Global learning brings together education for citizenship, international perspectives and themes around macro-economic and sustainable development and recognises the common outcomes and principles of all three. In doing so, global learning will help young people make sense of the world they live in and help them understand their role in a globally-interdependent world.
Citizenship enables young people to become informed about issues of rights and responsibilities, democracy and justice. It also equips them with skills of critical evaluation and encourages the expression of attitudes and beliefs to respond to the challenges we face as global citizens in a constructive and positive manner. Young people are citizens of today, not citizens in waiting. Citizenship is about developing in learners the ability to take up their place in society as responsible, successful, effective and confident citizens both now and in the future and addresses the exercising of rights and responsibilities within communities at local, national and global levels.
With regard to global learning, citizenship can include the development of informed decision making, and the ability to take thoughtful and responsible action, locally and globally. Learners will engage with aspects relating to human rights, sustainable development, peace and conflict resolution, social equality and the appreciation of diversity. Large topics such as international political structures and bodies, social justice, global economies, poverty, and climate change, sit alongside more specific themes that link the learner to the issue through a personal, local or community relationship, for example: refugees, child soldiers, food air miles or energy sourcing.
Above all, global learning and citizenship is strongest, most effective and most exciting when the learner asks, ‘So what does this mean to me and how can I affect change?’ In this respect, learner voice is a crucial element of education for citizenship and global learning; indeed, citizenship provides the ideal framework to give children and young people the opportunity to exercise their rights and responsibilities in a global learning context.
Additional resources have been provided to give information and examples of how Citizenship can support global learning. These are: