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Surpassing the self – On the teaching and learning adventure that is Global Citizenship Education


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The article looks at Global Citizenship Education from an educational science and learning empirical perspective: What is necessary for people to understand themselves as world citizens? Can this be taught at all? And if so, what needs to be considered.
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Heidi Grobbauer and Werner Wintersteiner
Global Citizenship Education
Concepts, Eorts, Perspectives – an Austrian experience
Editors and authors of all unsigned texts: Werner Wintersteiner,
Heidi Grobbauer (in collaboration with Margot Kapfer)
Elisabethstraße 2, 5020 Salzburg
Translation into English by Lizzie Warren Wilson
Cover photo: Werner Wintersteiner, Columbus Circle, New York, USA
Layout: Katrin Peger Grakdesign
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons
3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit
ISBN 978-3-9504408-5-0
Salzburg, Klagenfurt. 1st edition, 2019
You can download this publication from the website:
We would hereby like to expressly thank the Austrian Commission
for UNESCO, and in particular Secretary General Gabriele Eschig,
for the excellent and fruitful cooperation.
Global Citizenship Education
Concepts, Eorts, Perspectives – an Austrian experience
Heidi Grobbauer and Werner Wintersteiner,
in collaboration with Margot Kapfer
4 | Global Citizenship Education
3 Marlies Krainz-Dürr: Foreword
4 Hans Karl Peterlini: Surpassing the self – On the teaching and learning adventure
that is Global Citizenship Education
7 A study course … and much more. About this publication
I. Global Citizenship Education – A Transformative Approach
11 What does GCED mean? Brief introduction
16 Josefine Scherling and Ursula Maurič: Three cornerstones of
Global Citizenship Education (GCED)
II. The GCED university course
19 Complexity – Responsibility – Self-Reflection
The didactics of the university course GCED
24 Sustainability Award 2018 for the university course “Global Citizenship Education”
25 Study trips as an indispensable learning method for GCED
29 Academic achievements: the master theses from the first two rounds of the university course
III. GCED classroom teaching
33 Teaching Global Citizenship Education in class. A commented guideline
39 A school of cosmopolitanism. Experiences with
Global Citizenship Education in classroom practice
45 The Authors
Today, raising young people to become responsible global citizens is a
fundamental goal of school and education. In an increasingly networked
world, ecological and geopolitical developments respect no borders, in-
cluding those of Austria, and teachers are called upon to prepare their
students to face global challenges.
As the University College of Teacher Education Carinthia-Viktor Frankl, we
feel particularly committed to the anthropology of Viktor Frankl, which
sees humans as active beings capable of designing their environment
and their future in a constructive manner. Mastering this task requires not
only a set of values based on an optimistic outlook, but also well-founded
knowledge of social, political and ecological interrelations.
Hence the increasing significance of “Global Citizenship Education” in the
context of teacher education. I am pleased that we have been able to es-
tablish a solid cooperation over many years in this field with the KommEnt
association and the Centre for Peace Research and Peace Education of the
University of Klagenfurt.
Together with these partners, the University College of Teacher Education
is also involved in the master’s degree university course “Global Citizen-
ship Education”, which not only equips teachers with great didactic tools
for structuring teaching/learning processes for Global Citizenship Educa-
tion, but also qualifies the staff of the University Colleges of Teacher Edu-
cation to integrate these topics into the teaching units offered in higher
The study course has produced remarkable results in the form of master
theses that can provide valuable inspiration for schools and education.
Here’s to many new participants in the following courses.
Dr. Marlies Krainz-Dürr
Rector of the University College of Teacher Education
Carinthia-Viktor Frankl
Global Citizenship Education | 3
4 | Global Citizenship Education
Surpassing the self
On the teaching and learning adventure
that is Global Citizenship Education
Hans Karl Peterlini
Educational missions and pedagogic intentions carry an inherent ambi-
valence. They are not conceivable and not possible without a purpose,
a setting of normative principles, an often voiced, usually subliminal ac-
companying goal pursued by the respective efforts. At the same time
– although it is a fact that is not always readily admitted – the experience
is validated time and again that learning does not adhere to curricula and
didactic instructions, but can in fact outwit these methods just as much
as it resists them. To illustrate: teachers may have somewhat of a grasp
on the material they would like to teach (and even this occasionally shifts
in unexpected directions), but there is no way to reliably control what
the learners make of this material. Thus pedagogues, teachers and edu-
cators are – often on the brink of despair, often blessed by lucky chance –
quite simply reliant on the hope that that certain miracle happens for
the learners, a miracle that cannot be determined beforehand and that is
difficult to explain after the fact. “I can walk now, but never again learn to
walk”: thus Walter Benjamin (1980: 267, author’s emphasis) describes how
experiences of learning, as soon as they have taken place, do not allow
us to reliably decipher how we actually achieved this feat of learning and
the paths it took, which often also include detours and wrong turns. It
is true that, in various scientific approaches, learning is indeed divided
into precise stages of life or causal chains, associated with the respective
dominant senses (auditive, visual etc.), ordered according to training units
or, most recently, assigned to isolated areas of the brain. However, as to
how and whether it is even possible to learn in the sense of surpassing
that which was within one’s knowledge and capabilities up to that point,
this remains necessarily vague (see Peterlini 2016: 24).
Certainly, there are various aspects of learning that can be comprehen-
ded. Meyer-Drawe (2010) describes these as “getting to know someone
or something”, “learning something in addition to existing knowledge”, or
also “unlearning something” (ibid.: 6, author’s emphasis),1 whereby the
latter is not as easy as it sounds, and the first may have more far-reaching
consequences than we may initially be aware of when first encountering
people or material that were, until that point, foreign to us. When the new
and the known coincide, a sense of uncertainty is created, which is what
makes relearning in the sense of transformative learning possible in the
4 | Global Citizenship Education
1 Translator’s note: in German, these are all variations on the word “lernen”.
Global Citizenship Education | 5
societal and governmental conventions, production
methods and market logic are all subjected to uncer-
tainty. This uncertainty cannot be placated with quick
and simple answers; it demands self-assessment, reflec-
tion, exchange with others, it can trigger bewilderment
and powerlessness, but it can also equally make way for
horizons that were hitherto deemed immovable, and
can open up new perspectives. Once the first steps of
learning have been taken, shying back into the familiar,
into indifference and oblivion, becomes almost impos-
sible. Continuing on the path of progress, surpassing the
self can make us uncertain and anxious, but ultimately –
when learning takes place – it can no longer be avoided,
and is often also enriching and satisfying.
Just because learning processes are not always ex-
hilarating and pleasant, since they also always imply a
negation of that which is customary and familiar, this
does not mean that they are “negative”. This negation
may also consist in one no longer viewing one’s own
little world as the whole world, in the possibility of a
way of thinking beyond national horizons, but also in
regional surroundings revealing their connectedness
with the global; this negation may thwart our everyday
way of thinking, such as the notion that global respons-
ibility is just an illusion, that we would do better off by
remaining among our own and that we need not worry
about the rest of the world beyond a brief glance and
rapid averting of the gaze when consuming the news.
In this case, the learning experience would consist in
the recognition that although we cannot do it all, we
can at least do something; that it is possible to appre-
ciate our origins and simultaneously open up to a pers-
pective beyond our own noses and even beyond the
borders of the familiar; that it is perfectly alright for our
homeland to feel like part of our small, personal circle,
but that it does not suffer if it is conceived of in a larger,
more diverse manner; that although global issues are
complex, this does not mean they can be ignored; that
although nobody can say exactly how to face all of our
present-day challenges, this nevertheless does not con-
stitute a reason not to tackle them and give it a try; that
despairing when faced with hard tasks has never done
any good, but that instead only daring the (im)possible
is of any use, as according to Jacques Derrida (Assheuer/
Derrida 1998) this does not represent a futile, but rather
a decidedly concrete utopia.
The development of a university course on which
teachers and learners set out on this path together
first place. The old and the familiar is exposed to an en-
richment, a supplement or even a radical questioning,
a process that in the transit ional phase is thorough-
ly irritating, unsettling, and can often provoke resis-
tance; a process whose outcome is open. In this regard,
teaching and learning are equivalent to setting out on
an adventure that sacrifices familiar surroundings in fa-
vour of discovering new insights into oneself, the others
and the world. Teachers and learners are not sovereign
in this process. They strike out together on a journey
whose goal – in the sense of a normative guideline –
although defined, may ultimately be found in a com-
pletely different place than planned or expected. In this
way, teachers learn and will also have to unlearn certain
things, because they are lost in the teaching-learning
process or prove to be unsuitable; similarly, learners will
have to unlearn just as much in order to avoid resisting
new knowledge because they are holding on too tight
to acquired certainties. Yet in this process, the learners
also become teachers, since they share knowledge and
experience in this mutual exchange.
Global Citizenship Education, as education for a form of
global learning and thinking, as a form of learning for
the world society, as a way of constructing and shaping
a new understanding of social responsibility and parti-
cipation, is an adventure. The idea behind this, name-
ly that global viewpoints and strategies of action have
become indispensable for the big and small questions
of our lives, our coexistence, our interaction with our
“Homeland Earth” (Morin/Kern 1999), poses a challenge
on many levels to that which is known and familiar. As
soon as we shift our observations to a global perspec-
tive, even a cursory examination of our ways of life, of
what we habitually do in a single day, a glance in our
wardrobes or at our daily menus, serves to strip away
the seemingly self-evident aspect of habits that had
thus far gone unquestioned. “Only alienness [Fremd-
heit] is the antidote to alienation [Entfremdung]” – this
at first puzzling aphorism by Theodor W. Adorno (2003
[1951], p. 105) refers to the fact that encounters with the
foreign and the unknown provoke a confrontation with
long-established routines that we are no longer even
aware of and the consequences of which we have lost
sight of, and although this confrontation is perturbing
i.e. alienating, it also wrests us from alienation (from
ourselves). When regarded with this second look, which
according to Niklas Luhmann is a requirement for all
scientific thinking (Luhmann 1981, p. 170), lifestyles
and habits of prosperity, labour organisation practices,
Global Citizenship Education | 5
continuing on beyond insecurities arising from daily
life and contemporary trends, undergoing modifica-
tions and necessary compromises perhaps, yet still in
line with this attitude that resonates in spheres of life,
work environments, scientific contexts, pedagogic
fields of action, and political developments. Following
an initial taste of the second run-through (20152018),
thanks to the trust put in me by Heidi Grobbauer and
Werner Wintersteiner, I find myself honoured to assume
the academic leadership for the third round at the Uni-
versity of Klagenfurt. The management of this course
shall continue to be a team effort, based on the in-
dispensable expertise of Heidi Grobbauer and Werner
Wintersteiner, on the willingness of new contributors,
in particular Karin Liebhart and Jasmin Donlic, and on
the cooperation with the University College of Teacher
Education Carinthia as well as its lecturers, both the
seasoned speakers and those yet to join us. We are facing
this task head on, with respect for what has already be-
en achieved and with the confidence that new, shared
experiences of teaching and learning await us. The pre-
vious stages portrayed here lend us the courage to take
the plunge on the adventure that is Global Citizenship
Education, together with current companions and with
new curious minds, new daring wayfarers.
deserves to be dubbed a pioneering achievement. With
an audacity that is in retrospect impossible to com-
prehend, Heidi Grobbauer and Werner Wintersteiner,
together with other similarly bold colleagues, dared to
take a step into the uncertain. And they were joined on
this journey by many learners – numbers and reports
are depicted in this documentation – who thus also be-
came teachers of global citizenship, trying and daring to
adopt a planetary thinking, as Morin/Kern (1999) would
express it. This teaching course is now entering its third
round, it has gained recognition and received the ne-
cessary funding to ensure its continuance from the
Federal Ministry for Education, Science and Research
as well as from the Austrian Development Agency; for
this, a special thanks goes out to all those involved in
the process and in particular to Federal Minister Heinz
Faßmann. It is not to be taken for granted that, in a time
where we are witnessing a renationalisation of borders,
a course that explores the possibilities of transcending
these borders should receive support.
This publication rounds up experiences from the
previous two Global Citizenship Education courses; it
documents the experiences of the teachers and learn-
ers, who have joined forces as a learning community
and continue to uphold the vision of global citizenship,
ADORNO, Theodor W. Minima Moralia. 2003 [1951]. Reflexionen aus dem beschädigten Leben. Gesammelte Schriften, Bd. 4.
[Reflections from the damaged life. Collected writings, vol. 4.] Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.
ASSHEUER, Thomas/DERRIDA, Jacques (1998): „Ich mißtraue der Utopie, ich will das Un-Mögliche”. Ein Gespräch mit dem
Philosophen Jacques Derrida über die Intellektuellen, den Kapitalismus und die Gesetze der Gastfreundschaft. [“I distrust the
utopia, I want the im-possible”. A conversation with the philosopher Jacques Derrida on intellectuals, capitalism and the rules of
hospitality.] In: Die Zeit, 11/1998. (status 12.1.2019).
BENJAMIN, Walter (1980): Berliner Kindheit um Neunzehnhundert. [Berlin childhood in the nineteen-hundreds.] In REXROTH,
Tillman (ed.): Gesammelte Schriften IV. I. Werkausgabe Band 10. [Collected writings IV. I. edition volume 10.] Frankfurt am Main:
Suhrkamp, 235–304.
LUHMANN, Niklas (1981): Unverständliche Wissenschaft. Probleme einer theorieeigenen Sprache. [Incomprehensible science].
In: Ders., Soziologische Aufklärung 3. Soziale Systeme, Gesellschaft, Organisation. Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag, 170–177.
MEYERDRAWE, Käte (2010): Zur Erfahrung des Lernens. Eine phänomenologische Skizze. [On the experience of learning.
A phenomenological sketch.] Filosofija 18(3), 6–17.
