Second Course: Globalizations and Global Citizenship Education


Second Course:

Globalizations and Global Citizenship Education

 The first course has introduced the student to the multiple phenomena signified under the term ‘globalizations processes’ focusing on how globalization has affected adult learning and schooling. The introductory course offered substantial theoretical and methodological bases to understand the dialectics of the global and the local in learning processes, justifying the importance of Global Citizenship Education which constitute the material for the second and third courses of this concentration on Globalization and Learning.

Logically the students could question why Global Citizenship Education, and why now? The principal thesis of this course is that Global Citizenship Education provides global answers to global and local problems: Putting every child in school, improving the quality of learning and fostering global citizenship are the three principles of the Global Education First Initiative (GEFI) launched by the United Nations in 2012. The three principles are intimately inter-related, and constitute the soul of the post-2015 development model advocated by the United Nations and its specialized agencies, particularly UNESCO, to be implemented until 2030.

UNESCO provides the following definition of global citizenship: “Global citizenship refers to a sense of belonging to a broader community and common humanity. It emphasizes political, economic, social and cultural interdependency and interconnectedness between the local, the national and the global” (UNESCO, 2015. P. 14; UNESCO, 2014, p. 14).

The teaching concentration on globalization, education and learning, and particularly this course is related to UCLA UNESCO Chair on Global Learning and Global Citizenship Education. The research conducted under the Chair illustrates that the foundations of Global

Citizenship Education rest on the concept of Global Commons, which has been defined by Professor Torres by three basic propositions.

First, our planet is our only home, and we have to protect it through a global citizenship, sustainable development education.

Second, global commons is predicated on the idea that global peace is an intangible cultural good of humanity with immaterial value. Global peace is a treasure of humanity and therefore we need to promote and build a culture of peace everywhere.

Third, global commons is predicated on the need to find ways for people, who are all equal, to manage to live together democratically in an ever growing diverse world, seeking to fulfill their individual and cultural interests and achieving their inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

What follows are some of the principles of how an agenda of Global Citizenship Education can be implemented and what are the expected outcomes. These epistemological and political principles will inform the readings and debates in this course.

1) Global Citizenship Education, or GCE, should promote an ethics of caring, or what Saint Ignatius termed Cura personalis. The care for the individual person and human rights remains a central characteristic of GCE. A global ethics of caring is central to the implementation of Global Citizenship Education, embracing a key concept of Feminist Theory.

2) GCE is framed within a social justice education framework. Without bare essentials we cannot fully accomplish citizenship. Bare essentials speak of economic citizenship, including the right to a job, education, health care, affordable housing, and retraining over the course of life. Global Citizenship cannot substitute for national citizenship but has to add value to local, national, and regional citizenship(s).

3) GCE helps produce a new narrative in education. The new GCE seeks an education beyond numbers and technocratic thinking, and beyond cognitive learning. It pursues holistic learning that encompasses ethics, aesthetics, spirituality, art, and includes the goals of peacebuilding.

4) GCE will help to produce new models of conflict resolution and negotiation strategies for different regions of the world. For example, in contexts riven by conflict and post-conflict situations, GCE is seen in the rubric of peace education. GCE as civic education is a premise for democratic participation prevailing in those contexts that have experienced totalitarian regimes or dictatorships. Slightly different are areas where regional cooperation mechanisms have placed much emphasis on other critical elements of GCE, such as civics and citizenship, democracy and good governance, as well as peace and tolerance (UNESCO, 2014, p.18)

5)  Based on an ethics of caring and compassion, GCE seeks to understand, explain and solve the immigration crisis of today adding a new dimension in the political philosophy of human rights, and specifically to citizenship building in the nation-state including immigrants and asylum seekers.

 6) The world is changing, cultures are intersecting, and borders are more permeable than ever. Global citizenship education will be able to respond to one of the most important impacts of globalization: the growing cultures of hybridity that crisscross the world. Hybridity is everywhere – in music and youth cultures, taste, dress and speech codes, culinary delights, and aesthetic expressions – and it is also changing identities.

