I am a citizen of the world.
— Diogenes, 5th century BCE
Since the end of the Second World War, one of the most enduring educational
debates in both Canada and the United States pertains to citizenship education
(Osborne, 2010, 2008, 1999; Sears & Hughes, 1996; Stanlick, 2018; Westheimer,
2014). Excellent scholarship has provided insights into the concept of citizenship
itself and its importance to democracy. It is generally acknowledged that citizen-
ship refers to the rights and responsibilities possessed by a nation’s citizens, with
an inherent tension between whether these rights are simply bestowed upon a
person or must somehow be earned. Complicating matters even further, in educa-
tional circles citizenship is a contestable term with many diﬀerent interpretations
of what constitutes the traits of a desired citizen.
Some scholars have developed taxonomies about the diﬀerent types of cit-
izens fostered in schools (Sears & Hughes, 1996; Westheimer, 2014). Indeed,
Westheimer’s (2014) study resulted in a taxonomy that connected various kinds of
citizenship to political ideology— students in American schools were being taught
to be what he called either personally responsible, participatory, or justice- oriented
citizens. e study demonstrated that very few students were taught the principles
of justice citizenship.In general, two schools of thought have framed the scholarly
debates around citizenship within Western nations. One is civic republicanism and
the push for the common good. Based on the writings of ancient Greek philos-
ophers, civic republicanism posits that individuals can best realize their essential
Global Problems Require a Global Citizenry:
The Case for Teaching Global Citizenship
Paul Orlowski and Ghada Sfeir
Teaching Global Citizenship.indd 12Teaching Global Citizenship.indd 12 8/11/2020 9:51:34 PM8/11/2020 9:51:34 PM
Chapter 1 Global Problems Require a Global Citizenry 13
social nature in a democratic society characterized by active participation in polit-
ical life. e other school of thought is liberal individualism and its focus on rights
and civil liberties (Stanlick, 2018). Liberal individualism is the belief that individ-
uals should be free to pursue what they perceive as their rights and abilities, with a
minimum of interference from government. It emphasizes the individual over the
community. e next section describes the experience one of us (Paul) had while
teaching Civic Studies 11 in Vancouver in 2005, in which the focus was active cit-
izenship, the common good, and peace.
TEACHER ANECDOTE #1: USING PROTEST TO FOSTER
AN ACTIVE CITIZENRY
In the history of British Columbia, every social studies curriculum ever published,
from 1941 to the most recent, has stated that a major purpose of social studies is
to strengthen democracy and citizenship (Orlowski, 2011). Yet, as a veteran social
studies teacher, it seems to me that the ﬁeld of social studies education has been un-
able to fulﬁll this promise. Despite the lofty rhetoric in support of democracy and
citizenship, the informed citizen is not ubiquitous in Canada, and the active citizen
is an even rarer entity. Fewer and fewer people, in per capita terms, are willing to
participate in the democratic process, from volunteering in citizen organizations
or on election campaigns, to protesting against oﬀensive government or corporate
actions, even to using any of myriad ways to demonstrate what it is they believe.
First of all, of course, they have to know what it is they actually believe. How can
students form a political opinion or democracy be strengthened if the entire notion
of protest and its role in Canadian history is absent from what they learn in school?
When the BC Ministry of Education put out a call for interested social studies
teachers to pilot a new Grade 11 course in civic studies, I jumped at the oppor-
tunit y.1 Every social studies course I have taught has had a focus on the role of
political ideology in inﬂuencing important movements and events of the past and
present. But Civic Studies 11 included a heightened emphasis on civic deliberation
and civic action, both of which are highlighted as curriculum organizers, clearly
distinguishing it from the more passive social studies courses.
e focus on political ideology in the civics course also enabled me to address
the question of what constitutes a good citizen in a much more sophisticated man-
ner than merely talking about citizenship as a one- dimensional concept. I made
extensive use of a taxonomy developed by Westheimer and Kahne (2004) that
examines the politics of educating for democracy. eir study revealed that a con-
servative conception of the good citizen emphasizes law and order, responsibility,
Teaching Global Citizenship.indd 13Teaching Global Citizenship.indd 13 8/11/2020 9:51:34 PM8/11/2020 9:51:34 PM
14 SECTION I KNOWING AND DOING
and patriotism; a more liberal variant urges people to participate in civic aﬀairs;
and a more radical version encourages participation to the point of protest, includ-
ing acts of civil disobedience.
e Civics 11 curriculum oﬀered state- sanctioned permission to teach about
diﬀerent versions of the good citizen, as well as current social and economic issues,
in municipal, provincial, national, and international contexts. e split of the pol-
itical spectrum into two— a social spectrum and an economic one— allowed the
students to understand political ideology at a deeper level. For example, they could
comprehend why liberals and social democrats agree on social issues (e.g., minority
rights), and why they disagree on many economic issues (e.g., corporate tax breaks
and unions). ey came to comprehend the conservative desire for small govern-
ments in social areas but not in law enforcement and the military.
During the ﬁnal term of the school year, students in Civics 11 were given a
series of assignments to demonstrate that they had participated in the political
process and were not merely armchair critics. Each student had to write a letter
to the editor on a political issue and, after some editing on my part, submit it to a
major newspaper (some were even published!); complete volunteer work related to
a community issue (many chose to volunteer for the World Peace Forum, which
Vancouver hosted in June 2006); and attend a political rally or protest, whether
progressive (like myriad anti- war rallies in Vancouver) or conservative (such as
pro- life rallies), as a participant or an observer. Students were to give me a pam-
phlet of the rally, a one- page report that described the crowd in terms of race,
gender, and age, as well as messages from rally signs.
Not one student complained about these assignments because, I presume,
they had developed a political consciousness. Many expressed positive reﬂections
about being at a protest. One student even took it upon herself to write a ﬁve-
minute speech that she presented at a relatively large pro- democracy rally in east
Vancouver (Orlowski, 2011, p.165). It was the preponderance of anti- war senti-
ment, however, that led me to see that the students were very concerned about
people who were victims of war, people who lived in distant lands, and the bur-
geoning weapons trade. I began to understand what it meant to be a global citizen.
REIMAGINING CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION
FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
We believe that almost all of the scholarship devoted to citizenship education
should be reconsidered as we head into the third decade of the 21st century. We
make this claim based on the traditional focus of civics or citizenship education,
namely, to foster citizens in relation to national issues. In an edited Canadian
Teaching Global Citizenship.indd 14Teaching Global Citizenship.indd 14 8/11/2020 9:51:34 PM8/11/2020 9:51:34 PM
Chapter 1 Global Problems Require a Global Citizenry 15
textbook for teaching secondary school social studies, Osborne (2008) states this
focus succinctly: “e success of a democratic country depends on the knowledge,
skills, and values of its citizens” (p.3, emphasis added). is same national focus
appears in citizenship education in the United Kingdom. Bottery (2003) claims
that “at the present time the political body deﬁning the terms and boundaries
of citizenship is something called ‘the nation state’” (p. 102). Commitment to
the nation- state— either in terms of patriotism, nationalism, participation, social
justice, diversity of voices, or strengthening a country’s democratic system— has
traditionally been the emphasis of citizenship education. All but two items on
this list are important components of the global citizenship education that we
are advocating for in this chapter. Patriotism and nationalism are the outdated
outliers— allegiance to one’s country and nationalist fervor appear to be causing
more problems on the international stage than they are helping to solve.
e recent rise of the far right2 is clearly evident throughout many European
nations. At the time of this writing (summer 2019), white nationalist parties have
formed governments in Hungary, Poland, and Italy. An anti- immigrant party
is in power in Italy with the potential for like- minded governments elsewhere
(Giuﬀrida, 2018). Where they are not the government, they sometimes hold the
balance of power, such as with the Swedish government that formed in January
2019 (Henley, 2019). Of course, the biggest global expression of white nationalism
now controls the White House in Washington. Although the current federal gov-
ernment in Canada is progressive on issues involving refugees and immigration,
recent elections in the country’s two biggest provinces, Ontario and Quebec, indi-
cate that Canada is not immune to these nationalist tendencies. All far- right pol-
itical parties espouse extreme patriotism to their country (or province) and want
barriers of some kind to thwart refugees and immigrants from entering, especially
if they are not white. is political focus on patriotism is clearly obstructionist in
ameliorating problems associated with the mass movement of peoples, and it is
also an obstacle to enacting global strategies to take on even more pressing issues.
THE CALL FOR GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP
Myriad major problems in the 21st century require solutions that go far beyond
the borders of any one nation- state. Environmental concerns require a global cit-
izenry able to comprehend the dire threat posed by climate change, pandemics,
diminishing supplies of fresh water, ocean pollution, and endangered species, to
name only a few. Moreover, the investigative journalism project called the Pan-
ama Papers demonstrated that much of the world’s wealth is hidden in oﬀshore
tax havens (Harding, 2016). ese havens enable wealthy individuals and major
Teaching Global Citizenship.indd 15Teaching Global Citizenship.indd 15 8/11/2020 9:51:34 PM8/11/2020 9:51:34 PM
16 SECTION I KNOWING AND DOING
corporations to avoid paying taxes, resulting in withering ﬁnancial support for
civil society in most nations. On another related front, sales of increasingly sophis-
ticated weaponry have resulted in many nations’ economies becoming dependent
on this unsavoury industry, while at the same time placing massive segments of
humanity in war zones and similar perilous situations. In fact, led by American
arms manufacturers, the global arms industry is now worth about $100 billion
USD a year (Bowler, 2018). Related to these environmental and economic issues is
the challenge mentioned in the previous section, namely, the growing movement
of refugees and migrants seeking somewhere to live in relative safety.
It seems clear that traditional citizenship education has outgrown its useful-
ness to deal with all of these global issues and impending catastrophes. Moreover,
multicultural education that attempts to connect people from diﬀerent cultures to
the nation- state where they live is becoming less helpful (Sfeir, 2016). A new kind
of citizenship education is needed. We are entering an era in which schools should
foster global citizens, people who feel attached to the Earth at least as much as
the country in which they reside. We are arguing for a citizenship education that
fosters a responsibility and even a loyalty to all of humanity and, by corollary, to
all of life, and to the Earth itself.
e economic paradigm known as neoliberalism has resulted in unrestrained
corporate power and a grotesque concentration of wealth in the top one percent
of most countries’ populations (Harvey, 2005; Orlowski, 2015). Neoliberalism
consists of policies designed to increase corporate proﬁts and the wealth of the
wealthy: corporate tax cuts, privatizing the commons,3 deregulating industry, and
taking away the collective bargaining rights of workers (Orlowski, 2015). Also
known as the corporate agenda, neoliberalism is very similar to the laissez- faire
economics of the Industrial Revolution. In the West it is strongest among English-
speaking nations, most likely because of American hegemony.4 In 2018, according
to a report released by Oxfam International, “Billionaire fortunes increased by
12 percent... or $2.5 billion a day, while the 3.8 billion poorest people saw their
wealth drop $500 million every day” (Holland, 2019). is dynamic is fuelling
anger across the world, adding to the rise of far- right populist parties in many
countries. e following teaching experience, told in Paul’s voice, highlights prob-
lems neoliberalism introduced into Canadian civil society over 20 years ago.
TEACHER ANECDOTE #2: WHITE DEFENSIVENESS AND
TEACHING FOR CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS
Over 20 years ago, I was walking across the campus of an east- end Vancouver
working- class high school when a white Grade 12 student I was teaching, unaware
Teaching Global Citizenship.indd 16Teaching Global Citizenship.indd 16 8/11/2020 9:51:34 PM8/11/2020 9:51:34 PM
Chapter 1 Global Problems Require a Global Citizenry 17
of my presence, yelled out to some Grade 8 students of East Asian ancestry, “Go
home, ya immigrants!” e subsequent conversation between us did nothing to
quell the disturbing feelings I had when he ﬁrst demonstrated his racist attitude.
is student was quite strident in his objections to East Asian people living in
Vancouver. According to him, they were easing themselves into a higher standard
of living by taking potential jobs away from white people, jobs he believed right-
fully belonged to him and others like him.
As it turned out, many white, working- class youth were feeling threatened
by the proximity of so many Asian people (Orlowski, 2001). Indeed, many were
worried about their futures, both economically and socially. e common response
was to accept the values and political ideology of a populist right- wing social and
political movement, one that has since gained power in both the United States and
Canada. Witness the rapid growth of the so- called Tea Party movement in the
United States in 2010, the presidential election of Donald Trump in 2016, and
recent provincial election victories by conservative governments espousing anti-
immigrant and refugee discourses in Canada.
To a large extent, this conservative movement is being fuelled by an attitude
of white defensiveness on the part of fearful white people who perceive a threat to
their privilege (Sensoy & DiAngelo, 2017). For several months after this discon-
certing racist event at the high school, I contemplated how to address it with all
the students and pondered how to shape it as a research question for my upcom-
ing master of arts thesis in a program at the University of British Columbia in
Vancouver. A couple of months later, while I was walking along Commercial
Drive in Vancouver’s east end, I came across some unique graﬃti on a brick wall
that read “Class War, Not Race War!” e proverbial light bulb immediately went
on, leading me to formulate a question that would provoke some understanding of
the intersections between issues of race and social class. is question was, How
do working- class youth perceive racist attitudes and economic inequality?
e subsequent research resulted in a critical ethnographic study examining
the ways 25 working- class youth from ﬁve diﬀerent racial groups perceived racism
and economic inequality (Orlowski, 2001). e most interesting ﬁnding from this
research, and one that has profoundly shaped the way I teach, is that all of the
racist attitudes and race prejudices that surfaced during the study were rooted
in economic concerns. To a large degree, it appears that the salience of social
class awareness is a factor in working- class racism. Yet remarkably, social class is
rarely if ever discussed in high school social studies courses (Orlowski, 2011; Ross,
2018). is is undoubtedly a factor in the rise of a “false” political consciousness
among many working- class voters (Frank, 2012; Orlowski, 2011). My pedagogy
has evolved into teaching for a political consciousness that includes a class analysis.
Teaching Global Citizenship.indd 17Teaching Global Citizenship.indd 17 8/11/2020 9:51:34 PM8/11/2020 9:51:34 PM
18 SECTION I KNOWING AND DOING
In other words, I believe the absence of social class in the typical high school
education of Canadian and American adolescents is a major factor in the rise of
false political consciousness and in the support for far- right populism. Anti- racism
learning objectives in the courses I teach always include discussions of class inter-
ests, the commons, and most importantly, a critique of neoliberalism and its eﬀects
on civil society.
In terms of connecting the various social classes across national borders, stu-
dents need to understand the pressures all working- and middle- class people face
across the entire world as corporations play one country against others to lower
wages and deregulate working conditions and environmental practices. A focus
on so- called free trade deals is important to see how this occurs, and even how
these trade agreements hinder research into and development of alternative energy
sources (Klein, 2014). Students need to understand how sweatshop labour prac-
tices in faraway countries are an aﬀront to human rights and dignity that aﬀects
all of us. Because of this research and my experience teaching in working- class
settings, my pedagogy in both high school and teacher education classrooms for
the past few decades always incorporates ideology critique and a deconstruction of
neoliberalism (Orlowski, 2015).5 is is an example of teaching for global citizen-
ship, a term open to further explanation.
WHAT IS GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION?
Whether the borders that divide us are picket fences or national boundaries, we are all
neighbors in a global community.
— President Jimmy Carter
Before we discuss global citizenship education (GCE), we must ﬁrst address what
we mean by the word global. A review of the academic literature reveals multiple
interpretations of the word global (Carano & Bailey, 2018), which is always used as
an adjective (as in global economy or global geopolitics). For our purpose, we will
consider global to refer to the interconnectedness of all people and all living things
existing within the same planetary systems of Earth, such as those that are natural
(e.g., atmosphere, oceans) and those that are human made (e.g., the globalized
economy, racial power hierarchies).
We have already discussed the term citizenship from a more traditional per-
spective in the preceding sections. Global citizenship, in its most basic interpreta-
tion, is the realization and positioning of one’s self in a globalizing world. Global
Teaching Global Citizenship.indd 18Teaching Global Citizenship.indd 18 8/11/2020 9:51:34 PM8/11/2020 9:51:34 PM
Chapter 1 Global Problems Require a Global Citizenry 19
citizenship advocates for a set of values, skills, and knowledge “toward a borderless
sense of citizenship in the world twinned with a mandate for active engagement”
(Stanlick, 2018, p.355, emphasis added). Morais and Ogden (2010) identify three
main components of global citizenship that students should understand: ﬁrst, social
responsibility (global justice and disparities, altruism and empathy, global intercon-
nectedness and personal responsibility); second, global competence (self- awareness,
intercultural communication, global knowledge); and third, global civic engage-
ment (involvement in civic organizations, political voice, and global civic activism).