MORIN, Edgar /KERN, Anne Brigitte (1999): Homeland Earth. A Manifesto for the New Millennium. New York: Hampton Press.
PETERLINI, Hans Karl (2016): Fenster zum Lernen. Forschungserfahrungen im Unterrichtsgeschehen – Einführung und Einblicke
in die Suche nach einem neuen Verständnis von Lernen, [Windows to learning. Research experience in the classroom – introduction
and insights into the search for a new understanding of learning] in: BAUR, Siegfried/PETERLINI, Hans Karl (eds.): An der Seite
des Lernens. Erfahrungsprotokolle aus dem Unterricht an Südtiroler Schulen – ein Forschungsbericht. Erfahrungsorientierte
Bildungsforschung Bd. 2. [Side by side with learning. Reviews of experiences from lessons in South Tyrolean schools – a research report.
Experience-based education research vol. 2] Innsbruck-Vienna-Bolzano: StudienVerlag, 21–30.
6 | Global Citizenship Education
This documentation introduces the master’s degree university course
of Global Citizenship Education (GCED), which has been offered at the
University of Klagenfurt since 2012. Starting in the winter semester of
2019/2020, it will be offered for the third time and with an updated1
curriculum. The course is conducted in cooperation with KommEnt/
Contact Point for Global Learning and Global Citizenship Education
and the University College of Teacher Education Carinthia. It is support-
ed financially by the Federal Ministry for Education, Science and Re-
search (BMBWF) as well as the Austrian Development Agency (ADA).
A further testament to its quality is the fact that it was honoured with the
“Sustainability Award” in the field of Teaching and Curricula in 2018. This is
a prize that is awarded jointly by the Federal Ministry for Sustainability and
Tourism and by the Federal Ministry for Education, Science and Research
for outstanding academic activities.
This documentation offers an overview of our programme, our philoso-
phy and our methods. It goes into detail on the pedagogical concept
of the study course and its results – in the hope that this might be of
relevance for similar efforts in the education and continued training of
teachers and multipliers of all kinds.
A comprehensive educational strategy
The university course (UC) exists within a specific education policy-
related context that not only promotes and facilitates it, but is also simul-
taneously a driving factor itself.2 In particular, since the UN member states
approved the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, or SDGs for short,
which envisage the expansion of GCED in the education sector, the topic
of GCED has gained a great deal of attention. After all, target 4.7. of the
SDGs emphasises in particular:
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 non violence, global citizenship and apprecia-
tion of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable
A study course … and much more
About this publication
1 /content.php?id=140&newsdetail=87&detail=news
2 With regard to the circumstances of its origins, see Grobbauer/Wintersteiner 2016.
Global Citizenship Education | 7
Since then, Austria has strived to promote Global
Citizenship Education on several levels:
1. Teacher training
2. Curriculum development and practical lessons:
working with schools
3. Conception and advocacy work for education
4. Networking
5. Scientific research
This corresponds to the SDG indicator that was developed
by the UNESCO:3
4.7.1 Extent to which (i) global citizenship educa-
tion and (ii) education for sustainable development,
including gender equality and human rights, are
mainstreamed at all levels in:
(a) national education policies,
(b) curricula,
(c) teacher education and
(d) student assessment
Continued teacher training
For the first time in Austria, the university course offers a
scientifically substantiated education on GCED, whereby
it is primarily aimed at teaching staff, teacher trainers
and other multipliers. In this way, it is possible to build
up a stock of committed, well-trained professionals. The
UC itself thus represents a milestone in the implemen-
tation of the SDGs and the strategy of global learning/
Global Citizenship Education. It inspires other special-
ised training courses, e.g. more strongly practice-orient-
ed study courses such as those offered by the Catholic
University College of Teacher Education Styria or the
Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution
(ASPR), and further extracurricular education offers.
Teacher training
One important cooperation partner for this course is the
University College of Teacher Education Carinthia. This
strategic partnership is a decisive factor when it comes
to the comprehensive integration of Global Citizenship
Education in the formation of teachers. By now, Global
4 This refers to the strategic collaboration of the education facilities in the three states of Carinthia, Styria and Burgenland in the field of teacher
training programmes.
Citizenship Education has been successfully integrated
as a transversal principle in the new syllabuses for the
teaching profession in the Teacher Education Network
South-East4, and also as a subject in the syllabus for
History/Social Studies/Political Education of the Teacher
Education Network South-East.
Curriculum development
In cooperation with the Austrian UNESCO Schools
Network, the UC management team not only provided
advanced training to teaching staff, but also devel-
oped important teaching materials in the form of two
publications, beginning with Global Citizenship Educa-
tion. Politische Bildung für die Weltgesellschaft [Political
Education for the Global Society] (Wintersteiner et al.
2014), the first conceptional foundation for GCED in the
German-speaking countries. In 2018, this was followed
by a documentation of exemplary school projects on
GCED, Global Citizenship Education in der Praxis: Erfahrun-
gen, Erfolge, Beispiele in österreichischen Schulen [Global
Citizenship Education in Practice: Experiences, Successes,
Examples in Austrian Schools] (Grobbauer et al. 2018). The
projects were supervised by the academic management
team, and the teaching staff received support in express-
ing their experiences in written form.
Educational policy and advocacy work
Inhabiting the same space as this training course is the
so-called Strategy Group Global Learning (consisting of
representatives of relevant NGOs, the Ministry of Educa-
tion, the Austrian Development Agency and the scien-
t ific community), whose strategy concept determined
the necessity of such a training course as early as back in
2009. This unbureaucratic form of cooperation and ex-
change between various players has proved to be very
A further significant work area is the advisory board
for Transformational Education that was established
by the UNESCO, which is set up in a similar manner. Its
task consists of elaborating recommendations for the
Ministry of Education for implementing the education
goals set by the SDGs in the Austrian school system,
in particular target 4.7, which deals with Sustainable
Development and global citizenship. The website of the
8 | Global Citizenship Education
Ministry of Education has built up a very comprehensive
information resource on GCED: https://bildung.bmbwf.
Thus a network of important players formed around
the activities of this study course: the project sponsors
and cooperation partners of the university course,
the graduates of the first two rounds, who in turn dis-
seminate the concept in their institutions and networks,
the strategy group Global Learning, which strives for a
strong connection between Global Learning and Global
Citizenship Education, as well as the UNESCO schools.
Mainstreaming GCED
With all these activities, our hope is that we are able
to not only expand the network of qualified and dedi-
cated “agents” of Global Citizenship Education, but also
to move closer to our overall goal of integrating GCED as
a standard prerequisite for all education.
GROBBAUER, Heidi /WINTERSTEINER, Werner (2016): Global Citizenship Education als Bildungsstrategie. Erfahrungen mit dem
Universitätslehrgang “Global Citizenship Education”. [Global Citizenship Education as an Education Strategy. Experiences with
the University Course “Global Citizenship Education”.] In: Bildung und Erziehung [Education and Upbringing], vol. 69, issue 3/
September 2016, p. 325–340.
GROBBAUER, Heidi/WINTERSTEINER, Werner in collaboration with Susanne Reitmair-Juárez (ed.) (2018): Global Citizenship Edu-
cation in der Praxis: Erfahrungen, Erfolge, Beispiele in österreichischen Schulen. [Global Citizenship Education in Practice: Expe-
riences, Successes, Examples in Austrian Schools] Vienna: Austrian Commission for UNESCO.
WINTERSTEINER, Werner/GROBBAUER, Heidi/DIENDORFER, Gertraud/REITMAIR-JUÁREZ, Susanne (2015): Global Citizenship
Education: citizenship education for globalizing societies. Klagenfurt University.
Global Citizenship Education | 9
10 | Global Citizenship Education
Global Citizenship Education | 11
I. Global Citizenship Education –
A Transformative Approach
1 What does GCED mean? Brief introduction
The challenge of the global
We are all aware that we are living in fast-paced times with drastic
changes taking place, which have not only a general impact, but often
also a direct impact on our immediate surroundings. Nonetheless, we
struggle to grasp the driving factors and the most important effects of
these changes in a precise manner. This makes it all the more important
to fully appreciate the diverse challenges beyond the scope of individual
sensational outstanding aspects. As a minimum, it is imperative that we
consider the following long-term lines of development in order to obtain
an adequate picture of the situation:
* A complex global network: Increasingly, this global interlinking is com-
ing to comprise all areas of life; not only the economy and politics,
transportation and communication media – we are also confronted
with global ecological effects, global migration movements and a
global reference in the world of the intellect, of culture and of ideas.
* Threatening global developments: The nuclear threat of human self-
destruction has not abated; famine and war still exist, and the extinc-
tion of species and climate change are notoriously acute problems
that, although they exhibit regional differences, all occur throughout
the globe and can only be overcome through joint efforts. This also
applies to the crises associated with the neo-liberal economy, whose
ramifications are spreading more rapidly and intensively today than
ever before.
* Glocalisation: We can now confirm directly visible and tangible conse-
quences within our own living environment as well as (less easily
observable) far-reaching and even global consequences caused by
our own apparently local actions. This brings with it the unsettling
and thus often repressed realisation that, sooner or later, we will have
to change the way of living to which we have become accustomed.
* Shift in the balances of power: While 100 years ago, following the First
World War, the world was still characterised by colonialism and
im perial power relations, today’s world looks entirely different: the
former colonies have become almost completely independent
nations, and the term “Third World”, which grew in popularity after
the Second World War, has come to refer not only to the underprivi-
leged position of the so-called developing countries, but also to their
resistance and their emancipation efforts. Although neo-colonial
relations continue to prevail in the global economy and global poli-
t ics, in today’s day and age the resistance of the Global South on all
levels, including the intellectual level, is a factor to be reckoned with.
12 | Global Citizenship Education
GCED – political education for a sustainable
world society
This planetary point of view to which reference is made
is an exercise in complex and contradictory thinking: it
involves conceiving of the inherent unity of human ity
with its political, economic, and cultural inequality and
disparity. As to how it is possible to organise this cultural
diversity not as a kind of mutual segregation, but rather
as a point of mutual reference, and how the hierarchi-
cally very different social and ideological divers ity of
humanity can communicate with one another in a
demo cratic way, is a question of political structures
and cultures that must first be reinvented. With this, we
arrive at the political term of pluriversity – global citizen-
ship. To put it more simply: global citizenship expresses
the fact that we must consider the entire planet as the
area of activity for a world domestic policy, that is a politi-
cal sphere of action that is committed to ethical and
democratic principles, even if there are no binding rules
(yet) in this regard; in which the right of existence of all
as both individuals and political subjects is recognised,
and in which the unavoidable conflicts between groups
of people, social classes and nations can be carried out
in a civilised form.
However, this planetary perspective is by no means a
matter of course, and is not easy to achieve. After all,
seen from our mode of perception, we have pledged
ourselves to “methodological nationalism” – a way of
thinking that views the nation as the natural pivotal
point; in an almost tribal way, our emotional horizon is
limited to a narrow circle, and even this national feeling
is not represented by one consistent attitude; in addi-
tion, all this is taking place precisely during times when,
recently, the exclusion of the “others” – with the para-
digmatic example being that of migration – is gaining
in popularity; furthermore, the impositions posed by
globalisation generate aversion and, quite particularly,
the slowly dawning recognition that, in the long term,
we in the West will not be able to keep up with our
wasteful production methods and ways of living at the
cost of others.
When we take the example of climate protection, this
resistance to the idea of global citizenship becomes
especially clear. Although by now, in these parts,
almost nobody denies that climate change is caused by
humans and that it is already bringing about dangerous
consequences and will result in even more in future,
All these developments are not passing trends and are
not peripheral phenomena in our lives, but instead re-
present profound changes – even if we do not always
want to accept this fact. Almost nobody has outlined
this more keenly or clearly than French philosopher
Edgar Morin:
Humanity is no longer simply a biological notion but
it should be fully recognized in its inseparable inclu-
sion in the biosphere.
Humanity is no longer a notion without roots, it is
rooted in a “Homeland”, the Earth, and the Earth is
an endangered Homeland.
Humanity is no longer an abstract notion, it is a vital
reality because now, for the first time, it is threatened
with death.
Humanity is no longer just an ideal notion, it has be-
come a community of fate and only the conscience
of that community can lead it to a community of life.
Humanity has become a supremely ethical notion:
it is what must be accomplished by and in each and
every one. (Morin 2001, 61–62)
With these powerful words, Morin concludes his study
Seven Complex Lessons in Education for the Future, which
he penned shortly before the turn of the century (1999)
on behalf of UNESCO. Morin is right. We need to funda-
mentally rethink things: our relation to the “world” – in
the double sense of both the external approach as well
as (human) life on the globe as a whole – is changing
and must be perceived in a new way. We need a “plane-
tary consciousness” with all the implications referenced
by this quote.
This has consequences for education, too. In terms of
education for the future, it is not simply about indi-
vidual “competences”, but rather about the big pic-
ture; it is not about isolated specialist knowledge, but
about complex interrelationships; and it is not about
“neutral” or instrumental learning, but instead about
the ethical embed ding of knowledge. And it is also
about en abling people to make political judgements
and take political action, far beyond the scope of the
nation state. The formula for this mission is called Global
Citizenship Education.
Global Citizenship Education | 13
GCED is a con stitutive element of the educational goals
within the SDGs (see box).
The GCED approach is accompanied by an inherent
sense of optimism when it comes to society and educa-
tion. There is an underlying, in part utopian, hope that
human attitudes and political structures are change-
able. Without this optimism, however, it is completely
impossible to take any pedagogical action today. Yet
we must not let this optimism blind us to the manifold
problems and obstacles.
This is why Global Citizenship Education as an educa-
tional task in the way we understand it can only be
depicted by complex and contradictory statements:
* An integrative approach that simultaneously represents
something new and independent: GCED is the union
of political education, peace education and global
learning, but it also includes intercultural pedagog-
ics and education for sustainable development –
and at the same time, it is more than that and
something new too: political education with a
cosmopolitan spin.
* A post-colonial critical approach, but with a planetary
consciousness: Post-colonialism deals with the
balanc es of power and the reproduction of in-
equalities as a consequence of colonially influenced
thinking and acting. This makes it an indispensable
foundation for all critical pedagogy. But at the same
time, this approach that considers the unjustly
ordered diversity of the world must be conceptually
linked with the approach of the principal unity of
the world as a community that shares a common
fate. This in no way neglects the many social, politi-
cal or cultural contradictions that exist within and
between the societies, but instead provides orienta-
tion for the work of overcoming these inequalities.
both politics and the general population have, aside
from small measures, switched to business as usual.
And if by chance – perhaps a historical stroke of luck
– students take to the streets with the call “Fridays for
Future”, politicians do not discuss their demands, but
rather whether it is justified that they are not in school.
Providing a contrast to this, our Global Citizenship Edu-
cation (GCED) approach represents the issue of using
education to make a contribution toward a necessary
rethinking and “refeeling”; only in this way is it possible
to grasp today’s global requirements emotionally and
intellectually and to overcome them in a practical
manner. The reference to our approach is intended to
serve as a reminder that we do not claim to represent
the one and only true representation of GCED, but
rather that there are a multitude of concepts as well
as regional “hues”. From our point of view, in any case,
one huge source of encouragement and hope is the
fact that the nations unified in the UN adopted a pro-
gramme for the major transformation of societies in
the direction of sustainability, peace and cooperation
in 2015, the Sus tainable Development Goals or SDGs.
With the global 2030 Agenda and its core component consisting of the 17 sustainability goals, the UN
has set an ambitious plan of action for development that is globally just, sustainable and viable for
the future. Education plays a central role in the implementation of all of the sustainability goals, and is
simulta neously also its own important programme point. The nations have committed to guaranteeing
in clusive, equal-opportunity education as well as ensuring that by 2030, all learners acquire the know-
ledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including among others through edu-
cation for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion
of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship, and appreciation of cultural diversity and of
culture’s contribution to sustainable development (SDG 4.7).
Cosmo-political education with
cosmo politan responsibility
Overcoming methodological nationalism
(a world view that regards everything
through the national lens)
Reection of one’s own (often privileged)
living conditions and the “imperial mode of
living” of the West
A pedagogical contribution to a major
social-ecological transformation of society
14 | Global Citizenship Education
but a question.” (Reardon/Snauwaert 2011, 6). This
historical critical stance is necessary in order to un-
derstand the genesis of contemporary constellations
and of today’s conflicts. This includes, for example,
confronting our own past as a part of the colonial-
imperial European system, as well as addressing the
ruptures in civilisation of the 20th century.
* The orientation towards the values of human rights,
peace and social justice distinguish our GCED
approach from a kind of “education for globalisa-
tion” that has recently come into fashion, which
essentially sees this as a way of getting people “into
shape” for the international competition – that is
to say, an approach based on the notion that the
learners are a form of “human capital” that must be
optimally equipped.
* Our cause corresponds to a didactic system of
participation, as practice for political action. This
participation does not always have to lead directly
to (public) action, but it must foster independence
in the learners’ way of thinking and acting so as to
enable them to make political judgements.
The outer circle in the diagram indicates the global
horizon, which in turn is differentiated into several
aspects: It is
* about questions where the global dimension is
already established from the outset, such as climate
change, nuclear disarmament or the Sustainable
Development Goals, about fairness in international
trading or about projects like the “New Silk Road”; in
no way, therefore, is it merely about “catastrophes”,
but rather about diverse social challenges and
development opportunities;
* about the global dimension of every issue, even if
this is not immediately apparent; examples for the
successful visualisation of this dimension are the
“ecological footprint” or the various Clean Clothes
* furthermore, about the connection of the local and
the global to create the glocal as we experience
it daily; glocalisation can be identified in a great
deal of day-to-day phenomena, particularly in
large cities, thus making it clear that globalisation
is not about “the others” or “somewhere else”, but
is instead just as much about ourselves and our
global responsibility;
* ultimately also about the focus on the meta-level
of globalism, i.e. on questions of the possibility
* A utopian approach with a sense of reality: GCED
regards global citizenship not just as a metaphor for
a global feeling of responsibility, but actually takes
it seriously as a feasible utopia: we must act as if
global citizenship were already a reality today, even
though citizenship is still bound to the individual
nation. Only in this way is it possible to work on
overcoming the national restrictions and achieve
the ideal of a democratic world domestic policy.
* Ethics without moral pressure: GCED is committed
to a normative objective and an ethical attitude,
yet without ignoring the freedom of the learners,
which must be placed ahead of every ethical
decision, and without implying that there is only
one ethically justified answer to every problem
* Practice-oriented, but not practicist: GCED aims to
impart practical political skills – yet without falling
prey to the illusion that this might be equivalent
to the learning of specific techniques, but rather
always with the awareness that it is about develop-
ing the overall personality.
Integrative learning and holistic learning:
the GCED star
All learning is simply the provision of learning oppor-
tunities. What Montessori summed up in the sentence,
“Help me to do it myself!” sounds simple and relatively
undemanding, and yet it represents a comprehensive
and challenging programme. It is about education as
a tool for self-education, which, in turn, must not be
conceived of only as individual learning, but as socially
effective collective learning. Here, that which American
peace educator Betty A. Reardon calls critical inquiry is
central to GCED (Reardon/Snauwaert 2011).
The graphic of the GCED star provides an overview of
the essential fields of learning as well as the basic peda-
gogic principles. Self-reflection, as the A and O of every
learning process, is located right in the centre. The four
points of the star each represent one basic principle.
* Critical thinking, i.e. a fundamental questioning of
the delivered information, but also of the categories
of thought that are what actually give this informa-
tion its “spin”, is a foundation of all pedagogy.
* One application of critical thinking is the critical
historical method of analysis, as in the critical inquiry
referred to above, which is what makes it possible
to visualise correlations in the first place: “The start-
ing point of authentic learning is not an instruction,
Global Citizenship Education | 15
* The reference to the utopia, which goes beyond
the current global horizon as symbolised by the
circle, is intended to emphasise that, beyond the
actual circumstances, Global Citizenship Education
is also always obliged to think in terms of possibi-
lities, to think in alternatives to that which already
of universal social thinking and organisation and
cosmopolitan action. This means that the global
dimension must also become a component of our
ideological constructions, theories and science; we
must not permit a continuation of colonialism or
nationalism in the field of theory. Naturally, this also
applies to the theories that form the basis of the
teaching subjects in schools.
Edgar Morin, to whose study this text makes reference at
the start, criticises the fact that our educational system
misses the mark with regard to the actual tasks – namely
teaching what it means to be human and what it means
to be a citizen: “We need to understand what human
beings are, we need to introduce data that is unknown
to us now, but essential to our understanding” (Morin
2016, 36). He concludes therefrom that a radical reform
of the educational systems would be required in order
to actually be able to impart that which constitutes the
idea of GCED. However, this is a topic all of its own.
Fig. 1: The GCED star. Source: Wintersteiner et al. 2015.
Global dimension
of all issues
individual reality
Question of
Global issues
Social justice
Human rights
MORIN, Edgar (2001): Seven Complex Lessons in Education for the Future. Paris: UNESCO 1999.
MORIN, Edgar (2016): Education, democracy and global solidarity: learning to understand the other in an age of uncertain-
ty. In: Global Education. Towards a World of Solidarity Report from the November 28, 2016. GENE Paris Conference, 34–36.
REARDON, Betty A./DALE T. Snauwaert (2011): Reflective Pedagogy, Cosmopolitanism, and Critical Peace Education for Political
Efficacy: A Discussion of Betty A. Reardon’s Assessment of the Field. In: In Factis Pax, Volume 5, Number 1: 1–14.
WINTERSTEINER, Werner/GROBBAUER, Heidi/Werner, Gertraud/REITMAIR-Werner, Susanne (2015): Global Citizenship Education:
citizenship education for globalizing societies. Klagenfurt University. upload/
16 | Global Citizenship Education
Three cornerstones of Global Citizenship
Education (GCED)
Josene Scherling and Ursula Maurič
GCED as critical teaching and learning
The model by Wintersteiner et al. (2015) envisages participation and the
competence to take political action, the capacity for critical reasoning,
historical critical thinking, as well as the inclusion of values such as peace,
social justice and human rights as essential elements of a didactic me-
thod for GCED. In particular, the post-colonial perspective emphasised by
Wintersteiner et al. represents a fundamental building block of teaching
in the field of CGED. Pashby (2014: 12) highlights the significance of this
component for a critical GCED by writing: GCED
[…] will have to be based on a strong understanding of and articula-
tion of imperialism in order to locate its rationales and initiatives within
the hegemonic global forces it seeks to critique and to transform.
It is of utmost necessity that learners are offered space for this aspect of
research and exploration if GCED does not wish to reproduce (violence-
inducing) structures and systems and uphold hegemonic structures,
but rather strive for a sustainable change in the direction of a culture of
human rights and of peace. With this in mind, Andreotti (2006: 49) argues
for the inclusion of a critical GCED alongside a soft GCED, whereby the
critical approach makes it its mission precisely to scrutinise these power
structures and unequal circumstances and therefore does not regard
poverty itself, but rather inequalities and injustices, as being the prob-
lem. This is the political dimension of GCED that is a necessary compon-
ent of the teaching on this topic in order to sensitise learners to the
complex challenges of global connections and to provide an impulse to
critically examine and analyse one’s own values and views, and to poten-
tially question one’s own ideological constructs. Otherwise, if it adopts a
purely moralistic approach, the teaching model runs the risk of excluding
essential areas of GCED (hegemonic structures, the epistemic violence of
colonialism etc.) that are obstructive to a culture of peace, thereby sim-
plifying the question “How do we create transformative global citizens”
(Bosio 2017) and falsely leading the learners to believe in a “simplified
reality” with simplified solutions to complex challenges.
Consequently, the questions “Whose experience/knowledge/ways of
knowing are at the center of GCE pedagogy? Who is the imagined sub-
ject of GCE initiatives, who is the object of study, and how is experience
understood within a ‘global’ frame?” (Pashby 2014: 16) should occupy
a significant place within the teaching. With this, Pashby addresses the
issues of subjectivity and objectification, which, as she points out, are
central to a critical GCED theory. Wang and Hoffman (2016: 14) postulate:
“Students and others who have the means to address global problems
also need the means to question their own positionality and their con-
struction of ‘the other’ they so passionately hope to help.
Global Citizenship Education | 17
Global citizenship – global citizen
A further pivotal point for the teachings of GCED is the
term (global) citizenship i.e. global citizen itself which,
unless subjected to a critical examination, usually leads
to the unthinking assumption of one-sided points of
view. This can have as a consequence, for example,
that due to purely national perspectives many intellec-
tual spaces are prematurely closed off, and (political)
possibilities for participation are reduced or made im-
Therefore, controversial positions should be included
in teaching and learning – this represents an impor-
tant principle of political education. The significance
of educating critical citizens is also reflected in many
places in the Austrian curricula and other important
documents on education, e.g. in the general ordinance
on the teaching principle of civic education from the
year 2015, which states: civic education “enables the
recognition, understanding and evaluation of various
political concepts and alternatives and leads to a critical
and reflected examination of one’s own values and the
convictions of those who hold differing political views”
(general ordinance 2015: 2).
There exists a lively and controversial debate surround-
ing the term (global) citizenship, which, depending
which line of argumentation one follows, leads to
varying standpoints with regard to GCED. This debate
addresses the topic of “belonging” i.e. inclusion and
exclusion; after all, the classic definition of the citizen-
ship term determines “who does and who does not
belong” (Pashby 2014: 17).
For this reason, the redesigning of the citizenship con-
cept for global citizenship is necessary precisely in order
to confront these exclusionary tendencies with a con-
ceptual approach and to be able to seriously address
and discuss the utopia of an actual global citizenship –
as a guiding principle – in lessons and teaching.
In this context, too, the post-colonial perspective, with
a focus on self-reflexivity and a self-critical attitude, also
plays a significant role. For the term global citizenship
is undoubtedly also accompanied by a certain claim
to universal validity, which must be reflected upon
critically in order to avoid instrumentalising GCED as the
tool of a new imperialism. Wang and Hoffman (2016: 3)
point out, for example:
[…] some versions of global citizenship education
are heavily influenced by unexplored cultural, class,
and moral/ethical orientations toward self and
others, potentially leading GCE to become another
tool for cultural or class-based global domination.
In this respect, the call by Messerschmidt (2010: 134) for a
post-colonial approach to the acknowledgement of the
past in the examination of world citizenship, “in which
the unjust relations in the world are reflected upon
against the backdrop of the colonial experiences [...]”, is
an important cornerstone of GCED in both teaching and
learning. For, as Messerschmidt continues: “The history
of world citizenship is, at the very least, a shared history
within violent global relations.” This should not be dis-
regarded in any critical assessment of GCED.
BOSIO, Emiliano (2017): How do we create transformative global citizens? in: University World News. [02.07.2018].
MESSERSCHMIDT, Astrid (2010): Touristen und Vagabunden – Weltbürger in der Migrationsgesellschaft [Tourists and Vagabonds
– Global Citizens in the Migration Society], in: Widmaier, Benedikt/Steffens, Gerd (eds.), Weltbürgertum und Kosmopolitisierung.
Interdisziplinäre Perspektiven für die Politische Bildung [Cosmopolitanism and Cosmopolitanisation. Interdisciplinary Perspec-
tives for Civic Education], Schwalbach/Ts: Wochenschau Verlag, p. 123-135.
