Global education

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Global education is a complex idea that is taught to enhance ones meaning of the world. Global Education is typically taught within the curriculum. Teachers of Global Education will integrate multiple dimensions, perspectives, and citizenships into the everyday lessons.[1]

Students learning to be global citizens through global education will be able to learn more about international communities, social justice issues, global events, and international ideas in their typical classroom setting. Global Education will shape the way people view the world to help better shape the world. It will foster service learning initiatives and activism within the community and around the world.[2]

education that opens people’s eyes and minds to the realities of the globalized world and awakens them to bring about a world of greater justice, equity and human rights for all. Global education is understood to encompass development education, human rights education, education for sustainable development, education for peace and conflict prevention and intercultural education; being the global dimension of education for citizenship

— Maastricht Global Education Declaration (2002)[3]

Other definitions[edit]

The global education project in Australia [4] states that:

  • The heart of global education is enabling young people to participate in shaping a better, shared future for the world. Global education emphasises the unity and interdependence of human society, developing a sense of self and appreciation of cultural diversity, affirmation of social justice and human rights, as well as building peace and actions for a sustainable future in different times and places.
  • Global education promotes positive values and assists students to take responsibility for their actions and to see themselves as global citizens who can contribute to a more peaceful, just and sustainable world.

The global teacher project from the United Kingdom [5] states that:

  • Global Education is not a subject, but a dimension that runs through the curriculum, an extra filter to help children make sense of all the information and opinion the world is throwing at them. It combines methodology - active and experiential discussion based activities, a caring, co-operative and open outlook on the classroom experience, and core concerns- finding out about all the cultures of the UK and of other countries and groups, about the causes of poverty and inequality (here as well as in other countries) and about the environment.
  • Global Education is a way of approaching everything we teach and how we teach it. It broadens horizons and encourages exploration of all subjects from a global perspective. It contributes to the whole curriculum and enhances our understanding of the world.

The Global Education Network of Young Europeans [6] states that:

  • Global Education is a creative approach of bringing about change in our own society.
  • Global Education is an active learning process based on the universal values of tolerance, solidarity, equality, justice, inclusion, co-operation and non-violence.
  • Global Education begins with raising awareness of global challenges such as poverty, unfair distribution of opportunities and resources, environmental degradation and climate change, violent conflict and non-respect of human rights. It then creates a deeper understanding of the complex underlying issues. Thereby it aims at changing people‘s attitudes and encourages them to reflect on their own role in the world. Global education motivates and empowers people to become active as responsible global citizens.

Parts of global education[edit]

Teachers work with students to teach them how to be Global Citizens. Global Citizens will bring international perspectives to their ideas creating a mindset that they are deeply connected to everyone in the world. Global citizens will embrace cultural and human diversity. Many schools are leaning towards adding global education to the curricula in order to build global citizens for a hope for a better society.[7]

Global Education deals with Social Justice issues across the world. Social Justice is taught to advocate for a better society in which people have equal accessibility to resources and equal treatment regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, class, or able-bodiedness. By creating a comfortable community, teachers can spark conversations with students that explore social justice issues locally and around the world to help understand the complexities of societies. Many teachers of Global Education expect students to be active in their community and challenge social justice issues outside of school. This can be done through community service engagement.[8]

Diversity is complex and can relate to many different topics. Teaching diversity though Global Education promotes a healthy and equal classroom that will reflect in the community. Understanding diversity allows students to have an open mind about others and life. They are able to address differences appropriately and have a deep understanding about themselves. This will allow for the world to become an inclusive place where issues among race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, class, or able-bodiedness are addressed correctly and with respect.[9]

Global education in the United States[edit]

The National Education Association (NEA) recognizes Global Education to be a goal that educators strive to succeed in the classroom. The American association supports study abroad trips and teaching overseas for teachers to get a first hand experience of different cultures.[10]

Universities in the United States are also expanding their study abroad programs to enhance greater interconnectedness and global economic interdependence. The Institute of International Education (IIE) is researching effective ways that higher education in the United States can grow and create quality study abroad programs within the curriculum.[11]

Many K-12 schools within the United States have adapted a Global Education Framework that was created for state wide implementation. Within this framework consist of six essential steps for a successful global education curriculum within each school:[12]

  1. Global Competency Standards for Students and Teachers
  2. Effective and Scalable Teacher Supports, Resources, and Tools for infusing classroom with global knowledge and skills
  3. A New Approach to Language Instruction that includes statewide dual language/immersion plan beginning in elementary school
  4. Whole-School Models that include internationally-themes schools, transformation models for low-performing schools, and regional duel language/immersion schools
  5. Networking and Recognizing Districts, Schools, and Educators to drive implementation and innovation
  6. Global Experiences for Students and Educators including teacher exchange, educational travel, virtual exchange, and global academic competitions