In 2006, Oxfam UK published a set of principles to help K– 12 teachers edu-
cate about the characteristics of global citizenship, saying that a global citizen
• is aware of the wider world and has a sense of their own role as a world citizen
• respects and values diversity
• has an understanding of how the world works
• is outraged by social injustice
• participates in the community at a range of levels, from the local to the global
• is willing to act to make the world a more equitable and sustainable place
• takes responsibility for their actions. (cited in Stanlick, 2018, p.356)
ese principles cover the range of global challenges mentioned earlier in the
chapter. ere is one principle pertaining to the environment with the mention of
making the world a more “sustainable place.” We believe it should be nearer the
top of the list or otherwise emphasized, given the gravity of climate change, ocean
pollution, and dwindling food stocks.
Cabrera (2005) considers the group called No More Deaths to be an example
of global citizenship.is is a group of mostly American faith- based individuals
who volunteer to do humanitarian work in order to help undocumented migrants
at the border of Mexico and Arizona. e group was founded in 2004, and is still
very active in 2019 as they engage in intense political and legal battles with Trump
supporters who desire a border wall.6 Members of No More Deaths want to stop
the fatalities of poor people seeking safety and a better life (Devereaux, 2019).
A quick perusal of Oxfam’s set of principles above indicates that these people
are exhibiting the traits of global citizens. Opposing groups such as Operation
Gatekeeper exhibit the opposite of global citizenship— they claim to be motivated
by patriotism, a key component of traditional citizenship education, and clearly
not suited to helping migrants.
A related concept gaining attention in global education, one associated with
global citizenship, is cosmopolitanism. ere are many versions of cosmopolitanism
Teaching Global Citizenship.indd 19Teaching Global Citizenship.indd 19 8/11/2020 9:51:34 PM8/11/2020 9:51:34 PM
20 SECTION I KNOWING AND DOING
and its oﬀshoot, cosmopolitan education. In the next section, we will discuss the
aspects of cosmopolitanism that we believe will strengthen citizenship education
in Canada and beyond. e version we support in the current geopolitical moment
is moral cosmopolitanism.
Cosmopolitan Education for the 21st Century
A cosmopolitan outlook would respond to the vital needs of others, whether they are
near or far and irrespective of their nationality, race, caste, religious commitments,
gender, or ethnicity.
— Stan van Hooft, Cosmopolitanism: A Philosophy of Global Ethics
Despite much overlap, global citizenship is not exactly synonymous with any of
the many versions of cosmopolitanism. Cabrera (2005) contends that “global cit-
izenship is fundamentally concerned with individual requirements in a global
frame” (p.171). Yet moral cosmopolitanism, by contrast, includes the principles of
various global institutions and their role in protecting the rights of all individuals.
is version of cosmopolitanism highlights the importance of global organizations
such as the United Nations to protect each person.
Cosmopolitanism rejects the we versus they binary that works to diﬀerentiate
groups of people such as citizens and immigrants. According to Warf (2012), cos-
mopolitanism is “an ethical, moral, and political philosophy that seeks to uncouple
ethics from distance, arguing that each person is bound up with, and obligated
to, humanity as a whole” (p.272). Immigrants and citizens belong to the same
human family. Warf contends it is important to foster a cosmopolitan commun-
ity that transcends national borders as a strategy to combat the rapacious greed
of neoliberalism. In fact, the International Monetary Fund, an American- based
ﬁnancial organization that had unashamedly promoted neoliberalism since the
1970s, recently released a report called “Neoliberalism: Oversold?” in which the
authors conclude that cutbacks in social spending and privatization of the com-
mons has resulted in extreme poverty throughout the world (Ostry, Loungani, &
Furceri, 2016). Despite this rather late admission by the International Monetary
Fund, hegemonic neoliberal discourses are diﬃcult to challenge. Neoliberalism
has aﬀected almost all aspects of civic life in Canada (Orlowski, 2015) and beyond
and continues to concentrate wealth at the upper echelons of economic elites.