PASHBY, Karen (2014): Questions for Global Citizenship Education in the Context of ‘New Imperialism’ For Whom, by Whom?,
in: Andreotti, Vanessa de Oliveira/de Souza, Lynn Mario T. M. (eds.), Postcolonial Perspectives on Global Citizenship Education,
Routledge, p. 9-26.
WANG, Chenyu/HOFFMAN, Diane M. (2016): Are WE the World? A Critical Reflection on Selfhood in U.S. Global Citizenship Edu-
cation, in: Education Policy Analysis Archives, 24/56, p. 1-22. [02.07.2018]
WINTERSTEINER, Werner/GROBBAUER, Heidi/DIENDORFER, Gertraud/REITMAIR-JUÁREZ, Susanne (2015): Global Citizenship
Education: citizenship education for globalizing societies. Klagenfurt University.
18 | Global Citizenship Education
Global Citizenship Education | 19
II. The GCED university course
Complexity – Responsibility – Self-Reection
The didactics of the university course GCED
1. Structural requirements of the UC
The course offers extra-occupational further training, but as a university
course (UC) it places very high demands on all those involved. The struc-
ture of the UC must take into account the fact that the participants have
to handle their studies alongside their professional challenges, and have
only limited possibilities to attend on-site seminars. The didactics of this
course provides an answer to these challenges, thus creating new pos-
sibilities for teaching and studying. After all, the professional and life ex-
perience of the students is a considerable resource to be drawn upon.
Thus the UC Global Citizenship Education (GCED) is a blended learning
training programme; it combines blocked teaching units in the form
of seminars lasting several days, regional workshops, and several short
seminars or workshops with e-learning phases and self-guided learning
The on-site seminars tackle complex questions and topics with me thodi-
cal diversity, including lectures and discussions with the teachers and
guest speakers of the UC. At the forefront are social learning and the de-
velopment of a feeling of community amongst the participants. The con-
tents and experiences from the on-site seminars are in part addressed in
the e-learning units, and participants may delve more deeply into these
topics by exchanging ideas with one another. The first e-learning units
of the UC comprise tasks that the students must work through them-
selves, as well as participation in online forums that take place across
several days, where the assignments are discussed and further developed
together. Participation in these discussion forums is obligatory; however,
students may manage their time flexibly and are in charge of their own
One important component of the course is the joint study trip. In both
rounds of the UC so far, the study trip was an absolute highlight for the
students. Didactically, the planning and execution of the study trip is a
huge challenge. Within a matter of a few days, a demanding and diverse
programme of contents is completed – with lectures and discussion
rounds at universities, in social institutions and with civil society organisa-
tions. (For details, see the article “Study trips”)
The teaching method of the UC taps into the potential offered by a
multi-year course and the intense cooperation. Members of the leader-
ship team aid in the supervision of all the teaching units, thus ensuring
an intensive exchange with the participants. The goal is the formation of
an active learning group that comes together to work on, deepen and
further develop the topics.
20 | Global Citizenship Education
differing existing knowledge at that. One could say,
therefore, that every single student has something dif-
ferent to learn. Simultaneously, we also strive to impart
the knowledge in an exemplary manner with the help
of case studies. To do so, we broach current political
topics and conflicts and study them from the GCED
perspective. As a result, the curricular planning of the
UC requires a certain amount of openness in order to
allow for the integration of current topics.
2.1 Interdisciplinary subject matter and
transdisciplinary cooperation
The topic area of Global Citizenship Education encom-
passes, as shown by the GCED star (see article “What
does GCED mean?”), both the meta-level of globality and
genuinely global issues as well as the global dimension
of central societal developments, while also covering
the overlapping and interlinking between local and
global developments. This complexity of global issues
and developments, but also of global crisis phenomena,
can only be understood with the help of an integrated,
interdisciplinary view. Key societal problems require
research and solution-oriented approaches that go
beyond disciplinary limits. The UC of Global Citizenship
Education is characterised by its interdisciplinarity; in
keeping with this, social science foundations form a
central part of the course curriculum. The examination
of the concept of (global) citizenship or the associated
issues of transnational democracy is based on political
science-oriented approaches and political theory. The
study course participants were able to explore these
topics with the aid of lectures and intensive discussions,
e.g. on “Post Democracy and Transnational Democracy”,
“Global Governance”, “Democracy, Citizenship and
Human Rights” or “Citizenship in the Context of Migra-
tion and Asylum Policy”, as well as deepen their studies
in discussion forums (e-learning) and by elaborating
reflective papers. The connection of all these topics with
Global Citizenship Education was a similarly consis tent
theme in seminars and self-organised learning phases.
The pedagogical concept builds on the foundations
of educational science and the knowledge and critical
reflection of pedagogical concepts that were part of the
founding ideas of Global Citizenship Education. More-
over, the understanding of Global Citizenship Educa-
tion in the UC is also based on the normative principle
of global justice, whereby philosophy and ethics offer
important theoretical points of reference.
2. Basic principles of the curricular planning
In the planning, as in the ongoing development of the
UC, we are guided by the search for answers to the
following questions:
* How can the complexity of the material be reduced
in a “meaningful” way, i.e. how can the contents be
made accessible to the participants without doing
a disservice to the great complexity thereof?
* What knowledge do the participants of the UC
* What are the specific requirements and possibilities
of such a study course?
* How can we develop a pedagogical and didactic
method for GCED that does justice to the subject
and meets the expectations of the individual?
In light of the complexity of the subject matter, selec-
ting the focal points of the UC presents a particular
challenge. For one thing, the complexity stems from
the fact that Global Citizenship Education is more than
just a pedagogical concept. Indeed, the foundation for
Global Citizenship Education is a complex, interdisci-
plinary thematic area that deals with global issues and
inter re lations as well as underlying complex systems
and cor relations (see the article “What does GCED
mean?”). At the same time, Global Citizenship Educa-
tion is a relatively new field of research (at least in the
German-speaking countries). This complexity makes it
necessary to impart five types of knowledge in an inte-
grated manner:
* factual knowledge of the world (e.g. political con-
stellations in times of globalisation – the factual
side of globalisation);
* conceptual knowledge (globalisation as a theory,
cosmopolitanism – terms that convey world views);
* conceptual pedagogical knowledge (e.g. of edu-
cational processes as a whole as well as of Global
Citizenship Education, peace pedagogy, anti-racist
* pedagogical knowledge at a practical level (specific
approaches and methods); as well as
* methods of pedagogical research (e.g. action
research/field research/forms of qualitative social
This knowledge must initially be built up systematically,
whereby it should be taken into consideration that the
participants already have existing knowledge, and very
Global Citizenship Education | 21
* Post-colonial theories avoid “methodological
nationalism, the recourse to the nation state as a
quasi-natural frame of reference that is not sub-
jected to further analysis”, because they question
the global constellations and the global historical
backgrounds of their objects of investigation and
* They are characterised by an awareness of globali-
sation, by the comprehension of the significance of
transnational interrelationships and the criticism of
transnational power (and its impact) as well as by
the experiences at the periphery.
* Post-colonial theories cover a broad scope of
themes, epistemic-cultural, political and socio-eco-
nomic issues, and are thus well-suited to organise
the building of bridges and connections between
various disciplines and knowledge traditions.
* They can also be viewed as a normative i.e. politi-
cally motivated science, and therefore also establish
connections to the non-academic production of
knowledge and non-academic engagement.
These considerations allow us to derive central connect-
ing factors for Global Citizenship Education and more.
In the pedagogical context, post-colonial thought pat-
terns also influence the choice and the content of the
topics that are classified as globally relevant. Viewing
knowledge, the production of knowledge and post-
colonially influenced thought patterns with a critical eye
is a hard task even for educators, as our experience in the
cooperation with schools shows. Accordingly, linking
post-colonial approaches and their critical perspective
more closely to lesson topics, establishing references
to curricula and developing solid lesson examples are
all part of the current tasks in the further development
of GCED in classroom practice. Students should also
re ceive preparation in order to rise to this task.
2.3 Didactics of controversy
Key global questions are characterised by scientific con-
troversies, and often by contradictory scientific findings.
Teaching and learning how to handle complexity and
the resulting uncertainties is one of the central peda-
gogical challenges of Global Citizenship Education.
A didactics of controversy, therefore, is based on the
conscious integration of controversial standpoints and
the possibility of comparison between various scien-
tific findings and various perspectives in educational
processes. It goes without saying that scientific contro-
versies in the scope of a university course are part and
Nowadays, key societal problems require not only
research and solution-oriented approaches that
go beyond disciplinary limits, but also partnerships
extend ing beyond the field of science. This is what
characterises the UC of Global Citizenship Education,
which from the very start was also a project of trans-
disciplinary cooperation. The opportunities offered
by transdisciplinary cooperation lie in the tackling of
socially relevant problems, joint learning processes
between academics and extramural protagonists as
well as in the genera tion of socially recognised and
solution-oriented knowledge, and of scientific as well
as practically relevant insights (Rieckmann 2015, 5). The
UC seizes these opportunities in a number of ways: it
is underpinned by the transdisciplinary collaboration
between the University of Klagenfurt and the Univer-
sity College of Teacher Education, in addition to civil
society players such as KommEnt and the Democracy
Centre Vienna (until mid-2017); the participants of the
UC form a part of this transdisciplinary collaboration,
and come primarily from the field of teacher training,
from school practice and other areas of education; they
are staff members in civil society organisations that
are active in the educational sector or they come from
administration, the social sector and other occupation-
al fields; they introduce approaches and experiences
from their own lines of work into the UC and, in turn,
they take the knowledge gained in the UC and apply
it in their fields of practice. The master theses are the
participants’ contribution towards the continued de-
velopment of the research and practical field of Global
Citizenship Education.
2.2 Cosmopolitanism and post-colonialism as
guiding principles
When it comes to the content-based orientation of the
UC, the confrontation with cosmopolitanism is impera-
tive. The idea is for the “cosmopolitan gaze” to become
a fundamental perspective with which the theories,
academic foundations and facts relevant to Global
Citizenship Education can be linked and by which they
can be measured. Cosmopolitanism makes reference to
the necessity to think in terms of a world society and act
in terms of global citizenship.
However, today, this cosmopolitanism can only exist in
a “post-colonially enlightened” form. The strength of
post-colonial approaches as a global critical theory can
be summarised in four aspects (Kerner, 2012, 164 ff.):
22 | Global Citizenship Education
with careful deliberation. In the UC, we have selected
two possibilities for doing so, which can be illustrated
by the following examples:
parcel of the content dealt with and of the programme
itself. But just like interdisciplinary approaches, cont-
roversial perspectives should also be included in the
content-related planning of a study course programme
Example 1 (UC 1, semester 1)
Topic: “Post Democracy” and Transnational Democracy and the Descent of the Nation State
Podium discussion with selected course participants and Prof. Dr. Anton Pelinka
(Following a day with varying input from Anton Pelinka on the topic of: politics and the political, political
concepts, concepts of democracy, questions of transnational democracy)
Example 2 (UC 1, semester 2)
Topic: Politics in the World Society: Global Governance
Two controversial lectures on the same topic: Ulrich Brand (Vienna University) and Silke Weinlich (Ger-
man Development Institute)
Followed by a dialogue between the two lecturers in which they confront their diering approaches with
one another.
Box 1: Didactic arrangements for the examination of controversial standpoints
2.4 Participation of those involved
The curricular planning of the UC defines central con-
tents and goals, yet at the same time, a certain openness
must be retained, in order to be able to respond to the
interests of the students and also to take their prior
knowledge, their requirements and their resources
into account. For these are, after all, a pivotal element
of the teaching/learning processes. On the other hand,
a three-year study course that deals with global devel-
opments must also be structured in such a way that
current topics and new issues can be incorporated into
the programme. This is why we rely on “rolling planning”
(a procedure for the systematic updating and specifica-
tion of the plans through regular updates).
The participation of those involved is the UC’s decla-
red goal; the objective is for them to learn to manage
their learning processes themselves and to be able to
actively participate in the seminar process. This requires
the processes in the seminar procedure to be transpar-
ent or to be made transparent. To this end, the “control
group” was set up and assigned with the task of co-
creating the seminar procedure by means of reflection
and intervention. The control group consisted of the
university course team and two to three participants
who changed regularly. The control group met once
per seminar. The objective was a joint, critical reflection
upon the events of the seminar. The suggestions and
criticism provided by the control group were – to the
extent possible – included into the seminar.
3. The teaching and learning concept: an
The following diagram illustrates the comprehensive
and integrative approach outlined above. The circles re-
present the respective core elements of the curriculum:
post-colonialism and cosmopolitanism are combined in
the curriculum in the subject Social Science Foundations
of Global Citizenship Education; the pedagogical concept
and normative foundation are represented by the sub-
jects Education Science i.e. Ethical Foundations of Global
Citizenship Education. The explanatory boxes refer to
both the contents as well as the didactic targets aimed
at by the study course. The two brackets to the left and
right of the diagram indi cate the integrative approach.
Complexity – Responsibility – Self-Reflection: These
three key words, which also lend this piece its title, serve
perfectly to sum up the teaching and learning concept.
The complexity represents the effort to convey con-
tents and methods in a comprehensive and integrative
manner, while responsibility refers to the ethical founda-
Global Citizenship Education | 23
With this approach we have, or so we hope, not just de-
veloped an adequate didactic method for this specific
study course, but also created a model for the imple-
mentation of GCED that shall not fall behind the pro-
claimed goals of this pedagogic approach.
tion found in the ideal of post-colonially conscious
global justice, and self-reflection stands not just for the
fundamental attitude strived for by the leadership
team, but also for a habitus that should become second
nature to all those who practice GCED.
Box 2: The teaching and learning concept of the UC Global Citizenship Education
KERNER, Ina (2012): Postkoloniale Theorien. Zur Einführung. [Post-colonial theories. An introduction.] Hamburg: Junius.
