Global Citizenship Education in the classroom. An exploratory study on teachers’ views

Year: 2019

Author: Caccioppola, Federica

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Background. In a fast-changing world, Global Citizenship Education (GCE) is a modern notion, supported by multidisciplinary scientific literature. The need to analyse, define and operationalize the concept of GCE is linked to the opportunity to build a common global consciousness and to connect national, international and transnational dimensions. GCE can be identified as the possibility to prepare students to live together in contexts of change, interdependence and diversity. In this framework, a classroom environment, which fosters positive interactions and a free, open, and respectful exchange of ideas, plays an important role in preparing students to become citizens, at the local, national and global level.

Scope of the study. This study aims at describing teachers’ views on possible goals and practices on GCE in two different contexts: Central Italy (2017-2018) and Queensland (2019), Australia. To this end, the research analyses teaching strategies devoted to promoting dialogue among students and between teachers and students. The research specifically focuses on how secondary schools’ teachers promote the development of knowledge and skills related to GCE, in their verbal and nonverbal interactions.

Research design. The study follows a qualitative methodology, adopting classroom observations in secondary schools and interviews to teachers focused on GCE aims and learning activities. In addition, in Italy a set of video-analysis was carried out in order to retrieve data for the documentation and representation of non-verbal interactions between teachers and students. Finding indicate opportunities and challenges teachers face in dealing with topics related to global citizenship. The data referring to Italian context were collected in 2018. In Australia data will be collected throughout 2019.

Relevance of results. On the short term, this explorative study intends to provide: (a) Insights on GCE teaching practices and relative constructs possible operationalization; (b) Support teachers’ professional development through critical reflection. On the medium-long term, the study could have an impact in: (a) Building or reinforcing networks between schools and Higher Education institutions, both at a national and at an international level; (b) Promoting in Italy educational change and disseminate innovative teaching knowledge and practices; (c) Outlining possible pathways to improve GCE teaching practices both in Australia and in Italy.