In her seminal work called Patriotism and Cosmopolitanism, Nussbaum (2002)
urges social studies and civic studies teachers to incorporate aspects of global
Teaching Global Citizenship.indd 20Teaching Global Citizenship.indd 20 8/11/2020 9:51:34 PM8/11/2020 9:51:34 PM
Chapter 1 Global Problems Require a Global Citizenry 21
citizenship into their pedagogy in order to foster in students a sense of moral or
ethical allegiance to a global society. Her ideas infuse GCE with a moral cosmo-
politan orientation. Nussbaum advocates for education that eschews the politics
of diﬀerence, of patriotism, and warns against expressing the rhetoric of human
rights without actually supporting those rights. is pedagogy would challenge
the proﬁtable global trade in weapons and the eﬀects these weapons have on civil-
ians in faraway places. In early 2019, there were debates in Canada and the United
States about cancelling weapons contracts with Saudi Arabia. It is our belief that if
more people understood the suﬀering and death in Yemen from Saudi incursions,
the debate in mainstream media would focus more on human rights than on lost
business opportunities (see Momani, 2018).
Nussbaum (2002) outlines four major reasons that teachers should incorporate
this cosmopolitan- inﬂuenced GCE into their pedagogy. First, cosmopolitan edu-
cation provides students with self- knowledge as it invites them to critically exam-
ine their ways of life, values, preferences, and beliefs through counter- hegemonic
analysis. In the classroom, students could reﬂect on their lifestyle choices around
the use of plastics, the burning of fossil fuels for transportation, or the treatment of
workers in factories where their clothes are made. An informed and active global
citizen would contemplate making personal changes to address this knowledge.
Second, this kind of education emphasizes the importance of international co-
operation and dialogue to solve major global issues. is is especially important
in addressing environmental issues such as climate change, pandemics, plastics
choking our oceans, and diminishing worldwide fresh- water supplies. e Paris
Agreement signed by almost every country in 2016 is an example of this global
dialogue. Also known as the Paris Climate Accord, it is an agreement within the
United Nations Framework Convention (UNFCCC) among all signatory nations
to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Every nation in the world has signed on to
the accord, although the Trump administration announced in late 2019 that the
United States will withdraw from it as soon as legally possible. e lack of enforce-
ment with nations not meeting their reduced carbon dioxide levels underscores
the need for GCE. Informed citizens would not be so complacent upon learning
that governments have not met their targets or have even increased carbon dioxide
Nussbaum’s third reason for a moral cosmopolitan education is to persuade
people to acknowledge the moral or ethical obligation to ensure the right and
access of “other human beings to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” (2002,
pp.13– 14). is ethics extends toward migrants, refugees, and exploited workers
across the world. Moreover, the moral or ethical obligations to all human beings
Teaching Global Citizenship.indd 21Teaching Global Citizenship.indd 21 8/11/2020 9:51:34 PM8/11/2020 9:51:34 PM
22 SECTION I KNOWING AND DOING
bring gender into the discussion. In recent years, Western media have reported
stories about gang rapes in India and the oppression of women in many Muslim
countries. At the same time, however, the #MeToo movement that began in the
United States and spread to other Western nations has demonstrated that extreme
forms of sexism and misogyny exist globally. Cosmopolitan education can and
should address this.
Nussbaum’s fourth reason for cosmopolitan education is that it teaches stu-
dents to cross all socially constructed boundaries of diﬀerence by fostering empa-
thy and caring toward distant others. is would undoubtedly require students to
learn about geopolitics, and the devastation and destruction caused by war and
enabled by international weapons sales in countries such as Yemen, Syria, and
parts of Africa. Empathy for all of humanity is required.
is chapter has laid out a case for GCE, infused with a moral cosmopolitan
orientation, to begin addressing the many pressing problems facing humanity as
a whole. Patriotism and nationalism, major components of traditional citizenship
education, are impediments to fostering the type of global citizen our dire predic-
ament now requires.
ere are burgeoning problems for humanity to address in the near future.
Some of them pertain to the environment— if left unchecked, climate change, the
tons of plastic choking the oceans, diminished fresh- water supplies, and especially
pandemics pose frightening scenarios. Many of the problems involve geopolitics—
caravans of migrants and refugees, war zones, and other areas perhaps not technic-
ally at war, but ﬁlled with gun- fuelled violence and connected to the growing global
weapons trade. Other situations that need to be challenged by a global citizenry are
economic: tax havens that allow the wealthy to escape paying their fair share, the
dismantling of social welfare programs in most countries today, and the economic
paradigm known as neoliberalism. Indeed, the unregulated corporate agenda put
forth by neoliberal economics is at the root of almost all other problems.