RIECKMANN, Marco (2015): Transdisziplinäre Forschung und Lehre als Brücke zwischen Zivilgesellschaft und Hochschulen
[Transdisciplinary research and teaching as a bridge between civil society and higher education institutes] – In: ZEP: Zeitschrift für
internationale Bildungsforschung und Entwicklungspädagogik [Journal of International Education Research and Development
Education] 38/3, p. 4–10.
Integration of current topics
Practical (pedagogical) experiences and the
theoretical reection thereof
Entire UC
Social science
foundations of
Overall concept GCED
History and related
UNESCO educational policy
Educational science
foundations of GCED
Concepts and
Human rights
Global justice
„Homeland Earth“
Principles and examples
work methods
Personal &
Citizenship Education
Post-colonial criticism
of social sciences and
pedagogy, of racism and
Eurocentrism, of
methodological nationalism
and the imperial way of life
Concepts and instruments
Political expertise
(International) politics
(Transnational) democracy
Special topic of study trip/
Facts and theories
24 | Global Citizenship Education
Sustainability Award 2018 for the university
course “Global Citizenship Education”
Out of 76 submissions, the training course
“Global Citizenship Education” was awarded
the Sustainability Award 2018 in the cate gory
of teaching and curricula. As part of a cele-
bratory ceremony, the prize was present ed
by the Federal Minister for Sustainability
and Tourism, Elisabeth Köstinger, as well as
the by Minister for Education, Science and
Research, Prof. Dr. Heinz Faßmann, to the
academic directors Prof. (retired) Dr. Werner
Wintersteiner (University of Klagenfurt) and
Dr. Heidi Grobbauer (KommEnt).
The reason: the training course represents an offer that is, until now,
unparalleled in the German-speaking area. It offers an education on
Global Citizenship, thus bringing into focus a political education with a
cosmopolitan orientation. This course enables graduates to play a part in
the implementation of the education targets of the Sustainable Develop-
ment Goals (SDGs) that were concluded by the UN General Assembly in
2015. Target 4.7 in particular envisages a Global Citizenship Education that
contributes to the dissemination of sustainable ways of life as well as the
creation of an inclusive system of education and society based on human
rights and gender equality, and that promotes a culture of peace.
Werner Wintersteiner, academic director of the course, explains: “Global
Citizenship is a clear statement against nationalism and racism, and for
global cooperation. Climate change consequences, famine, poverty and
war do not stop at national borders, and only together can we overcome
these issues. This is where our UC comes into play – but it is more than
just a teaching course. With the participants of the two cycles of this
course so far, we have succeeded in building up a network of research
and work, meaning that the global citizenship idea is being constantly
disseminated – in schools and higher education institutions, in NGOs as
well as in agencies and public authorities.”
As a national award for “sustainable higher education”, the distinction is
intended to motivate Austrian universities, technical colleges and teacher
training colleges to integrate the model of sustainable development
into their institutions and processes, and to thus put into practice their
responsibility towards society and the environment in as many aspects
as possible. In the scope of a nationwide competition, every two years
the Sustainability Award is given to the most innovative and sustainable
institutes for higher education.
Photo: © BMNT, Paul Gruber
Global Citizenship Education | 25
Study trips as an indispensable learning
method for GCED
A study trip is an irreplaceable learning opportunity in the context of
a university course. Such a trip makes it possible to experience, in con-
text, aspects and dimensions that are otherwise studied separately as
part of lectures or readings; it shows the consequences of social systems
and political decisions based on the real-life example of people who
live or suffer through them; it offers sensory, emotional and intellectual
ex periences in one; it allows for a completely different quality of involve-
ment of the learners in the learning process and thus also elicits more
intensive debates and self-reflection. The study trip is a very demanding
and complex learning method, which is why the corresponding con-
ditions must first be ensured: good content-related preparation that
connects the social situation of the country to the perspective of global
citizenship; a selection of experts to consult with and opportunities for
interaction that go beyond the immediate experience, as well as plenty of
opportunities for exchange and reflection. It thus follows that the leaders
of the study trip, who are simultaneously also travellers and participants,
also face a particular challenge in this process. They have to moderate
learning processes whose order of events are much less predictable than
those of lectures or workshops, and in which they themselves are also
much more involved in the role of learners than usual. This requires not
only a more precise preparation of the content than is perhaps necessary
for other learning arrangements, but also a constant alertness to the shif-
ting situations of group dynamics, to possible risks of all kinds as well as
to new opportunities.
In the following report, we can only offer a brief glimpse into the journeys
that took place during the first two rounds of the teaching course. Despite
the basic underlying common cause, they do differ considerably in many
ways: in the geopolitical significance of the respective country of desti-
nation, in the prevailing conflicts and thus also in the concrete setting of
objectives, and in part also in the working methods.
Israel/Palestine: a seemingly irreconcilable conict
experienced rst hand (2013)
The main objective of the trip was to gain deeper insight into this de-
cade-long conflict and to reflect upon possibilities of conflict solution,
prevention and peace-keeping as well as peace pedagogy. Although the
geopolitical significance of the conflict constellation in the Middle East is
of great relevance for GCED, in the experiences witnessed on the ground,
the immediate conflict, its history, and above all its numerous manifesta-
tions in the day-to-day life of its people outweighed this aspect.
This trip was, first and foremost, about doing justice to both sides in order
to achieve as comprehensive an understanding as possible of the con-
26 | Global Citizenship Education
West Bank – Palestinian viewpoints
In Ramallah, the de facto capital of the West Bank, we
visited the mausoleum of Jassir Arafat, and subsequent-
ly listened to various Palestinian voices. This included
historians, a political expert on parliamentary affairs,
a political advisor and a journalist. To conclude this
chapter, conversations were held in small groups with
Palestinian youth.
Bethlehem and Hebron
Following the visit and a guided tour through the
“Church of the Nativity” in Bethlehem, the trip continued
on to one of the nearby refugee camps, Dheisheh.
Among other things, one special project was present-
ed: Campus in Camps: in a two-year programme – the
first university programme designed especially for the
refugee camp – the young participants hailing from five
camps address new forms of visual and cultural repre-
sentation of refugee camps after more than 60 years of
In the divided city of Hebron, our group was led by a
guide from the organisation Breaking the Silence – an
organisation consisting of former Israeli soldiers who
take a critical view of Israel’s policy in the occupied areas
and report on their own experiences. What attracted
attention was the massive military contingent on the
otherwise almost dead streets of the city centre. The
tour was rounded out with a visit to a Palestinian human
rights activist from the organisation Youth Against
The historical Jewish narrative and the
Dead Sea
The visit to Masada, one of the most important tourist
attractions in Israel and a UNESCO World Heritage Site,
was fascinating not only because Masada is a place
steeped in history, but also because it continues to play
a significant role for the collective Jewish memory. The
legendary site of the last resistance of the Jews against
the Roman empire was and still is used as the founda-
tion for the current-day Israeli narrative.
Peace education
Peace education was a major topic of the trip – after
all, there is an expectation that this is one method of
paving the way for reconciliation and understanding in
the long term. Zvi Bekerman, professor at the Hebrew
University of Jerusalem, stressed that peace education
is barely present in Israel’s education system, and again
flict. This essentially consisted in hearing out the voices
of both sides, whereby it quickly became clear just how
plural and diverse the positions are on each side. But this
also had consequences for the organisation of the trip
itself – an overnight stay in a Jewish hotel in Tel Aviv,
in an Arabic hotel in Jerusalem / al-Quds, the booking
of guides and restaurants on both sides, the deliberate
invitation of experts who represented positions that
were expected to be in contradiction with the conflict
understanding of the participants. However, this also re-
quired a careful use of language not only when naming
places, but also when describing events and conflict
Yad Vashem
The start of the study trip was characterised by Jewish
standpoints and narratives. To begin with, the visit to
the memorial site of Yad Vashem, officially the “National
Holocaust Martyrs› and Heroes› Remembrance Authori-
ty”, enabled the participants to have an individual con-
frontation with the Holocaust, before additional aspects
were addressed in a conversation with historian Gideon
East Jerusalem and Israeli viewpoints on the
A bus tour through East Jerusalem with Ir Amim, an
Israeli organisation committed to fighting for the equal
rights of both peoples, provided insight into the living
environments of the Jewish and Palestinian settlements.
In particular, “geopolitical” aspects of the conflict were
highlighted during the bus tour through East Jerusalem.
The impacts of the construction of the wall were made
clear to the participants during the visit – amongst
other things – to Rachel’s Tomb, an enclave in the wall.
According to the tour guide, the wall is here to stay.
Ofer Zalzberg, historian and member of the Interna-
tional Crisis Group, provided an overview of the Israeli-
Palestinian conflict and explained that there is no one
single Israeli viewpoint, and that the religious dimen sion
of the conflict is increasingly coming to the forefront.
The segregated school system – there are different
schools for Jewish children raised secular or orthodox, in
addition to various Arabic school systems – he opined,
does not do much in the way of contributing to a solu-
tion, since the different narratives are reproduced and
thus reinforced instead of being unified. Following this,
representatives of the Israeli left, centre and right-wing
politics presented their positions.
Global Citizenship Education | 27
Greece: at the scene of a complex systemic
crisis (2017)
It was with careful consideration that Greece was chosen
as the study trip destination for 2017. After all, this
country is a hotspot for numerous social contradictions
of the European Union and beyond. Using the example
of Greece, it is possible to study the consequences of
globalisation and how it is dealt with internationally, as
well as the resistance of the population to pauperisation
and marginalisation.
Providing a contrast to the simplistic media representa-
tion, the intention of the 2017 study trip to Athens and
Thessaloniki was to enable a multi-perspective view of
the situation. The aim was to then embed this in the
European and global context, and shine a spotlight on
the circumstances against the backdrop of historical
developments and politico-economic connections.
The so-called Greek crisis was a consequence of the
global financial crisis in 2008 and the harsh EU austeri-
ty policy. Unemployment rose sharply, in particular
unemployment amongst young people, which in the
year 2011 reached over 40 percent. According to a study
conducted by the Athenian research institute Dia Neosis,
in 2015, 15 percent of Greece’s population was living in
extreme poverty, in comparison to 2.2 percent in the
year 2009.
Encounters with people from different social spheres
made space for a wide variety of perspectives. As Giorgos
Chondros, a politician in the governing party Syriza, tells
it, Greece was picked out to “solve” the European impact
of the US financial crisis. The “salva tion of Greece” was in
reality, he claims, the salvation of the euro and of the
major banks, while the so-called bailout programmes
were normal loans attached to strict condi tions. Like
Chondros, psychologist Athanasios Marvakis (Aristotle
University of Thessaloniki) also deplored the shift of
the balance of power to the right and the lack of a true
counter-discourse. Both emphasised that this social
question is one that must be posed internationally, thus
highlighting the fact that global challenges cannot be
solved at a national level. Much more importantly, they
pointed out, it is about overcoming methodological
nationalism; this issue forms a central element of Global
Citizenship Education (GCED).
emphasised the division within the school system,
which, according to him, not only reinforces tensions
between the Israeli and Palestinian populations, but
also within the Israeli society. Similarly, he continued,
a monocultural approach focusing only on Israeli per-
s pectives, like the programme followed by the cor-
responding ministry in Israel, is not conducive to an
education for peace either.
In addition, the group of travellers also visited the co-
operative village of Neve Shalom/Wahat al Salam, or the
“Oasis of Peace”, in which Jewish and Palestinian citizens
live together as equals. Nava Sonnenschein, director of
the School for Peace based there, gave an account of
her experiences in the field of peace education. In Tel
Aviv, in turn, Israeli peace activist and educator Anat
Reisman-Levy told of her pioneer programmes on peace
pedagogy, which she implemented in the framework of
the Israel Palestine Center for Research and Information
(IPCRI) – one of the few organisations in which Israelis
and Palestinians actually work together.
For those who took part in the trip, it was a very in tense,
emotionally moving experience. This is perhaps best
expressed through the following feedback: “Getting
to know the real-life situations in person – touching,
feel ing and listening – increases one’s grasp on inter-
relations, but also stirs up confusion and provides food
for thought. Travelling as a (self-)educational process:
comprehending that by being present on site, one be-
comes part of a living reality. Travel has the potential to
shock us, to shake us awake, but also to acquaint us with
our active sides.”
Based on a report by Johanna Urban, 2013
28 | Global Citizenship Education
Throughout the entire trip, there was a recurring theme:
that of bridging a gap between worlds – between the
past and the present, between the local and the global.
Alongside the ancient sites of Athens, we also visited
places that carry particular significance for demo cratic
involvement in the crisis, such as Syntagma Square,
where the Greek parliament is situated and which was
made famous by the massive Athenian protest de-
monstrations. A connection to the current social crisis
was also established through the guided tour of Athens
from the perspective of homeless people, organised by
the street newspaper Shedia. The Metropolitan Clinic of
Hellenikos is one of the solidarity clinics at which people
in need can receive basic medical care free of charge,
regardless of their nationality and their residency status.
The City Plaza Hotel is an example of civil resistance. The
vacant hotel was occupied in 2016 and now houses 400
refugees, who are motivated to organise themselves
and are supported by activists from Greece and other
countries. It is not just a place to stay, but also a place
where government policy is criticised and changes
in the treatment of refugees are demanded. Entirely
in keeping with the concept of critical Global Citizen-
ship Education, Nasim, who had fled from Afghanistan
16 years earlier, explained the basic idea: “It is not only
about refugees, but also about citizenship.”
Based on a report by Margot Kapfer, 2019
Overcoming conicts of memory
Throughout the trip, political-historical learning oc cu-
pied a role of great importance. Again and again, refer-
ence was made to the population exchange of 1923: in
this process, approx. 1.2 million Greek Orthodox citizens
from Turkey and approx. half a million Muslims from
Greece were forcibly resettled in Greece and Turkey
res pectively, which in part also led to the loss of their
citizenship based on religious criteria. In Thessaloniki,
the Ottoman Empire, which lasted almost 500 years, and
the history of the Sephardic Jewish community were ex-
amined; for a time, this people represented the majority
of the city’s population in Ottoman-era Thes saloniki.