7) Global Citizenship education is a way of learning with a strong emphasis on the collective dimensions of knowledge in a rapidly evolving epoch where we are bombarded by ‘self-directed learning’, ‘individualized modules’ or ‘possessive competitive individualism,’ these mostly connected to neoliberalism as outlined by Mayo (2015, p. 865). As Werner Wintersteiner et al argue, global citizenship education: “responds to globalization by expanding the concept of civic education to global society”; adopts the ethical values of peace education and human rights education; draws upon the “global society” perspective provided by global education, which not only investigates global topics, but more specifically merges the global and the local into the glocal; combines mainly these three pedagogical fields through the concept of global citizenship in terms of political participation as such, but particularly on a global scale” (Wintersteiner et al., 2015)

8) Global Citizenship Education will help to connect the global and the local dimensions, synchronizing national educational policies to the global policies advocated by the United Nations. The sixty-ninth session of the United Nations Assembly set 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets demonstrating the scale and ambition of a new universal post-2015 development agenda. For global citizenship education, goal 4.7 is most relevant: “By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non- violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development” Retrieved October 6, from

The most complete formulation of public education responsibilities is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), a document issued in the aftermath of World War II when the international community, shocked by the recent tragic events, convened to find ways to prevent such conflagrations from ever happening again. The Universal Declaration states in Article 26:

“Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace”.

In this spirit, GCE brings together the agendas of different fields of education including Development Education, Human Rights Education, Education for Sustainability, Education for Peace and Conflict Prevention, Intercultural and Interfaith Education, and the global dimension of Education for Citizenship:

9)  GCE will enhance the threshold of a new global consciousness based on human rights and universal values, but also incorporating diversity and a critical analysis of power relations and global inequalities. A key component of our research focuses on teachers and teacher’s education, and the practice of participatory action research in our research model, which will cultivate strategies that work in promoting GCE.

10) GCE can address issues of the youth bulge by contributing to develop new 21st century skills for youth worldwide who are growing restless and facing a jobless future. And the future is already here. In the faces and dreams but also in the anguish and hopelessness of those children and youth who wonder about their own future; wonder how they can participate in politics and society and help their communities; wonder how they can understand and solve local and global crises; wonder whether they will have a job; wonder if those jobs will produce inner satisfaction; and wonder if they will be able to pay their bills. A large number of the youth today do not work, study, or actively participate as citizens. Through our research, policy, and practice, we will seek to understand, address and offer viable sustainable solutions for disenfranchised and marginalized youth.

11) GCE employs a new lifelong learning perspective in the transition of education to work. Challenging inequalities of many kinds, we face the need to incorporate more poor and underrepresented people as well as women and girls, and racial, ethnic, and religious marginalized minorities in different educational environments; this particularly entails reshaping the investment in higher education. For instance, we may consider implementing GCE as a diversity requirement course throughout undergraduate education in the USA and worldwide.This would be compatible with the strategy of internationalization being pursued by quality universities in the world system.

12)  In a world that is increasingly interdependent, GCE promotes a sense of belonging and active responsibility to the global community and the planet. It emphasizes a shared common humanity and destiny between people and a critical stewardship of our biosphere and natural environment.


The course will be offered in a lecture format with discussion sessions in smaller groups lead by teaching assistants.


A letter grade will be awarded on the following basis:

Readings/participation in TA sessions: 40%

Project 1 paper: 30%

Project 2 paper: 30%


A reader will be made available which includes some of the readings to be assigned. A textbook will be identified and proposed at the beginning of the course. Readings are derived from various sources. The instructor may disseminate additional readings and materials throughout the course as needed to cover the topics.

Participation in class

Students are expected to complete readings before lectures and be prepared to engage in discussion on issues related to the assigned readings and the topic more generally during TA sessions. Active participation in teaching assistant sessions is essential and attendance of a minimum of 80 percent of TA sessions is required.

Project 1

The preparation of a substantive review (approx. 6-8 pages, 1.5 spacing) of significant segments of the mandatory textbook is expected. Books, articles or reports should be related to a topic that is to be covered in the course. Write ups should be submitted directly to TAs as per their instruction.

