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Participatory activities and approaches to global education

Video looking at participatory approaches to global education
This presentation will provide a brief overview of some of the types of participatory activities and approaches that you might like to take when integrating global education into your own practise. These are, of course, just some ideas. There are lots of them about, but hopefully, they will give you a useful place to start. One useful approach for integrating global education into your classroom is to use small group activities. These can encourage listening and communication skills, analytical skills, and interpersonal skills amongst your pupils. They can also be particularly useful if you have pupils who feel less confident about sharing their ideas with a larger group.
This might include asking small groups to look at a task or a particular topic, to develop some ideas around it, and then to share it with their peers and the rest of the group. These kinds of activities can be a useful way of giving students a sense of ownership of their learning, and also, of getting them to talk collaboratively and thoughtfully with each other about their ideas.
Another key approach is to think about how you might make space for questions. This includes not just asking students if they have any questions, but creating a safe and encouraging space where they can do that. It allows them to take ownership of the subject, to critically engage with it, and to reflect on how they might take their ideas forward.
Pupil-led learning approaches can also be incredibly important. They provide opportunities for pupils to make decisions about what and how they learn. For example, by choosing topics that are of particular interest to them, then thinking through why those topics are important, how they might be important in the local community and more globally, and also, what action they might take to address them. Pupil-led learning can encourage engagement, independent thinking, creativity, and confidence. Another useful approach is trying to use visual resources. This might include videos, photos, images, things that can stimulate discussion and critical questioning. You can also turn this around and ask your pupils to create their own visual resources that they can then share with the group.
And those can provide a different kind of stimulus for discussion.
Discussion and debate can also be a useful tool in integrating global education into your classroom. They encourage pupils to share their views to consider the views of their peers and of people in diverse places around the world, and to develop their own communication and listening skills. We’ve discussed previously in the MOOC that one of the key elements of global education is encouraging young people to consider the views of diverse communities and diverse individuals. So discussion and debate can give them a useful way of doing this in the safety of the classroom.
Another useful tool for global education are role plays and simulations. These can provide opportunities for learners to be creative and to see the world through other people’s eyes. They allow students to step into the shoes of someone who might be quite different from them and to view the world and their experiences in a different way.
They also encourage learners to communicate their ideas clearly, and also, to listen to one another.
Another useful activity or a series of activities are card sorting ranking and prioritising. For example, diamond nines. These encourage pupils to work with others to discuss global issues. For example, you might give them a topic, and ask them to come up with some themes, and then rank those themes in terms of their importance. You could choose, for example, a topic in the local community and ask students to consider what they think the key issues are related to that. This can lead them to really interesting discussion and debate around something happening in the local community, which can then perhaps be extended to look at what’s happening nationally and even internationally.
Another useful approach is to draw on real life examples for global education practise. These might be historical or current day examples. They can help to make learning really relevant to pupils, to generate their enthusiasm, and to build curiosity and engagement. Pupils are often very keen to learn about the world around them, particularly about parts of the world they may have never visited. So it’s a useful way of getting them to think about how diverse the globe is, what’s happening in the world around them, and how they might like to engage with it either now or in the future.
Finally, particularly perhaps in the context of the world at the moment, online spaces for collaboration can be a really useful tool for global education. They can allow pupils to collaborate and exchange ideas with peers who are outside their own classroom, outside their school, and perhaps even outside of their national context. It gives them an opportunity to encounter diverse perspectives, to share ideas, and to consider different points of view. It also gives them a sense of what’s going on in the world around them, and also, what life is like for other people in other parts of the world.
This can be hugely empowering and important and gives pupils a sense of the world around them, and how they can actively engage in it.

In this video we provide an overview of some of the different types of participatory activities and approaches which can support global education in practice.

Our examples include small group tasks, making space for questions, pupil-led activities, debates, and role-plays. However, these are just a few ideas and there’s a huge range of things you might do.

After watching the presentation you might also like to visit our course Padlet which provides some examples you might like to try.

If you can think of anything else you’ve tried with your pupils previously or would consider doing in future, do also add it to this Padlet where you can share it with others on the course!

This article is from the free online

Global Education for Teachers

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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