American universities global education programs[edit]

Universities in the United States have recently been expanding on the degree programs relating to global education. Many universities offer Bachelor Degree programs and certifications in Global Education, M.S. degrees in Global and International Education, M.A. degrees in International Education, and doctorate degrees in International Education.[13]


People with a degree in International Education design, implement, manage, and evaluate multiple education programs within public and private primary and secondary schools, public and private higher education programs, national corporations, and cultural agencies. People in the job field can work at agencies across the world, within elite universities, and a variety of global education organizations.[14]

Awards and organizations[edit]

In January 2016, the Institute of International Education (IIE) announced the winners at the annual IIE Andrew Heiskell Awards for Innovation on International Education. The Heiskell awards were created to promote and honor outstanding commitments conducted in international higher education. Categories of the awards include: Internationalizing the Campus, Study Abroad, International Partnerships, and Internationalizing the HBCU. These awards hope to bring public awareness to the benefits of international education.[15]

The International Education Association of Australia (IEAA) awards professionals in the global education field for their outstanding contributions to international education in Australia by providing excellence and best practice. The International Education Association of Australia (IEAA) also supports the international education communities’ research, projects, journalism, publications, and more areas that contribute to the global perspectives in education.[16]

Children's literature[edit]

Evidence based practices have shown that literature can help children learn about global issues. By exploring diversity in text, connecting the literature to service learning and activism, promote critical thinking about themselves in the global community, and develop their global awareness with literacy elements. Literature introduced in the classroom can teach multiple skills that prepare for further learning within the global community.[17]


Technology is a key provider in learning about globalization and participating in the global community. Technology can be used in the classroom to communicate around the world, establish global relationships, learn more about global current events, and developing global research. The advancements of technology will have a positive impact of global education in primary schools and higher education schools.[18]

Service learning[edit]

A key role of global education is participating in service learning within the community or abroad. Service learning provides people with hands on learning with direct engagement and awareness with real word systematic issues. These issues can range between varieties of topics that can affect a community. Participating in service learning can strengthen the community as well as create deeper knowledge about how to create a better world. Service learning is considered a key factor in becoming a global citizen. Many schools around the world are starting to incorporate service-learning activities within the curriculum to promote the importance of community involvement.[19]

Organizations dealing with global education[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Global Education Guidelines of the North South Center of the Council of Europe [22]
  • Global Education Magazine [23]
  • Global Education page of the North South Center of the Council of Europe [24]


  1. ^ Diversity in the Classroom | Center for Teaching and Learning. (n.d.). Retrieved April 24, 2016, from
  2. ^ Teaching Kids to be Global Citizens | (n.d.). Retrieved April 24, 2016, from
  3. ^ "Global Education in Europe to 2015" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-05-20. 
  4. ^ "What is". Global Education. Retrieved 2015-05-20. 
  5. ^ a b "The Global Teacher Project". Retrieved 2015-05-20. 
  6. ^ "What is global education? | GLEN". Retrieved 2015-05-20. 
  7. ^ The Global Teacher Project. (n.d.). Retrieved April 24, 2016, from
  8. ^ Global Education. (n.d.). Retrieved April 24, 2016, from
  9. ^ Tulasiewicz, W. (2012). Global values education: Teaching democracy and peace. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 42(4), 666-669. doi:10.1080/03057925.2012.686875
  10. ^ Global Education in the U.S. (n.d.). Retrieved April 24, 2016, from
  11. ^ Meeting America's Global Education Challenge. (n.d.). Retrieved April 24, 2016, from
  12. ^ Framework for State Action on Global Education - P21. (n.d.). Retrieved April 24, 2016, from
  13. ^ US Programs. (n.d.). Retrieved April 24, 2016, from
  14. ^ Department of Humanities and Social Sciences in the Professions. (n.d.). Retrieved April 24, 2016, from
  15. ^ Press Release. (n.d.). Retrieved April 24, 2016, from
  16. ^ IEAA Excellence Awards 2015. (n.d.). Retrieved April 24, 2016, from
  17. ^ ERIC - Breaking Boundaries with Global Literature: Celebrating Diversity in K-12 Classrooms, International Reading Association (NJ3), 2007. (n.d.). Retrieved April 24, 2016, from
  18. ^ Mapping the future: The future of education. (n.d.). Retrieved April 24, 2016, from
  19. ^ Center for Global Education. (n.d.). Retrieved April 24, 2016, from
  20. ^ "DEEEP Homepage". Retrieved 2015-05-20. 
  21. ^ Archived from the original on August 22, 2014. Retrieved September 10, 2014.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  22. ^ [1][dead link]
  23. ^ "Global Education Magazine". Retrieved 2015-05-20. 
  24. ^ Archived from the original on September 29, 2012. Retrieved September 29, 2012.  Missing or empty |title= (help)