Empowering children to become action-driven global citizens

Empowering children to become action-driven global citizens

Happy Tuesday National Math Bee family; Christmas is around the corner and just like that comes the start of a new year. This is the perfect time to recap how our children have grown and what role have we played in their potentiality. We must also take a look at how we have unintentionally hindered them. In light of the coming year, we cannot help but dream of what the future holds for the coming generations. We also dread when realizing the global challenges we are leaving upon their shoulders. Educators and parents, what plans and aspirations do you have in mind for your young ones for this coming year? Thinking of the challenges ahead of them, can we resolve to do better for our children? Are we preparing them to become leaders, problem solvers, doers, and thinkers? Are we empowering children to become action-driven global citizens?

The first step toward empowering our children is by understanding them

“Having inherited huge global challenges [such as climate change, conflict, inequality, injustice and water, and food shortage], this generation needs a tool kit of real-life skills … as well as” an educational system that caters to the needs and demands of the coming generations. 1 Luciana Fernandez from National Geographic, In Focus, suggests that the first step toward empowering our children is by understanding them. “Understanding their mindsets, their lifestyles, their interests, motivations, their concerns, and their behaviors is critical.” Comprehending our youth is crucial when attempting to construct a basis on which to prepare them for current and future global realities. Only when we focus on what truly matters to them can we learn how to funnel their interests. In this way, we can maximize their capabilities, empowering children to become action-driven global citizens.

Global Citizenship Education empowers children to become action-driven global citizens

In her article Empowering teenagers to be the change the world needs, Fernandez stresses the urgency for Global Citizenship Education (GCE). GCE provides a promising basis for education when considering the difficult legacy that we are leaving for our children. Global Citizenship Education’s focus is to empower young minds to understand that the difficult issues our world is facing “are global, [and] not local and to become active promoters of more peaceful, tolerant, inclusive, secure and sustainable societies. GCE aims to instill in our youth the values, attitudes, and behaviors that support responsible global citizenship: creativity, innovation, commitment to peace, human rights, and sustainable development.” 2

GCED is based on the three domains of learning — cognitive, socio-emotional and behavioral.

Cognitive: knowledge and thinking skills necessary to better understand the world and its complexities

Socio-emotional: values, attitudes, and social skills that enable learners to develop affectively, psychosocially, and physically and to enable them to live together with others respectfully and peacefully

Behavioral: conduct, performance, practical application and engagement

UNESCO Global Citizenship Education

Classroom application of Global Citizenship Education

Under Global Citizenship Education, real-world issues are presented in the classroom where teens are encouraged to work collaboratively to provide meaningful and practical solutions to global challenges. Students are guided to understand that we are all “part of a globalized world, in which individual choices and actions have repercussions locally, nationally and internationally.” 1

Global Citizenship Education will empower children to:

Think critically

Solve problems

Make decisions

Communicate effectively

Respect and value diversity

Work collaboratively with others

Make the world a more equitable and sustainable place

Empowering teenagers to be the change the world needs, Luciana Fernandez

UNESCO’s role in Global Citizenship Education

UNESCO promotes Global Citizenship Education, developing guidance material as well as capacity building workshops for education professionals. Within the Global Citizenship Framework, UNESCO’s goal is to achieve true Global Citizenship Education globally in lone with the objectives stated in target 4.7.

Target 4.7: “By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and nonviolence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of a culture’s contribution to sustainable development.

UNESCO Global Citizenship Education

Global Citizenship will empower younger generations to become active members of the world community

When thinking of the global challenges held in store for future generations, GCE offers the tools needed to tackle the complexities of an ever so interconnected world. An education focused on Global Citizenship will empower and awaken younger generations to become active members of the world community. Rest assured, their future seems bright. It is up to us educators and parents to make sure that they have the essential tools they need to face the challenges that we have left as our legacy.

Happy Learning,


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Resources cited

1 https://infocus.eltngl.com/2019/11/22/empowering-teenegers-to-be-the-change-the-world-needs/

2 https://en.unesco.org/themes/gced

3 https://en.unesco.org/themes/gced/definition

4 https://en.unesco.org/themes/gced/sdg47progress

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