UNESCO has just published its review on Global Citizenship Education (GCE) .
There is a lot of what one might expect here but in amongst the platitudes and industrial helpings of motherhood and apple pie is a focus on the need for non-cognitive skills and more collaboration, themes that education reformers keep telling us are so important . What is clear though is that educators globally are struggling to develop practical approaches to support the development of non-cognitive skills within education systems, systems that are almost entirely geared and incentivised to measure and assess cognitive skills. Indeed if you cant easily test it, (non-cognitive skills are harder to test) it doesn’t seem to be valued. This seems to me to be one of the greatest challenges we face. One other thought that struck me looking at what UNESCO would like to foster in learners is that , arguably , the International Baccalaureate is at least seeking, more than most other qualifications, to help develop the kinds of skills and aptitudes and joined up thinking that might help make one become a better global citizen.
The review claims to establish ‘ that GCE has a critical role to play in equipping learners with competencies to deal with the dynamic and interdependent world of the twenty-ﬁrst century. While GCE has been applied in different ways in different contexts, regions and communities, it has a number of common elements, according to this Review, which include fostering in learners:
an attitude supported by an understanding of multiple levels of identity, and the potential for a ‘collective identity’ which transcends individual cultural, religious, ethnic or other differences;
a deep knowledge of global issues and universal values such as justice, equality, dignity and respect;
cognitive skills to think critically, systematically and creatively including adopting a multi perspective approach that recognises the different dimensions perspectives and angles of issues
non-cognitive skills including social skills such as empathy and conﬂict resolution, communication skills and aptitudes for networking and interacting with people of different backgrounds, origins, cultures and perspectives; and
behavioural capacities to act collaboratively and responsibly to ﬁnd global solutions for global challenges, and to strive for the collective good.
Download the publication here.