The term “global citizenship” has gained currency in recent decades as societies and individuals become more interconnected and face challenges and opportunities that are increasingly global in scale. In response, our understanding of what it means to be a citizen is evolving.
Global citizenship is a concept with no settled meaning. But it generally includes the idea that individuals belong to a broad community and common humanity. The term “emphasises political, economic, social and cultural interdependency and interconnectedness between the local, the national and the global,” the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) notes in its 2015 report GCE: topics and learning objectives.
Global citizenship education
Policymakers and educators around the world are keen to ensure their citizens are positioned to thrive in an interconnected society by reshaping policy, curricula and teaching methods to include an emphasis on educating young people to acquire the knowledge, skills, values and behaviors of global citizens.
In 2012, the United Nations’ Global Education First Initiative established “fostering global citizenship” as one of three education priorities. UNESCO also now includes global citizenship as one of its Sustainable Development Goals. In response to these and other policy developments, educators everywhere are working to integrate global citizenship education (GCE) into their classrooms.
Our educational program
In 2014, the GCE Working Group — a gathering of 90 organizations and experts — identified eight core global citizenship competencies. These are:
- critical thinking and problem solving
- ability to communicate
- conflict resolution
- sense and security of identity
- shared universal values (i.e. human rights, justice, peace)
- respect for diversity and intercultural understanding
- recognition of global issues and interconnectedness
The following chart illustrates how the educational services News Decoder offers enables students at our partner schools to develop skills and behaviors that foster these core competencies:
As UNESCO recognized in its 2015 report, GCE requires “formal and informal approaches, curricular and extracurricular interventions, and conventional and unconventional pathways to participation.” News Decoder is an unconventional educational resource that straddles the line between curricular and extracurricular intervention.