The Jewish community in Thessaloniki was almost
completely eliminated by the Holocaust; of the roughly
50,000 Jews living there before, only about 2,000 sur-
vived. A meeting with contemporary witnesses of
the Chortiatis Massacre committed by the German
Wehrmacht (armed forces) left a lasting impression.
Confronting students with differing interpretations of
history is also the goal of a project that was presented
by historian Christina Koulouri (Panteion University,
Athens): this project entails a multi-perspective repre-
sentation of the history of Southeast Europe, and pro-
vides alternative didactic materials in all the countries
1 See (accessed 7.4.2019)
Global Citizenship Education | 29
Education: Theory and Practice
Global Citizenship Education (GCED) as a form of politi cal education for the world society aims to empower people
to a dvocate for a fairer world, by learning to think and act with responsibility. Academic education represents a great
op portunity for laying the foundation for the development of an awareness as a global citizen, and for imparting know-
ledge, values and skills in line with GCED. One important prerequisite here is teacher training that will prepare teaching
staff for this mission and will support them in integrating GCED into their lessons. But extracurricular fields of learning also
play a significant role in the implementation of the GCED concept. The theses deal with theoretical questions, examine
pedagogical concepts and learning models with regard to their potential for GCED, and tackle possibilities of implemen-
tation in various fields of practice.
HUBER-KRIEGLER, Martina: “The World according to Biomes” –
A curriculum for Global Citizenship Education? A critical
acclaim with practical proposed additions
PLIEM, Claudia: Informal learning and casual learning as
potentials for Global Citizenship Education
ROETZER, Anita: Judgement competence of young people
using the example of climate justice in the context of
values and knowledge education and Global Citizenship
TEYNOR, Jana: EAThink – on the potential of digital
storytelling for Global Citizenship Education
ULBRICH, Theresia: A critical analysis of selected materials
from intercultural, anti-racist, human rights-based peda-
gogical and (developmental) political/global education
work based on the concept of Global Citizenship Edu-
WITAMWAS, Christoph: Refugee children as a challenge for
everyday school. A selection of preventative mea sures and
strategies for teachers in the lower secondary level (ages
11–15 )
WOHLFAHRT, Gisela: Global Citizenship Education in
Myanmar: Considering the example of a project in inter-
national education cooperation
Academic achievements: the master theses from the
rst two rounds of the university course
WOHLGEMUTH, Karoline: A global comparison of inclusive
schooling and its impact on identity as well as citizenship
as a feeling of belonging and citizenship as a practice,
considered with the example of one school case study in
Canada, Italy and Austria respectively
GADERER, Eva: Leave the auditorium! – The contribution of
field trips to Global Citizenship Education
HAUSER, Wilma: Global Citizenship Education as a core ele-
ment of the profession in the NEW teacher training of the
Teacher Education Network South-East (status quo and
KAIPEL, Verena: “I know Europe – I know the world?” From
European to global identities with Erasmus+
MAURIČ, Ursula: Aspects of Global Citizenship Education in
teacher training. Approaches, concepts, measures and per-
spectives using the example of the University College of
Teacher Education in Vienna
ZEINLINGER-CREIGHTON, Petra: The influence factor of the
teacher’s habitus on the development of a learning climate
conducive to peace in multicultural primary school classes
30 | Global Citizenship Education
Primary school
DALLINGER, Sara Elisabeth: The world as a classroom. The
spatial concept of the Montessori primary level as an op-
portunity for Global Citizenship Education
RIESER, Verena: Global Citizenship Education in primary
school – “Children learn to understand (world)politics –
We found a state” – Conception and realisation of a class
project to enable students in political matters in context of
Global Citizenship Education
SAUER, Simone: Intercultural competence of the teachers in
the primary school St. Veit/Glan: a contribution to the spe-
cification of Global Citizenship Education
SCHACHNER-HECHT, Sonja: Learning democracy in primary
school as an opportunity for Global Citizenship Education
Secondary level
ELSENER, Brigitte: Global Citizenship Education as a form of
overcoming nationalism – an experience-based analysis of
beneficial methods and approaches
GUTHEINZ, Doris: “A good life for all” and the concept of
Global Citizenship Education in middle school (Neue Mit-
KAGER, Inge: The way the compulsory optional subject
Global Citizenship Education was learning to walk (a case
KRUISZ, Karl: Intercultural competence and Global
Citizenship Education in vocational schools – oppor tunities
for new pedagogical approaches
LANDAUF, Andrea: Teaching from a Global Citizenship Edu-
cation perspective
MARGREITER, Barbara: The dual training of apprentices and
Global Citizenship Education
PIRCHER, Carolina: The practical implementation of Global
Citizenship Education in the interdisciplinary subject of
German and the course combination of History/Social Stu-
dies/Political Education through experiential learning (a
case study)
SCHARLER, Stefanie: “Generation both … and …” – young
people between cosmopolitism and pragmatism. Lessons
in literature
KRONBERGER, Andrea: Reading adventures and world
views – the literature of the Global South as a metho dical
approach within the meaning of Global Citizenship Educa-
tion in class
PRÜNSTER, Stefan: Global Citizenship Education and trans-
cultural teaching in primary schools through storybooks
TANGL, Andreas: Justice in selected novels of young
people’s literature
ZEIRINGER, Johann. Global and local – literary texts in the
context of Global Citizenship Education
BLIEM, Alfons: Integration – made easier with team sports?
DIEDERICHS, Michelle: Learning cities: local strategies for
global citizenship education? The case of Gelsenkirchen
DROBITS, Günter: To what extent can free digital technolo-
gies in Austria support the targets 4.1 – 4.3 of the Agenda
2030? Taking stock: opportunities and obstacles for free
interaction in the global network, for using free teaching
materials and methods
SCHÖN, Anna: Perspectives on Global Citizenship Education
in Hip Hop
Global Citizenship Education | 31
ELSSER, Maria: Global justice in the context of development
policy strategies and programmes
GRASS, Hans Peter: Migration for begging and global
citizenship. The role of feelings, ambivalences, dilemmas
and basic needs
POSRATSCHNIG, Ursula: Global Citizenship Education and ani-
mal rights: Interfaces, Common Ground and Mutual Integration
RISKE, Madeleine: What if? – The relevance of utopian awa-
reness for the field of Global Citizenship Education using
the example of Unconditional Basic Income
SCHNEEBERGER, Sabine: Global solidarity/human right to
happiness based on the example of a mindful eco nomic
process. Case study: FAIRytale Fair Fashion
Global Ethics – Global Justice
In the GCED concept, justice is a universal value and, in critical GCED in particular, is understood as a political notion that
strives for equal relationships worldwide. For this reason, global concepts of justice represent a central element of the global
citizenship approach. The theses address global ethical issues, mindful economics and the realisation of developmental
programmes. A light is shed on current societal challenges in connection with migration and the inequity of distribution,
thus shifting the gaze towards associated dilemmas and utopias.
Politics and Society
Engaging with political and societal discourses is the central focus of several theses. These papers reflect not only upon
what is said; they also address the imbalanc es of power with the question of who is able to speak, and therefore who is able
to participate. In this way, the discussion surrounding citizenship as a political practice, that is to say the possibilities for par-
ticipation and for overcoming the national frame of reference with global citizenship in mind, play a special role. Concepts
that aim to overcome nationalism and racism are front and centre here, and GCED’s contribution to a peaceful, just society
is examined from various perspectives.
FUGGER, Thomas: Migration, nation and civil rights. An
ethical/philosophical input about the handling of refugees
KAPFER, Margot: Citizenship as a political practice. The
involvement of non-Austrian citizens in the 2016 pre-
sidential election campaign as an example of global
PEIN, Claudia: Primary school as a field of experience and
action of global citizenship via parents “seen against the
backdrop of migration
PLHAK, Natalie: Participatory decision-making – sociocracy
as an option
SAKAR, Samera: Iraqi women in Austria – ideal and reality
of citizenship
SCHERLING, Josefine: Children’s rights in the context of
global citizenship as illustrated by the right of participation
SCHRAML, Tanja: What influence does the family biography
have on children’s prospects for highly-skilled labour mig-
ration and becoming global citizens?
ALTENBERGER, Sandra: Discrimination of global ambi guities
or the utopia of a post-racist world society (develop ing
thought, perception and action)
RIEGER, Maria: Religion and peace: concepts of peace – ob-
servations and juxtapositions
STROBL, Sabine: On the discourse regarding “Islam” in
Austria. Reflections on current standpoints between
politics and religion
WEISSBÖCK, Anja: Conspiracy theories – a new challenge
for pedagogy!? An attempt at an approximation to the
challenges for Global Citizenship Education with regard to
the multifaceted phenomenon
32 | Global Citizenship Education
Global Citizenship Education | 33
III. GCED classroom teaching
Teaching Global Citizenship Education in class
A commented guideline
This table with its four objectives and tasks is designed to serve as a guide-
line and aid for the preparation of lessons. Here, the major idea of Global
Citizenship Education (GCED) is broken down into four main objectives,
which in turn are subdivided into individual sub-tasks.
(1) Identify and analyse connections between global developments and
local impacts that affect the learners themselves
(2) Allow learners to experience their self-efficacy as “citizens”
(3) Support learners in developing an awareness of the need to become
active as global citizens
(4) Help learners to internalise these experiences and make them a part
of their personality
The teaching of GCED thus deals with cognitive knowledge (1), but also
with the corresponding skills (2) and attitudes (3). All of these objectives
can only be achieved if they are closely connected with the personality of
the learners, which is always implicitly implied and again explicitly in (4).
All objectives and sub-tasks are accompanied by examples designed to
illustrate what the implementation might look like. However, it is impor-
tant to keep in mind that these are just that – examples – and that entirely
different possibilities of implementation therefore exist and must exist,
depending on the situation.
The aim of the tasks and examples is to depict a connection between
GCED principles and the practical lesson in an evident, clear and exemp-
lary manner. After all, GCED is a very comprehensive and complex field of
work, and it is also a number of things at once – a transdisciplinary topic,
a teaching principle, and the subject matter of specialised classes in many
subjects. This complexity is also the reason as to why there is a great deal
of overlap between the sub-tasks and why the objectives and tasks are
also interlinked. The subdivision is made for purely analytic and didactic
reasons; naturally, it does not need to be adhered to in practice.
What is important, however, is that we do not lose sight of the big pic-
ture of GCED amongst all the sub-tasks and individual examples. It is not
enough to take just any – in and of itself necessary and indispensable –
sub-task, such as “critical thinking”, and address it in an isolated manner
and think that one has thereby done justice to the objectives of GCED. For
it is only the interaction between the four objec tives that forms the notion
of GCED. Making this insight understandable is also a task of this guideline.
34 | Global Citizenship Education
However, by no means does the GCED idea stipula-
te that we must work through this guideline point for
point like a checklist. One will inevitably use one or
the other sub-objective or example for the respective
teaching situation. But it is important to ensure that the
awareness of the broader context is preserved. Without
a doubt, the guideline is intended to be adaptable for
all subjects, and here we use the column on the left for
reference; however, the actual realisation needs to be
based on the peculiarities and possibilities of the indi-
vidual subjects, which is why, obviously, the exempla-
ry methods in the right-hand column cannot offer the
appropriate solution for every subject and every school
year – they are simply intended to be suggestions.
It is worth emphasising one point here in particular: by
no means do we assume that we as teachers – practi-
cally by virtue of our function – are already sufficiently
qualified to fully understand the objectives cited here
and also teach them to others in their exact meaning.
Rather, the objectives and tasks described here should
be regarded as a challenge to us as teachers to also en-
gage in learning processes ourselves in the direction of
Global Citizenship (Education).
In general, the left column with the objectives and sub-
objectives is structured in such a way that the following
points are covered:
* New knowledge (e.g. “Studying the local and global
impacts of global issues”)
* Gaining new experience (e.g. “Discovering the
global in the local”)
* Aiding in the development of skills (e.g. “Creating
realms of experience for participation”)
* Building up meta-knowledge, i.e. knowledge about
knowledge, adapting the mental framework and
the categories used to classify knowledge (e.g.
“Homeland Earth. World views and world visions”)
The sequence of these points is varied, since it does not
follow any particular schema, but is instead based on
what is assumed to be the best way to achieve the sub-
objective in question.
This guideline can be used in manifold ways:
* when planning and elaborating one’s own teaching
* when rating and evaluating one’s own lessons
* when assessing the GCED quality of teaching materials
(1) Enable learners to identify and analyse connections between global developments and local
impacts that aect the learners themselves
This objective is the prerequisite for learners being able to “think globally” in the political sense and to feel
globally responsible.
Discovering the global in the local
These discoveries form the basis and, in
a manner, the precursor for all further
steps. Often, we can start from the pre-
mise that a certain “global” awareness,
albeit diffuse, already exists; this awa-
reness must then be refined in lessons.
It should be taken into account that
nowadays, many students have already
gained many global experiences in their
life (migration, holiday trips, student ex-
Getting to know people in one’s surroundings with a migration background or
travel experience and speaking with others about these (personal) experiences
Searching for “traces of the global” in one’s own living environment: shops, cul-
tural sites; architectural styles; monuments, events...
Researching one’s own (familial) “globality”: migration, journeys, foreign langua-
ge knowledge, relatives and friends... an “identity check-up” as described by
Amin Maalouf1
Using appropriate exercises to address physical sensations and emotions
that are triggered when confronting the “global” (facial expressions, gestures,
enactments, rituals...)