Project 2

The preparation of a research paper (15 pages maximum, 1.5 spacing, 12 point font) on a topic relevant to the course. Themes should be discussed with teaching assistants. Deadline for the project 2 paper is the Friday of exam week. Written abstracts for this research paper should be submitted to teaching assistants prior to Session 5. Students are expected to present and discuss their abstracts during the TA sessions.

Policy on late assignments

Project 1 assignments may be submitted up to and including the end of exam week but with penalty if submitted beyond the specified date.

Session plan (sample) 

Session 1 – Introduction and overview


  1. Power and Social Reproduction in Education. The Question of Citizenship Education interrupting inequality. Evidence from ongoing research.

Part I. What is Global Citizenship Education

Session 2 – Globalization, the Knowledge Society and the potential contributions of GCE

  1. Why do we need Global Citizenship Education when we can easily go global through the Internet/Google?
  2. What can Global Citizenship Education do to encourage peace and security in the world? In particular, how can it help reduce terrorism?
  3. How can Global Citizenship Education address the dilemmas provided by extreme nationalism affecting social cohesion?
  4. How can Global Citizenship Education convince nationalistic leaders to accept the GCE concept?
  5. How can Global citizenship Education help preserve the identity of each nation?
  6. How will Global Citizenship Education incorporates the great values each nation offers? In particular, what kind of values should GCE incorporate?
  7. Who will be the decision makers for the content of GCE?

Session 3 – National Citizenship, Regional Citizenship and Global Citizenship: Dilemmas and debates.


  1. Borders and limits: citizenship beyond the nation-state.
  2. Define GCE using a political economy and political sociology of education perspective, differentiating from multiple definitions out
  3. Raise awareness of the political economy complexities in developing a theoretical framework of GCE and implementing it worldwide
  4. Cost benefit analysis of GCE
  5. Creating a typology of the connections between state-nation building and citizenship that may facilitate GCE
  6. Connect with the analysis of social movements promoting GCE
  7. Focus on the implications of GCE to youth movements, youth cultures, youth’s social and occupational

Session 4 – What is GCE in the context of multiple globalizations. GCE definition. An intervention in search of a theory

  1. The gist of the argument in this session is that global citizenship adds value to national citizenship.
  2. Two key elements of citizenship should be defined at the outset. First, civic minimums, because full participation in citizenship as argued by T. H. Marshall rest ultimately on material bases (Marshall, 1950). Hence growing poverty excludes large segments of individuals from active citizenship. An economic citizenship which cannot be accomplished without bare essentials, including the right to a job, education, medical care, housing, and retraining over the course of life. From a Marshallian perspective, the notion of democracy as a civil and political right cannot be excluded from the notion of democracy as an socio- economic right.
  3. A second important concept is civic virtue. Amy Gutman (1987) has persuasively argued that “education for citizenship should focus on the justification of rights rather than responsibilities, and, at the same time, that schools should foster general virtues (courage, law-abidingness, loyalty), social virtues (autonomy, open-mindedness) economic virtues (work ethic, capacity to delay self- gratification) and political virtues (capacity to analyze, capacity to criticize)” (Torres, 1998, p. 111).
  4. Torres has argued that global citizenship should add value to national citizenship and to the global commons. But what is this global commons? And how can global citizenship add value? Global commons is defined by three basic propositions. The first one is that our planet is our only home, and we have to protect it through a global citizenship sustainable development education, moving from diagnosis and denunciation into action and policy implementation. Recently the government of Ecuador has enshrined in the Constitution the rights of nature, which follows an important learning of a whole decade of education for sustainable development: climate justice.

Session 5 – Cost Benefit analysis of Structural Violence affecting citizenship education. 

There are multiple manifestation of structural violence which add to individual, collective, and government actions undermining peace, global solidarity and the global commons. There is a cluster of problems that affect the constitution and effective implementation of citizenship building and by implication Global Citizenship They include but cannot be restricted to:

  1. Unabated poverty;
  2. Growing Inequality;
  3. Neoliberal globalization that has weakened the systems of organized solidarity of the democratic nation-state;
  4. Banking education with authoritarian and inadequate curriculum in elementary, secondary and higher education;
  5. Destruction of the Planet Eco-System, demographic overgrown: Is a new- Darwinian model the answer?

