Learning to do Good in a Global World: Service and Beyond

Presenter: Boyd Roberts
Institution: International Global Citizen’s Award & Author of Educating for Global Citizenship

This session will be concerned with how we – and the young people we work with – interface with a global world, particularly to do good within it. It will draw on research, established practice and the presenter’s first-hand experience. There will be some challenges (and the opportunity to discuss and respond to these), some principles, and some practical suggestions.

There will be a brief consideration of levels of global engagement – ranging from awareness, to the acquisition of skills and perspectives necessary to operate effectively in international contexts (doing “well” in a global world), through to responsible global citizenship (doing “good” in a global world), with its ethical dimensions and concerns with practical action and engagement.

We shall look at “service” and its more recent reformulation as “service learning” - key elements of many international schools, keen for students to take practical action to make the world a better place.  This will include the evolving concept of “service” – its characteristics and limitations – and the challenges facing international schools of embracing (or not) other types of community engagement. And what does “community” mean in a global world?

Some tenets of global citizenship education will be presented – such as the notions that students are global citizens in the present, not being prepared for a future state of global citizenship; that teachers and students are co-global citizens; that teachers cannot be considered to have “expertise” as global citizens, in contrast to their expertise in pedagogy and academic subjects; and the pedagogy that is therefore appropriate in working with students to become better global citizens. How can schools work with students for effective global citizen action –particularly in the secondary school context, as external assessment looms? There will be some consideration of the skills necessary for effective community participation and how these can be developed.

The session will conclude with a consideration of the International Global Citizen’s Award as a framework and community in which to set and strengthen a school’s work on global citizenship education, and to promote and recognise the development of young people as engaged global citizens.

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