The most quoted definition of a global citizen is a 1997 one promoted by Oxfam in the United Kingdom. It states a global citizen is someone who:
- is aware of the wider world and has a sense of their own role as a world citizen
- respects and values diversity
- has an understanding of how the world works
- is outraged by social injustice
- participates in the community at a range of levels, from the local to the global
- is willing to act to make the world a more equitable and sustainable place
- takes responsibility for their actions
In addition, Oxfam Education offers a great set of resource guides to infuse these aspects of becoming a global citizen across the curriculum.
- Education for global citizenship: A guide for schools
- Global citizenship in the classroom: A guide for teachers
- Teaching controversial issues
- Maths and global citizenship
- English and global citizenship
- Science and global citizenship
There are many similarities in the development of a global citizen and digital citizen. However, in order to become a global citizen, students need to have guided connections to students in other countries and cultures. Students will realize, through collaboration and communication with other students, that they have more in common than they have differences. This personal connection to others will help students become both knowledgeable and empathetic towards other cultures and countries.
There are many global projects that can help students attain the qualities of a global citizen. Some of these are free and others are paid projects. Here are a few of the most popular.
One Day in the Life hosted by iEARN : This project pairs students across the globe who share photographs of daily life and special events, accompanied by written overviews. The students then discuss the similarities and differences in their countries and cultures.
K-12 Global Art Exchange hosted by One World Classrooms : This long-running project has two levels of participation . The first is the physical sharing of creative art projects with other classrooms and the ability to follow up the sharing of the work with a VoiceThread conversation with them. The second digital option provides your students with a digital art exhibit with art created by students from over fifteen different countries or allows your class to connect with a single global classroom. When collaborating with another classroom, students conduct an online VoiceThread conversation with the partner classroom about their works of art.
Rock Our World hosted by Rock Our World : On their site, the project is explained as “using Apple’s GarageBand, each country creates a 30 second drum beat. Every Friday, that drum rotates to another country, where the bass guitar is added…At each stop, one more instrument is added. When it comes back to the original country, it has touched students from all over the world! While the music is moving, students are meeting each other in live video chats to discuss various topics of curriculum.”
Partner School Science Program (PSSP) hosted by Global Friendship Through Space Education : This project brings together classrooms from around the world with a focus on space education. Using NASA materials, students in partner schools study a curriculum unit together, and have an “ePal” to work with from the partner classroom. The goal is to both foster cross-cultural communication and collaboration and have students develop an interest in the STEM fields.
Mystery Skype hosted by Microsoft : This project had the teacher connecting a classroom to another classroom or speaker via Skype. “The aim of the game is to build cultural awareness, critical thinking skills, and geography skills by guessing the location of the other classroom through a series of yes/no questions.” Microsoft provides a OneNote notebook with instructions and ideas for using this project in the classroom.
Global Citizenship Activities and Resources
Educators freely share ways they are promoting cultural awareness in their classrooms. One great resource is the weekly Twitter chat #globaledchat, where you can discuss ideas, find international classroom partners for a specific project, or share something you are doing in your classroom.
Here are some ideas from other creative educators and organizations.
- Exploring cultures in your classroom: Fun activities to try (K-5)
- Three global collaboration projects for your classroom (K-12)
- Social justice projects in the classroom
- Five great multicultural activities to involve parents
- Ideas for global citizenship
- Qualities of the global citizen
- What does it mean to be a global citizen?
Discovery Education Resources
Discovery Education includes many resources that can help students understand world problems, other cultures, and becoming a global citizen.
- Geography Principles: Global Problems (21:35 video)
- Curated content collection of culture resources
- Curated content collection of tolerance resources
- Spotlight on Strategies (S.O.S.)
What resources do you use in the classroom to promote global citizenship? If you have participated in any global projects, please share your experience in the contents. And, if you have created your own project, feel free to invite others!