Session 6 – Globalization and citizenship in the Age of Interdependence and Cosmopolitanism


  1. Cosmopolitan citizenship and cosmopolitan
  2. Ecological citizenship and the rights of nature; planetarian citizenship
  3. Global citizenship and its

Part II. What is to be done

Session 7 – What is to be done.


  1. Social movements and global citizenship education. Social movements’ citizenship building Social movements have abilities to veto policies and practices but have not fully promoted citizenship building. The World Social Forum.
  1. The role, responsibilities and activism of youth is the quintessential problem facing nation-building and citizenship. Employability and civic duties. But also how GCE can help half of the citizens of the planet?
  1. Formal, non-formal, informal education and GCE: Strategies for
  1. Micro change: Random acts of kindness to the planet; specific struggles to protect specific rights of nature, individual rights and cultural rights; Models and modalities of human rights applied to societies and 
  1. Macro change: Global answers to poverty, inequality neoliberalism, environmental destruction, and banking education
  1. Policy: Bringing the state back-in? Is a cosmopolitan state the answer? From competition to coordination and new global and local Revolution? 

Session 8 – The globalization of Multiculturalism and Inter-culturalism and the responsibility of Global Citizenship Education (first part)


  1. Global universities
  2. National Universities
  3. Cosmopolitan and national universities have a keen responsibility in promoting citizenship building, more so in the context of multiple globalizations proclaiming global citizenship as an additional concept for civic engagement. Neoliberalism has challenged the traditional roles and functions of the universities, affecting civic engagement and the politics of identity in higher education.
  4. Traditionally, citizenship education has been associated to ‘civic education’, that is the teaching of constitutional democracy. Three categories are associated with civics education: civic knowledge, which in the context of constitutional democracy entails the knowledge of basic concepts informing the practice of democracy such as public elections, majority rule, citizenship rights and obligations, constitutional separation of power, and the placement of democracy in a market economy that is used as the basic premises of civil society. The second category associated with citizenship building is civic skills, which usually mean the intellectual and participatory skills that facilitate citizenship’s judgment and actions. The last category is civic virtues, usually defined around liberal principles such as self-discipline, compassion, civility, tolerance and respect.Universities may not be relevant anymore if they do not build national and global citizenship based on substantive civic knowledge, civic skills, and civic virtues.

Session 9 – The globalization of Multiculturalism and Inter-culturalism and the responsibility of Global Citizenship Education (second part)


  1. Crisis and possibilities. Over the last few years there is an emerging argument about failing citizenship in the world of academic experts. This includes for instance ways to explain why so many European youth, having failed the policies of multiculturalism to fully integrate them, son and daughters of immigrants or disaffected youths connected with radical versions of Islam have joined the forces of ISIS – 4,000 or more Europeans had joined ISIS by 18 June 2015 (Bora, 2015).
  2. The argument of citizenship success or failure is predicated alternative outcomes of citizenship building. Failed citizenship argues that social, cultural, religious, racial, or ethnic exclusion makes national identities weak or ambivalent in the life of people who became disenfranchised and alienated.
  3. Proponents of the concept of successful citizenship-making imply an acquired allegiance to the symbols and values of the nation-state. Citizens are not in general disenfranchised and they actively participate in the res publica, deliberating and participating democratically in the political A logical conclusion of this successful citizenship is that citizens are ready to defend the nation in its moment of perils even at the risk of their own lives to be in harm ways.
  4. Logically, failed citizenship is the polar opposite of successful citizenship Successful citizenship implies that once citizenship building has succeeded, the degree of alienation of people vis à vis the Nation-State is limited. One may confront this simplistic affirmation abut alienation considering what Marcuse so brilliantly drawing from Freud reminded us, ‘Alienation is the constant and essential element of identity, the objective side of the subject – and not as it is made to appear today, a disease, a psychological condition’

For the bibliography of the course, see References.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *