Using children's literature to build concepts of global citizenship

Year: 2012

Author: Bradbery, Debbie

Type of paper: Refereed paper


Children's literature and in particular, picture books, can be used to help teachers to build into their teaching programs ways to examine and change personal lifestyles to secure a sustainable future; to identify, investigate, evaluate and undertake appropriate action to maintain, protect and enhance local and global environments; to challenge preconceived ideas, accept change and acknowledge uncertainty and to work cooperatively and in partnerships with others. Developing an understanding of the importance of being a contributor to a fairer, more peaceful, just and sustainable world is vital in helping children to become “global citizens” who are willing to take responsibility for their own actions, respect and value diversity and see themselves as contributors to a more peaceful and sustainable world. To elicit some understandings of these concepts in the teachers of our youngest students we can foster understandings of world issues and a commitment to change, especially to the eradication of global poverty and inequality, which then may help them to shape a better future for the world and become better informed teachers of global citizens. The author will examine ways in which some specific examples of children's literature can used to develop primary aged children's willingness to actively engage in issues of global citizenship and will consider how teaching about global citizenship can be enhanced in primary schools utilising children's literature.