the education of global citizens, capable of acting for the UN Agenda 2030. On the other hand, Get up and goals! encourages schools to rethink their education and organisational arrangements in the light of sustainable development objectives.
The project is aimed in particular at secondary schools and addresses the SDGs through 4 "hot" global themes of today: climate change, global migration, gender inequalities, international inequalities.
Get up and goals! wants to mainly involve teachers, key figures both for the education of younger generations to global citizenship and SDGs, and for the multiplication of educational impacts. For this reason Get up and goals! offers all teachers four types of operational teaching tools through which to bring GCE and SDGs into everyday teaching:
- a selection of fundamental ideas ("Big ideas") on each of the proposed global themes, to guide teachers in the selection of content that future citizens must know at the end of their school education;
- interdisciplinary learning units (or TLUs - Teaching and Learning Units), relating to each of the 4 global themes, to be included in the annual teaching programme of various school subjects;
- a global geo-history textbook produced by European world history academics. The textbook describes the development of universal human history by connecting it with the evolution of phenomena related to the 4 "hot" themes of the project, and goes beyond the national and Eurocentric historical approach of traditional textbooks. The textbook is equipped with an innovative set of didactic historical maps and can be adopted both as the main text and as a complementary text for the study and teaching of history;
- a set of assessment and self-assessment tools (SATs) inspired by GCE and the Agenda 2030, to measure and document the learning progress of students but also the degree of adherence to GCE and the contribution to sustainability of the educational establishment.