To examine and explore what is global citizenship? This essay will look at the importance of becoming a global citizenship, the role we, as educators play in this development and how the curriculum frameworks and associated learning emphases for global education assist in the development of a global citizen.
What is global education? “Global citizenship would seem a recent concept, but its origin can be traced back to at least 4th century Greece when Diogenes declared himself a cosmopolitan – a citizen of the world” (Hower, 2010, p.1). The idea of global citizenship, then, emerged even before there was a clear understanding of just what the globe entailed or who populated it, Hower, 2010, although different people and cultures were unknown to anyone. Oxfam (1997) believes that global citizenship goes beyond knowing that as citizens of the world there is a need to acknowledge our responsibilities towards each other and the earth. It is about the need to solve inequality and to work actively in achieving these needs. It can be just a matter of looking after the earth for our future generations and to have a belief that as individuals or as a nation can make a difference. “Twenty-first century Australians are members of a global community, connected to the whole world by ties of culture, economics and politics, enhanced communication and travel and a shared environment” (Curriculum Corporation, 2008, p.2).
The importance of becoming a global citizen is paramount for us as humans as there is a need to develop a sense of identity and self esteem Oxfam 1997. In addition being a global citizen gives us an awareness of what it means to be a member of a community and how this can influence responses to global issues. Hower (2010) points out that being global citizens means that as an individual it is necessary to think beyond of ones needs and to consider the needs of others by taking responsibility for oneself and others.
Banks (2003) notes that global citizenship is important as citizens in the 21st century need the knowledge, skills and attitudes to function in their community. By being a global citizen there is a need to embody ideals and values that are articulated in the Declaration of Human Rights. Australia has signed the five international treaties which make up the International Bill of Human Rights but the treaties are not legally binding in Australia, which means that the rights and freedoms of everyone living in Australia is not protected by law (New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties, NSWCCL, 2010). Being a global citizen, allows for us to learn the knowledge and skills to become an effective citizen in the global community.
The role educators, play in the development of global citizens is the values and attitudes they bring to the classroom as this relates to the component of human behaviour, teachers values, attitudes and beliefs can influence and benefits students own values, attitudes and beliefs (Marsh 2008)....