Neoliberalism provides the basis for a new class war, one that is attempting
to replace the Fordist arrangement between capital and labour and end the inﬂu-
ence of Keynesian economics. Evidence suggests that a class war has been enacted
by the economic and political elites for over 30 years— ﬁrst, the victims were
working- class families, and in recent years, the middle class has been targeted
(Monsebraaten, 2011; Organisation for Economic Co- operation and Development
[OECD], 2011; Yalnizyan, 2011). A false political consciousness is leading many
Teaching Global Citizenship.indd 22Teaching Global Citizenship.indd 22 8/11/2020 9:51:34 PM8/11/2020 9:51:34 PM
Chapter 1 Global Problems Require a Global Citizenry 23
working- and middle- class people to support neoliberal policies for deregulation,
privatization of the commons, union busting, and tax cuts for corporations and the
wealthiest citizens (Frank, 2012; Orlowski, 2011, 2015). Neoliberalism empha-
sizes that the role of the state must include the creation of markets in areas such as
education, health care, social security, and even environmental pollution (Harvey,
2005). Put more succinctly, “neoliberalism attacks human dignity” (Kumar, 2015).
If more citizens understood this, the neoliberal project would lose support across
If citizens in various countries understood global trends pertaining to, for
example, the concentration of wealth for economic elites as social safety nets
disappear, a global resistance would ensue. We are advocating to include critical
media literacy in GCE: global citizens need to be educated to understand that cor-
porate media across the planet is a hegemonic device. is is especially important
around media obfuscation strategies involving climate science.7
We do not naively believe it an easy sell to replace traditional citizenship edu-
cation with educating for global citizenship infused with moral cosmopolitanism.
Educational partners and citizens who see the world through a conservative lens
would be upset with the removal of patriotism and nationalism from the curriculum.
Moreover, conservative people tend to deny human- made climate change (Dunlap,
McCright, & Yarosh, 2016) and many are opposed to the inﬂux of refugees and
migrants (Sharp, 2019). Although it may take some time to gain support for GCE,
making progress requires a well- thought- out rationale. Conservatives may accept
the position that Appiah (2006) put forth: moral cosmopolitanism is about an orien-
tation toward all of humanity and a call for peaceful coexistence among peoples that
does not in any way dismiss our cultural aﬃliations. Will such a balanced account
be enough to placate the conservatives among us? Hopefully it ushers in recognition
that global citizenship, more than an abstract idea, is necessary to survival.
Addressing frightening environmental, economic, social, and political problems,
right now on humanity’s doorstep, requires co- operation and coordinated strategies
among nations. Advances in technology and an interconnected global economy are
increasing the impetus for citizens across the planet to harmonize goals and improve
chances for survival for every being, human and other. ere is deﬁnitely hope for a
brighter future if GCE is embedded in schools across much of the world.
1. Greta unberg, a Swedish teenager and climate activist, has called for
students to skip school one Friday each month to attend a climate strike,
Teaching Global Citizenship.indd 23Teaching Global Citizenship.indd 23 8/11/2020 9:51:34 PM8/11/2020 9:51:34 PM
24 SECTION I KNOWING AND DOING
and there are other such student rallies to protest infractions attracting
millions of teenagers across the world. Would you allow your students to
miss class to attend a climate strike, or other forms of rallies for rights?
2. Teacher Anecdote #1 addresses war, militarism, and the global weapons
trade. In 2018– 19, President Trump refused to stop selling weapons to
Saudi Arabia, which uses these weapons against the people of Yemen,
arguing that it is bad for business. How would you address the binary of
ethics versus the economy?
3. Teacher Anecdote #2 explores the anti- immigrant attitudes of white
working- class adolescents and the common narrative about immigrants
taking jobs from white Canadians. is is not always appropriately ad-
dressed in classrooms. One social studies teacher interviewed by Sfeir
(2016) explained that he tells his students that immigrants occupy only
menial jobs that Canadians do not want and therefore that newcomers
pose no threat. Unfortunately, this perspective can lead to other danger-
ous misconceptions, perhaps most obviously to an increased intolerance
when immigrants qualify for higher- skilled positions. How would you
address the issue of immigrants and employment opportunities with your
4. In the 20th century, considered the Century of Human Rights, this dy-
namic reached its zenith in 1948 with theUN’s Universal Declaration of
Human Rights. Discrimination against an individual based on identity
markers such as race, culture, class, gender, religion, and nationality was
strongly discouraged.Use this important UN document to outline a les-
son to help students understand that all immigrants, migrants, and refu-
gees are also deserving of human rights.
