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Teachers’ diverse roles in global education

Watch this video to learn about the various roles educators can play in relation to global education.
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In this presentation, we provide information about the different roles teachers can play in relation to global education.
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There are a number of roles educators can play in relation to global education. These influence how they teach, what they teach, and their relationship with pupils. Teachers don’t just have one role, but can have many. Some of these roles may be familiar to you, and some may be more challenging. As you watch this presentation, think about these roles in relation to your own current practise. What roles are familiar to you? And what might be more of a challenge?
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So the first role teachers can play is that of imparter of knowledge, so teachers sharing the knowledge they have about key global topics in a way that’s accessible to pupils. This tends to mean that teachers are adopting teacher-led approaches– so for example, lecturing, giving presentations– and teachers making decisions about the areas of knowledge that should be covered.
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For some teachers, the emphasis is on supporting pupils to enter the global workforce, so giving them the skills and experiences that help them compete and succeed within a global marketplace. Often, these are called 21st-century skills, which help prepare pupils for a rapidly changing global workplace. They include skills like creativity, communication, collaboration, problem-solving, critical thinking, adaptability, and perseverance.
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In global education, teachers seek to provide spaces for active learning, so learning which puts pupils at the centre of their own learning where pupils are able to participate and actively engage in the learning process. Elements might include pupil engagement with global education resources and activities, pupil reflection, and the use of skills such as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.
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In this next slide, we introduce the idea of teachers as agents of social change. This is where teachers use their important role in the lives of pupils, the school, and the community to try to influence change towards social justice goals. They view education as a way to bring out positive change and design their teaching with these goals in mind. They are also active activists and model critical and active engagement themselves.
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We next look at teachers who support the personal development of pupils, so help them reach a personal goal. This might be linked to pupils learning something new, taking action on a global theme, or reaching a personal educational milestone.
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Teachers can also provide safe spaces for pupils to explore and reflect on values that support global education. Activities might ask pupils to consider their own attitudes towards the world around them– for example, through activities such as Philosophy for Children. Activities could support the development of values such as kindness, compassion, empathy, and tolerance. Values relate to how people interact with each other, their teachers, their local community, as well as further afield more globally. Values can be taught, but are also embedded within schooling practises and the ethos of the school. Global education encourages values that promote social justice, fairness, and compassion.
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Teachers might actively support the development of critical thinking in pupils. Critical thinking engages learners in a process that recognises complexity and critical engagement with ideas and global issues. It encourages pupils to critically engage with the world around them, sources of information, and be more aware of different perspectives.
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Teachers can support pupil voice and active engagement with global issues. Teachers might provide safe spaces for pupils to develop and voice their ideas and opinions. They might provide spaces and opportunities for informed action on a local or global issue which is of concern to them.
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Finally, teachers can model the types of citizenship they want to produce in pupils. So if the aim is for pupils to become thoughtful, engaged, and active citizens, then teachers should also take on these attributes. You could say that engaging in this MOOC is one way of demonstrating your engagement as a lifelong active learner.

There are a number of roles educators can play in relation to global education and these often link to the reasons for engaging with it and the perceived benefits. Some of these roles may be familiar to you and some may be more challenging. Please watch the presentation above for further discussion of what these roles might be.

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Global Education for Teachers

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