1 ”I sometimes find myself „examining my identity“ as other people examine their conscience. As you may imagine, my object is not to
discover within myself some „essential“ a llegiance in which I may recognise myself. Rather the opposi te: I scour my memory to find as many
ingredients of my identity as I can. I then assemble and arrange them. I don‘t deny any of them.” (Amin Maalouf: In the Name of Identity:
Violence and the Need to Belong. New York: Penguin 2003, 16.)
Global Citizenship Education | 35
Since this is the first introduction to this
topic, by no means is it necessary for it
to be systematised; one may start with
any random example that is of interest
to the learners.
However, this “encounter with the
global” is not a purely rational, but also a
deeply emotional process, and this must
also be considered in didactic terms.
Recognising the global eects of
local actions and decisions
Here it is no longer just about being awa-
re of the global connections; instead, the
focus is on the injustice of today’s global
world order.
This in itself requires an approach with a
certain systematic degree, which can be
fulfilled over time.
Studying the local and global
impacts of global issues
This is all about taking “major issues” that
are already being talked about by eve-
ryone anyway, and understanding them
both in a framework that is manageable
for the learners and at a global level. It is,
therefore, about creating a connection.
This can be done in a contemporary as
well as a historical context.
“Homeland Earth”: World Views
and World Visions
This is where the meta-level of the dis-
cussion begins, in contrast to the more
practically oriented previous aspects.
Medicine as an example for worldwide inequality and injustice: exploitation of
the medicinal plant resources of the countries in the South by major corpora-
tions; their attempt to dominate the market with patents and monopolies; un-
attainability of medicines in poorer countries; organ trafficking …
Tracking and critically analysing the origins of consumer goods, in particular
those of the learners: food, clothing, entertainment electronics …
Investigating one’s own occupational fields with regard to the global aspect
What sustains us: learning to understand political economic cycles in their con-
text, using the example of the supply of food, the “greatest challenge for Europe”
(organic pioneer Werner Lampert): Why are sustainable organic agriculture and
the fair production of consumer goods a question of global citizenship?
Critically analysing the origins of less visible, but essential goods (energy, elec-
tricity, raw materials): Who profits from what? Who has to bear the potential
environmental consequences? What strategies do the industrialised nations
develop in order to secure these goods for themselves?
Researching reasons for migration or flight by means of one’s own experience,
interviewing people in one’s surroundings as well as country-wide studies
Using media reports, social media, YouTube, music and literary texts to become
acquainted with the life of people in the Global South, so as to view them not
as “victims” and “poor people” but in all their dignity and possibilities for action
Current issues (selection):
– Climate change (and other ecological issues)
– Wars
– Threat of nuclear war (arms industry, arms trade)
– Terrorism
Studying newspapers and specialist literature, incl. school book s (learning critical
Studying literary texts (learning literary reading)
Historical (selection):
– History of slavery and its long-term consequences (until today)
– Examining flight and the causes of flight historically and today
Learning to understand post-colonial criticism of Eurocentrism in a manner
appropriate to the age of the learners
What world views and world visions do we ourselves hold (as teachers, as
learners)? E.g. drawing “psychological world maps” that reflect a personal
geography (free design of the size, proximity and characteristics of other
Historical dimensions using visualisations (world maps, allegories etc.) from
various parts of the world
36 | Global Citizenship Education
The intention consists of examining
one’s own world view and world visions
in general, since these are what (uncon-
sciously) shape our view of the world, of
globalisation, of the notions of future de-
velopments, of cooperation and global
partnerships, of life together in the world
society. One goal here is to first accept
our Eurocentric images as unavoidable
and to become aware of them, but also
to counteract them with other images.
Gaining a comprehensive
understanding of racism
“The ability to be different without fear!”
is something that is still not a matter of
course. Racism is ubiquitous and creates
a hierarchy of people; it plays a role in
creating unequal conditions – worldwi-
de and here in Austria too
Addressing ideological and materi-
al alternatives to the existing order
• Socio-ecologicaltransformation
• Learningtounderstandthemeaning
of the UNO Sustainable Development
Goals (SDGs)
Which world views were formative in the past and how do they come across in
the present day?
Contrastive historical images: e.g. the crusades from the perspective of the Ar abs;
the “discovery” of the Americas from the indigenous point of view; imperialism
and colonialism – voices from the south
Classic texts (excerpts): Frantz Fanon, Aimé Césaire, Edward Said …
The criticism of racism is a core value of GCED
This task also applies in particular to the teaching staff themselves, since racism
is banal and ingrained, and has thus become invisible2
Criticism of the growth economy
Criticism of the imperial way of living3
Forms of solidary economy, a common welfare economy, post-growth …
Implementation of the SDGs in Austria
(2) Allow learners to experience their self-ecacy as citizens
This objective is a prerequisite in order for learners to view themselves as engaged citizens.
Reecting upon experiences of civil
courage and “engagement”
This applies to all social fields: at home,
peer group, school, in social media... the
school can also offer impulses here. This
can be related to certain events or as its
own lesson unit. What is important is en-
suring that any potential existing nega-
tive dynamics are not reinforced in the
class, and making sure that the weaker
participants are always protected.
Looking straight at it or turning away when injustice is witnessed
Experiences where one successfully stood one’s ground
Potentially also working to protect literary texts (seeing the texts as eye-openers
and templates for one’s own, deliberately fictitious texts) so as to protect the
personal space of the learners
2 See, for example, criticism of racism in teacher training:
3 See Ulrich Brand/Markus Wissen: Imperial Mode of Living. In: Krisis. Journal for contemporary philosophy. Issue 2, 2018: Marx from the
Margins, 75-77.
Global Citizenship Education | 37
Creating and using realms of expe-
rience for participation
This is perhaps the most important and
least developed aspect of school life.
Researching role models and dedi-
cated people
An indirect method that helps to in-
crease interest and trust in one’s own
Becoming familiar with and learning
how to make use of one’s own rights
Communication and the ability to
handle conict
These are indispensable competences
for all citizens, which are best learned in
connection with the desired contents
In the lesson itself, in the school community as a whole; starting with small
spaces for growth; at the same time, the constant reflection of how one handles
participation etc. One can and must learn the ability to participate!
Structures such as tutor time, ritual weekly start in a circle, and even dedicated
school subjects such as “Communication and Conflict
Purposefully making use of school projects, school celebrations and exchanges
as opportunities to learn about democracy, even if this might seem tedious at
Journalistic and literary texts, films, personal interviews and other forms of
personal encounters
Becoming acquainted with human rights, democratic rights; learning to grasp
the significance of these rights for one’s own life; broaching the topic of res-
trictions of rights and deficits in democracy
Practising empathy and active listening just as much as a culture of debate:
representing one’s own arguments; reflecting upon how to deal with compe-
tition; learning to ally with others...
Actual cases, role play, simulation games, peer mediation training …
Working with concepts of self: promoting an approach where learners are aware
of strengths and tolerant of weaknesses in relationship and power structures,
multi-faceted, identity-forming experiences, practising behaviour that conforms
with and distances itself from expected roles, etc.
Reecting upon one’s own position
in the world
Ethical reections
Recognising one’s own position as a member of a privileged and rich western
country (even if one in no way feels privileged within this country); seeing one’s
own position as a task
Confronting one’s own prejudices
Discussion of ethical questions using examples, excerpts from philosophical
works and literary texts (philosophising with children and young people)
(3) Support learners in developing an awareness of the need to become active as global citizens
Only in this way is the knowledge regarding global structures and connections made political; simultan-
eously also a rehearsal of democratic forms of participation. The critical social analyses from (1) form an
important foundation here.
38 | Global Citizenship Education
Practical (pedagogical)
Real situations
Simulation games
Class projects with a high degree of par ticipation (selection of topic and method,
time management, forms of presentation, performance evaluation …)
Encounters with peers, from neighbouring classes all the way to international
student exchanges
Workplace (in the case of students with an occupational education)
Reflecting on students’ voluntary involvement
Broaching the topic of possibilities for action with the help of current political
Creating special opportunities for get ting in contact with p eers from the Global South
(from migrants and refugees in the surrounding area to those who live far away)
(4) Help learners to internalise these experiences and make them a part of their personality
Naturally, this cannot be forced, and usually cannot even be observed. But what we very well can do as
teachers is to create the best possible framework conditions for this to happen.
Unity of words and actions
Designing the overall school
Spiral curricula
Providing impulses for self-reec-
tion and “self-experimentation”
Reflecting on one’s own behaviour as a teacher; no mixed messages!
Deliberately implementing GCED as a guiding principle for an ecologically sus–
tainable school. Lessons, school community, actual and announced school culture
(guidelines; school charter), choice of lesson materials, foods, dealing with waste …
Repeatedly addressing the selected focal points, consciously linking new lesson
units to previous ones; disseminating not just knowledge, but also “knowledge
about knowledge”
Beyond the annual planning, also carrying out rough planning for the entire
primary school and secondary school stages
Ideal formats are oral narration, essays, short, self-directed movies filmed on
mobile phones, sketches, role play…
Future workshops, writing workshops, and studio theatres are also well-suited
for this purpose
Networking with others in the here and now and recognising the feelings that
arise as a learning opportunity, as a guide to one’s needs and primal fears, in
order to thus establish a creative way of coming up with ideological, material
alternatives to the existing order, to initiate empathic processes, to get to know
and understand oneself better …
Global Citizenship Education | 39
A school of cosmopolitanism. Experiences
with Global Citizenship Education in classroom
“School cannot ‘save the world’. However, it can encourage young
people to become aware of their new role as global citizens and crea-
te incentives for them to take interest in and get involved in the issues
of national and international politics.”
With this statement, the teachers of a Vienna school explain their com-
mitment to Global Citizenship Education (GCED). They are aware of how
important cosmopolitan education is in schools. For this to happen,
several conditions must be met: the introduction of Global Citizenship
Education as a perspective that provides direction for the development
of schools and lesson structures requires a foundation consisting of the
theoretical examination of concepts, and equally, it also requires a treasure
trove of practical experiences. To make this possible, the concepts of
GCED, which are generally formulated in a relatively abstract manner,
need to be adapt ed to the reality of the individual school subjects and
school grades, and then put into concrete terms for these.
This is why, at the invitation of the Austrian Commission for UNESCO,
we, members of the steering committee of the GCED university course,
began our collaboration with UNESCO schools. To this end, we decided
on a three-step process:
(1) The teachers receive basic information in the form of presentations
as well as a handout explaining the implementation of GCED in
(2) Those who decide to collaborate on the project formulate a topic
that they wish to work on within the framework of the lessons. They
receive advice, guidance and even direct support in lessons as nee-
ded. This takes place in the form of joint meetings as well as individu-
al consultations.
(3) The completed projects are – once again with the help of the
management team – documented and published by the Austrian
Commission for UNESCO.
At the end of the process, 13 class projects in which GCED was actually
implemented were selected and presented in a brochure. The teachers
expound on their experiences and successes, but also on the obstacles
they had to overcome. The school projects in question are targeted
almost exclusively at the secondary level II (pupils between the ages of 14
and 19). For the most part, the projects involve schools from the UNESCO
network of schools. These are joined by two examples from the field
40 | Global Citizenship Education40 | Global Citizenship Education
more than ever, cross-curricular and interdisciplinary
educational concepts are also needed here. Global
Citizenship Education works to establish the interlink-
ing of various pedagogical approaches, such as global
learn ing, political and intercultural education, peace
pedagogy and education for sustainable development.
For although historically, these approaches evolved
separately and are incorporated to highly varyi ng de-
grees in schools, they are very closely connected in
their aims and objectives. When taught in relation to
each other, their consideration of the global dimension
and of the political-structural framework conditions is
brought much more intensively to the forefront.
The educational concept of Global Citizenship Educa-
tion shifts the focus to the development of a world
society as well as the necessary changes in education
and the educational system that this entails. It is becom-
ing ever more necessary for people to perceive them-
selves as part of a larger society extending beyond
the borders of their own nation, and to recognise the
responsibilities resulting from this. We are increasingly
challenged, therefore, to view ourselves also as citizens
of this one world, as members of the world society, and
together to assume responsibility for the developments
of this world society. This is the idea of global citizenship.
Today, a contemporary education means an education
to become a global citizen, which is why Global Citizen-
ship Education must become the standard for all
Here, complexity and self-reflexivity are the two qual-
ities of education that in our experience are the
most difficult to realise. This is owed to the fact that
frequently, teachers as well as students have a simpli-
fied underlying everyday understanding of the global
situation. Often, there is an awareness of the injustice
of the existing world order and a will to “do something
good” from the privileged position of the global north.
However, it is often a big leap to go from this to recog-
nising one’s own involvement in dominance and power
re lations, being able to explore self-determination and
heteronomy or being capable of cultural (self-)reflection.
The most common method of establishing this link in a
pedagogic context is using the examples of consumer
of teacher training; one from the University Colleges
of Teacher Education and one from the university (in
Austria, these are the two institutes responsible for
teacher training).
This publication is available in printed form (in German)
and is provided free of charge by the Austrian Commis-
sion for UNESCO. It is also available for download from
the website.1
The following report describes several experiences from
the work with these schools, which may potentially also
be of significance for other educators.
1. Global Citizenship Education as the
standard for all contemporary education
It is not a matter of course for classes to be taught in
schools with sustainable development and GCED in
mind. For although today, we possess comprehensive
knowledge about just how much our natural resources
are endangered by the prevailing (western) economic
practices and way of life, and which steps we would
need to take in the direction of a “socio-ecological trans-
formation”, neither politics nor society are reacting to
this knowledge in an adequate manner. And the school
system has also failed to set an appropriate course so far.
Instead, we are seeing a powerful backwards trend,
towards renationalisation and towards thought patterns
with a strong national influence, which do not make it
easier to tackle pressing global problems. At the present
moment, this can be observed with particular clarity
throughout the whole of Europe when we take the
examples of migration and climate change. In our view,
both renationalisation as well as a reckless “trans national”
neoliberalism represent two forms of re sistance against
the pending problems.
