Developing A Global Perspective for Educators: Special Issue of Education Review

Developing A Global Perspective for Educators: Special Issue of Education Review

Globally, we continue to face critical environmental, social and economic challenges such as poverty, climate change, infectious diseases, depletion of natural resources, and violations of human rights. To address some of these challenges, in 2005, UNESCO launched The United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD). In taking up this initiative, the Canadian Ministers of Education Council astutely warned educators that, “a whole generation will need to be engaged to think and act in a way that enables responsible choices….” The ten authors assembled for this peer reviewed special issue of Education Review take up this critical challenge in their research and teaching practices in an effort to mobilize knowledge focused on global citizenship education and sustainable development. The concepts underpinning much of the research presented in this collection on Developing Global Perspectives for Educators (DPGE) invite readers to reconsider the global implications of our civic responsibilities as teachers in Canada and/or elsewhere in the world. As Graham Pike (2008) reminds us, “if our educational institutions cannot be catalysts in constructing the new legend, from where is that impetus likely to come?” (p. 236.).

All of the educators included in this collection are committed to understanding the theoretical, methodological and pedagogical strategies for mobilizing social justice-orientated “best practices” in our classrooms. It is with these civic commitments in mind that we assembled a diverse collection of scholarly works to address a range of educational themes including religion, Aboriginal communities, internationalization, intercultural competencies and dialogue, social media and global citizenship. The articles by Alan Sears, Phyllis Dalley and Megan Cotnam-Kappel, Lynette Shultz and Jennifer Tupper, for example, caution us to pay close attention to the theoretical, ethical, religious and human rights based questions that we might pose in our research and to consider the respective implications for teaching global citizenship within the increasingly diversified society in our classrooms. By reflecting on the results of their different research projects in teacher education programs and in schools across Canada and Haiti, Nadya Weber, Mark Evans, Angela MacDonald and Leigh-Anne Ingram, Andréanne Gélinas-Proulx and Claire Isabelle, and Lisa Glithero, Tracy Crowe, Stephen Skoutajan and Ruth Kane invite readers to delve into the complexities of their current social justice-orientated teaching praxes. Finally, Laura Thompson, Linyuan Guo, and Paul Tarc provide an in-depth look at several teaching strategies that they have implemented in their classrooms. Taken together, we hope that the theories, methodologies and teaching strategies presented in this special issue will be of particular interest to educators who are seeking innovative, engaging and, at times, controversial approaches for educating citizens toward sustaining the ecosystems that make development possible in Canada as we move forward in the 21st century.

Bibliographic References

Pike, G. (2008). Reconstructing the legend: Educating for global citizenship. In A. Abdi & L. Shultz (Eds.), Educating for human rights and global citizenship (pp. 223-238). Albany, New York: State University of New York Press

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