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Digging deeper into the key elements of global education

A short video that drills deeper into the key elements of Global Education
In this presentation, we look at the Key Elements of Global Education.
For the purposes of this MOOC, we present these key elements as knowledge and understanding, skills, values, and actions. Depending on the approach you take, the emphasis on these elements would differ slightly. So a global citizenship approach might have a greater emphasis on action, for example. But all elements should be evident to some degree in global education. It’s possible to present these key elements in other ways or with a slightly different focus. But generally, the same elements are present. For example, UNESCO talks about cognitive, socioemotional, and behavioural as core conceptual dimensions.
While the terms they use and how they’ve categorised them are different, if you look at how they understand these terms, they more or less map onto the key elements we have chosen– knowledge and understanding, skills, values, and actions. In some cases, it might not be easy to differentiate a value from a skill or delink values from actions. But that’s not necessarily a problem. We’re suggesting these interrelated elements work together to foster a global education approach. In this presentation, we provide information on how these key elements of global education might be incorporated into your teaching. We look at each of the key elements and turn, providing more information on what they are, the potential areas of content, and some examples.
Finally, before we start, it’s important to note the role of the teacher in terms of modelling global education practises and behaviours where possible to pupils. So whilst you are viewing this presentation, also reflect on your own skills, values, and actions. Is there anything you can do in your own global education journey to support pupils in theirs?
Now we’re going to look at the first element, knowledge and understanding. This relates to the areas of content and thematic knowledge we want pupils to develop knowledge about and understand in order to critically engage with. Gaining knowledge is not just about learning facts and information. Global education asks us to challenge bodies of knowledge and assumptions. It asks us to recognise different perspectives and positions and recognises that approaches will change following dialogue and debate. It means we need to learn about and understand different meanings and interpretations.
The areas of content and thematic knowledge we might be looking to explore via global education might include interconnectedness. We’ll come to that in more detail to follow. But this relates to how we are all connected within the world and how local elements link to national and global. You might look at people and place, so exploring a different country, or peoples in a different country, and look at how their lives connect to our own. It might include exploring understandings of global poverty, unequal power relations, and global inequalities. Not just looking at what is happening now, but also exploring historical roots, for example, in colonialism. Many teachers explore children’s rights through global education.
Often, they use the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child to frame their discussions along with discussions on wants and needs, fairness, and questions about access.
Including aspects of heritage education might make us explore cultural heritage where different knowledge and ideas come from and might raise questions about whose knowledge is valid. It can encourage an awareness of cultural diversity and develop a sense of identity and social belonging. Finally, the SDGs provide a useful platform to explore thematic global issues, such as climate change, basic rights, and education. For all of these topics, there is further information and resources within the MOOC Padlets we will give you access to on this course.
In this next slide, we explore, in slightly more detail, two examples related to knowledge and understanding- global interconnectedness and the Sustainable Development Goals. I suggest you pause the slideshow now and read through these examples yourselves. So pause the slideshow.
I’m now going to start the slide show again.
In this next section, we look at how global education can support skills. Globally education encourages pupils to think critically about the world, to understand the world is a complex place, and global issues can be complex. It supports pupils to see issues from different perspectives, to think and to challenge perceptions where necessary. It encourages pupils to explore issues critically and examine the actions they might take towards social justice. Global education also supports more generic transferable skills, such as communication, collaboration, and problem-solving.
The types of skills we might encourage via global education include critical thinking. Critical thinking engages learners in a process that recognises complexity and critical engagement with ideas and issues, rather than automatic acceptance. It encourages them to explore complexities and interconnections. It helps us interrogate information sources, and become more aware of potential bias and information they receive. You might encourage pupils to explore global issues through different lenses and perspectives, including examining your own. Global education supports pupils to identify and challenge stereotypes where they are present, for example, how we see parts and peoples of the world. Again, it asks us to question rather than accept.
These skills are supported by other more generic skills, such as inquiry and discussion, communication, collaboration, planning, and reflection.
In this next slide show, we explore in slightly more detail two examples related to skills in global education - critical thinking and multiple perspectives. I suggest you pause the slide show and read through these examples yourselves now. So pause the slideshow.
I’m now going to start the slide show again.
In this next section, we’ll look at how global education supports values. Values relate to how people interact with each other and the world around them. It relates to how pupils interact with each other, their teachers, and their local community, as well as further afield more globally. Values can be taught, but also embedded within schooling practises and the ethos of the school. Global education encourages values that promote social justice, fairness, and compassion.
The types of values we encourage via global education might include social justice. So this suggests a desire for a more just and equitable world and implies a sense of wanting to move away from the status quo to something more equal. We want to develop positive attitudes towards diversity and difference, so for example developing tolerance or mutual respect. A global education approach seeks to develop self-reflection - so awareness of yourself, your place in the world, and how you interact, both locally and globally.
It also encourages the development of values such as empathy– so trying to share the emotional responses of another person, attempting to understand their perspectives by stepping into their shoes - ultimately, linking this to a drive for social justice.
In this next slide, we’ll explore, in slightly more detail, two examples related to values in global education - positive attitudes towards diversity and difference and fostering social justice. I suggest you pause the slideshow and read through these examples yourselves now. So pause the slide show.
I’m going to start the slide show again.
In this last section, we look at how global education supports pupils’ action. So this action might describe pupils engaging in an activity which leads towards social justice - so to a fairer society. In global education, developing pupils’ active engagement might take time. It’s about critically engaging with an issue, nurturing confidence to develop ideas and voice, and pupils engaging in actions that support social justice goals. Global education is not about charitable giving or merely fundraising for a good cause. Rather, it seeks to encourage critical engagement with the root causes of inequality and asks us to reflect on our own role and the power relations that maintain inequalities.
The types of action we encourage via global education might include developing pupil voice and opportunities for pupil-led learning– so allowing pupils safe spaces to engage, think, and talk. We might encourage pupils to think about different types of action, for example, awareness-raising, campaigning, and the potential impacts of these actions, both positive and negative. Actions might be carried out at a local level in relation to global issues. They might be individual or collective action, working with others to make a difference.
In this next slide, we explore, in slightly more detail, two examples related to action in global education– learn-think-act, and pupil voice. I suggest you pause the slide show and read through these examples yourselves now. So pause the slide show.
I’m now going to start the slide show again.
Finally, these are the Padlets you can access to further information.

In this video we look at how educators can incorporate knowledge and understanding, skills, values, and actions as part of their global education practice.

We see that the way the terms are described and framed can be different depending on who is talking about them, but that isn’t necessarily a problem! While you’re watching the video, try to reflect on your own skills, values, and actions as a teacher. What can you do in your own global education journey that will support your pupils in theirs?

You might also like to consult the course Padlets for further information:

Global Education: Topics and curriculum areas

Global Education: Activities and resources

Global Education: Support for teaching and learning

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Global Education for Teachers

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