Is it possible for education to turn this tide? Education
alone is hardly enough, yet conversely, this will realis-
tically not be feasible without educational efforts, since
“the unlimited human capability to learn seems to be
virtually the only resource whose help we can enlist to
overcome the human dilemma”.2
Just as future-oriented concepts for societal develop-
ment require a transdisciplinary, networked approach
2 Seitz, Klaus (2009): Globales Lernen in weltbürgerlicher Absicht. Zur Erneuerung weltbürgerlicher Bildung in postnationaler Konstellation.
[Global learning with a cosmopolitan intention. On the renewal of cosmopolitan education in a postnational constellation.] In: Overwien,
Bernd/Rathe now, Hanns F. (eds.): Globalisierung fordert po litische Bildung. [Globalisation promotes polit ical education.] Opladen, p. 37 –4 8.
Global Citizenship Education | 41Global Citizenship Education | 41
them the opportunities to critically address global
working conditions, the requirements and modes
of operation of a globalised economy, to take stock
of their role as future employees as well as people
in positions of responsibility, and to promote their
interest and their creativity so that they may also
participate in professional life with specialised
knowledge when it comes to global problems and
their own rights and responsibilities.
* Because children and young people cannot avoid
the news about global events and are confron-
ted, for example, with images and information on
military conflicts, terrorism, natural catastrophes or
the consequences of the destruction of natural re-
sources; because they find themselves in the area of
tension formed by contradictory and controversial
discussions, and need support in this regard. They
need space and possibilities to reflect upon their
impressions and experiences, to develop or revise
their own points of view in discussions in order to
find their orientation.
* Because schools participate in international ex-
change projects and this leads to encounters with
their peers from or in other countries, and students
obtain multifaceted insights into ways of life,
behaviour patterns, styles of upbringing, family life
and educational systems that are characterised by a
different culture. These encounters will be success-
ful if the students are open for such encounters, are
well-prepared and, above all, are also able to easily
deal with the fact that their cultural impressions,
views, values and norms are not universally valid.
* Because schools also deal with the intertwining of
local and global developments and consciously get
involved in their local social environment, and can
in the process, for example, become a place where
refugees come together.
* Because by now, students throughout Europe have
themselves begun to act as global citizens. And
this in a field that they judge to be of particular
relevance for their own future: the drastic climate
change and – in stark contrast to this – the half-
hearted and completely inadequate measures
taken by governments incapable of definitively
deciding to put the protection programmes elabor-
ated by experts into action. The school strikes by
behaviour, the use of resources and individual mobility
patterns. The goal is then to “consume responsibly”
and to “have an individual lifestyle that is as resource-
friendly as possible”. However, usually this moral appeal
is where the good intentions stop. The structural and
economic conditions that led to the current situation in
the first place remain untouched. In pedagogic terms,
this concentration on the individual (the student) is
often justified as being necessary in order to reduce the
complexity. It goes unnoticed that this is equivalent to
de politicisation, since possibilities for the shaping and
control of politics are hardly taken into account.
In order to provide assistance here, we have developed
a guideline (see previous text of this publication) aimed
at enabling teachers to address complex interrelation-
ships in a way that is both suitable for students and age-
After all, Global Citizenship Education challenges all
teachers, and in particular those who participate in the
education of teachers, to take a critical look at know-
ledge itself and the production of knowledge. Know-
ledge is generated in a certain context and under certain
cultural conditions and experiences. Our avail able know-
ledge bases – and this therefore includes our school-
books – should be continuously subjected to a critical
examination of the extent to which they entail western
imperial or neo-colonial ways of thinking. Schoolbooks
and knowledge bases must also be analysed to check
whether they contain an unquestioned representation
of non-sustainable lifestyles and eco nomic practices.
2. School – a place for global experiences
The documented school projects demonstrate – and
are thus representative for many other schools in addi-
tion – just how much school itself is today a place of
global connection, namely in numerous respects:
Because school is a microcosm of global migration, and
school classes represent the normality of the cultural,
linguistic, religious and social diversity of society. In this
environment it is possible to collectively develop social
rules of coexistence, to recognise and negotiate diver-
se interests, to acknowledge differing perspectives and
to practice a way of living together with respect and
mutual appreciation.
* Because school prepares young people for the
global job market and can, i.e. must, also offer
42 | Global Citizenship Education42 | Global Citizenship Education
ary lessons. One teacher reflects extensively on her
peda gogical work on GCED in the form of an interview.
Two schools made use of partnerships with schools in
other countries (Thailand and Ukraine) to additionally
reinforce the global dimension. One school, which
has very consciously committed to a “whole school
approach”, shows by means of its widely varied range of
activities how the systematic implementation of GCED
can be carried out not only in class, but in academic life
as a whole; another tells of GCED as a motor for school
development. A further example recounts a school
experiment in which global citizenship was trialled as a
separate elective subject.
the Fridays for Future activists show that students
are prepared to think and act globally. They have by
now become a globalised movement.
3. Characteristics of the school projects
The reports on teaching projects as well as on lesson
and school development are focused on the secondary
level II (14 to 19-year-olds). They display a broad range
of potential approaches to Global Citizenship Education.
We see not only different types of schools, but also
different ways of dealing with global citizenship. The
majority of the reports document individual projects
that were realised in specialised classes or interdisciplin-
are as transparent as possible and the pedagogical ideas
on which the projects are based can also be adapted to
other school situations.
These are not jubilant, exaggerated reports, but rather
sober accounts that do not skirt around difficulties
and obstacles. We hope, therefore, that hearing how
the teachers and students coped with these obstacles
There is also a great variety when it comes to teaching
subjects and specific topics. The reports show what the
teaching staff have accomplished taking into account
the conditions of their respective schools, the resources
of their own subjects, and the interests of their students.
In this process, they made use of current events and
existing contacts and opportunities. The texts are writ-
ten in such a way that the progressions of the projects
Projects in various types of schools
Appreciating cultural and linguistic diversity. How a student video became a school’s guiding motto
Terrorism & emotions. A challenge for Global Citizenship Education
The right to demonstrate – a question of Global Citizenship Education
“We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails”. German courses for refugees
The World Peace Game
Interview: integrating GCED into everyday classroom life!
How the elective subject of Global Education got up and running
International partnerships
Schools without borders – DialogNetzwerk.Ukraine
MEMBRAIN. Active structures of a non-verbal language of intercultural signals in Global Citizenship
Education (Austria-Thailand)
Whole school approach
A whole school in the service of Global Citizenship Education. The school philosophy and the school
Global Citizenship Education as school development work
III. GCED in teacher training
GCED in teacher training: Practical examples at the University College of Teacher Education
WeLL – Werkstatt für ermächtigendes Lernen und Lehren (Workshop for Empowering Learning and
Teaching) (self-organised training of university students)
Global Citizenship Education | 43Global Citizenship Education | 43
of learning and simultaneously providing practical help,
whether they identify how their feelings are manipula-
ted by media coverage of terrorism, or whether in their
encounters with peers from other countries they learn
to understand their living conditions – they are guaran-
teed to acquire fundamental experience and in this way
receive first-hand civic education. Global citizenship is
not just taught; it is lived!
4. On implementing GCED in schools
The following diagram visualises several conclusions
that we drew from our experiences in our work with the
might provide encouragement and motivation for
others. For, after all, the schools in which the projects
took place had starting conditions that were no dif-
ferent than any other school, and the teachers are just
like those at any school – albeit colleagues who are de-
fined by their particular level of commitment.
With all their differences, however, the projects do all
have one feature in common: the global citizenship
projects are not a game, but are instead intended to
be taken in all seriousness: whether the students use
their approximation to foreign ways of life via a video
to influence the entire school culture, whether they
use language lessons for asylum seekers as a method
Levels of implementation of GCED in schools
* The uppermost tier is formed by the individual pro-
jects that take place on a selective basis. Out of all
the projects, the realisation of these is the easiest,
since they require relatively few resources and can
even be initiated without the need for long negot-
iation processes for reaching a consensus with lots
of other colleagues. This is because they take place
within the framework of the teaching autonomy of
the individual teachers (who nevertheless do still
coordinate amongst themselves to some extent
and collaborate with varying degrees of intensity).
In the process, some projects do evolve into so-
mething larger and take on an important function
for the entire school, but this cannot be predicted
or planned from the start. One example would be
a video by students on the topic of foreignness,
which was so successful that it is now used at the
school to make it easier for new students to integrate.
* The disadvantage of the individual projects: they are
dependent on the opportunities and the willing-
ness of individual people; if these people change
schools or have fewer opportunities in a different
year, there is no continuation of the project.
further training
Working with
Specic projects
(individual subjects
or interdisciplinary)
Integration of GCED in the curriculum of all
school subjects as far as possible
A new school subject
GCED as a consciously applied school culture:
guiding principle and prole
Regular initiatives embedded in the school year
Whole school approach
External impact (school environment/community)
Public pedagogic sector
Media & public spotlight
(International) contacts and partner schools
44 | Global Citizenship Education
* This is where the two lower tiers (beneath this tier,
since they support it) come into play. Curricular
requirements can ensure that elements of GCED
flow into one’s own subject or – and this is what it
is really about – that one’s subject is regarded in a
new light from a global citizenship perspective.
In Austria, curricular requirements are centrally im-
posed by the Ministry of Education, but the schools
still have a certain amount of elbow room that is
rarely taken advantage of. Within the scope of this
allotted autonomy, some schools have also set up
their own electives, which directly deal with GCED
to a greater or lesser degree.
* Of equal importance is the extent to which GCED is
embedded in the school culture. This concerns the
entire school life, including extracurricular activities,
festivities etc. What is crucial here is the attitude of
the school administration in setting an example
and providing an incentive. A good connection
between curricular and extra-curricular activities
is represented by the “whole school approach”,
for which an example can also be found in our
documentation: the entire school implements its
guiding principle, in this case GCED, systematically
and in all subjects as well as in all facets of school
life. In order to reach a decision of this magnitude,
of course, long-winded negotiations are required,
but these efforts are rewarded later on because the
way is already paved in many regards.
* Only building on this basis of the “whole school
approach” can a longer-term external impact be
achieved. This also considerably facilitates the sys-
tematic work with the parents.
* Ultimately, such a holistic implementation of GCED
also requires ongoing further training, which can
be organised in various ways. In Austria, alongside
the programmes of the UNESCO schools, the instru-
ment of “in-school training” is also available as a
customised measure.
To conclude, it is worth referencing one more ex-
perience: school projects such as these carry great
potential, not only for a contemporary renewal of aca-
demic education, but also for impulses that have an
effect on the entire society as a whole. After all, the idea
that schools can and should function as educational
centres and sources of intellectual strength has been a
classic notion of UNESCO since its foundation.
Heidi Grobbauer, Ph.D., is managing director of KommEnt – Society for
Communication, Development and Dialogic Education (Gesellschaft für
Kommunikation, Entwicklung und dialogische Bildung) in Salzburg and
member of the Strategy Group for Global Education (Strategiegruppe
Globales Lernen).
Margot Kapfer, M.A., has a diploma on adult education and is a graduate
of the master course Global Citizenship Education at Klagenfurt Universi-
ty. She works with ZARA, an anti-racist NGO in Vienna.
Ursula Maurič, M.A., is a Professor at University College of Teacher Edu-
cation in Vienna and a graduate of the master course Global Citizenship
Education at Klagenfurt University.
Hans Karl Peterlini, Ph.D., is a Professor for General Pedagogy and In-
tercultural Education at Klagenfurt University and the academic director
of the third round of the master course Global Citizenship Education at
Klagenfurt University.
Josene Scherling, Ph.D., is a Professor at University College of Teacher
Education Carinthia-Viktor Frankl in Klagenfurt and a graduate of the mas-
ter course Global Citizenship Education at Klagenfurt University.
Werner Wintersteiner, Ph. D., is a retired Professor for German Studies
at Klagenfurt University. He was the founding director of the Centre for
Peace Research and Peace Education and the academic director of the
first two rounds of the master course GCED.
The Authors
It is possible today, both technologically and materially, to reduce inequalities, feed the starving,
distribute resources, slow down population growth, diminish ecological degradation, change the
nature of work, create various high authorities for planetary regulation and protection, and develop the
U.N. into a veritable Society of Nations to civilize the Earth. It is rationally possible to build a common
house, to cultivate a common garden.
The forces of barbarism, fragmentation, blindness and destruction that make a planetary politics
utopian are so threatening for present-day humanity that they indicate a contrario that the politics of
hominization and planetary revolution answer to vital need.
Edgar Morin
Responsible education in current “global times” requires a deeper understanding of the social, cultural,
economic and historical forces and ows that connect peoples, places, spaces and world views, and of
the diculties of intervening in complex and dynamic systems. When that is missing, educational out-
comes tend to unintentionally reproduce unequal relationships between dominant and marginalised
populations, simplistic rationalizations of inequality, and instrumental and ethnocentric imaginaries of
global citizenship, diversity and social responsibility.
Vanessa Andreotti
Developing students' global competence has become increasingly important in the face of social, economic, and environmental threats, natural disasters, and climate change. Educators who aspire to help students become globally competent change agents must first develop these attributes before fostering them in their students. This can be pedagogically challenging, and educators may lack the confidence to integrate global competence into disciplinary contexts or engage in classroom discussions about contested sustainability and social justice issues. In this chapter, the authors engage in pedagogical reflection to explore the challenges and opportunities presented by critical global citizenship education in higher education. The diverse cases draw from experiences of ethics and citizenship education at Australian universities in business schools and in enabling programs, outward mobility programs involving social work students from Australia engaging in study tours to Cambodia, and the development of a transnational global citizenship education program in Vietnam.
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