5. In 2020, the world was struck by a frightening global pandemic caused by a
coronavirus that led to a disease called COV ID- 19. Each country responded
to this diﬀerently and with varying degrees of success. How might peda-
gogy from a global citizenship perspective address future global pandemics?
1. For a more detailed description of piloting Civic Studies 11, see Orlowski (2008).
2. Further to the right on the political spectrum, the rise of far right politics in many countries
today refers to extreme nationalism and authoritarian or fascist tendencies. Political parties
considered to be far right often adhere to policies that are xenophobic, anti- immigration,
Teaching Global Citizenship.indd 24Teaching Global Citizenship.indd 24 8/11/2020 9:51:34 PM8/11/2020 9:51:34 PM
Chapter 1 Global Problems Require a Global Citizenry 25
anti- communist, chauvinistic , misogynistic, racist , and supportive of ethnic cleansing and
3. One of the tenets of neoliberalism , privatization of the commons refers to corporate forces
commodifying and obtaining proﬁts from various aspects of the social welfare state.
Examples of this are the privatization of health care and tax dollars funding privately owned
schools, two cornerstones of civil society.
4. Hegemony is the social, cultural, ideological, or economic inﬂuence exerted by a dominant
group through persuasion, often through corporate media sources. Power is gained by the
dominant group through the acceptance by the masses of its interests as universal interests.
5. For some examples of the critical pedagogy Orlowski employs, please see Orlowski (2008,
6. No More Deaths was founded in 2004 by various religious groups in southern Arizona. Some
members are going to trial in 2019 because they left jugs of water for the suf fering migrants.
7. For an example of this type of critical media literacy, see Orlowski (2018).
Appiah, K. A. (2006). Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a world of strangers. New York:
W. W. Nor ton.
Bottery, M. (2003). e end of citizenship? e nation state, threats to its legitimacy,
and citizenship education in the twenty- ﬁrst century. Cambridge Journal of
Education, 33(1), 101– 1 22.
Bowler, T. (2018, May 10). Which country dominates the global arms trade? BBC News.
Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/business-43873518
Cabrera, L. (2005). e cosmopolitan imperative: Global justice through accountable
integration. e Journal of Ethics, 9, 171– 199.
Carano, K., & Bailey, R. (2018). Global. In D. G. Krutka, A. M. Whitlock, &
M. Helmsing (Eds.), Keywords in the social studies: Concepts and conversations
(pp.311– 324). New York, NY: Peter Lang.
Devereaux, R. (2019, January 17). As trial starts for border humanitarian
volunteers, new documents reveal federal bureaucrats’ obsession with stopping
activists. e Intercept. Retrieved from https://theintercept.com/2019/01/17/
Dunlap, R., McCright, A., & Yarosh, J. (2016) e political divide on climate change:
Partisan polarization widens in the U.S. Environment: Science and Policy for
Sustainable Development, 58(5), 4– 23.
Frank, T. (2012). Pity the billionaire: e hard- times swindle and the unlikely comeback of the
right. New York, NY: Henry Holt.
Teaching Global Citizenship.indd 25Teaching Global Citizenship.indd 25 8/11/2020 9:51:35 PM8/11/2020 9:51:35 PM
26 SECTION I KNOWING AND DOING
Giuﬀrida, A. (2018, September 24). Italian government approves Salvini bill targeting
migrants. e Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/
Harding, L. (2016, April 5). What are the Panama Papers? A guide to history’s biggest
data leak. e Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/news/2016/
Harvey, D. (2005). A brief history of neoliberalism. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Henley, J. (2019, January 18). Sweden gets new government four months after election.
e Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/18/
Holland, H. (2019, January 20). Gap between rich and poor growing, fueling global
anger: Oxfam. Reuters. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-davos-
Klein, N. (2014). is changes everything: Capitalism vs the climate. Toronto, ON: Knopf
Kozolanka, K., & Orlowski, P.(2018). Media literacy for citizenship: A Canadian
perspective. Toronto, ON: Canadian Scholars.
Kumar, R. (2015). Education, the state, and market: Anatomy of neoliberal impact.
Critical Education, 6(21). Retrieved from ices.library.ubc.ca/index.php/criticaled/
Momani, B. (2018, December 19). Cancelling Canada’s Saudi arms deal would
merely be a feel- good measure. e Globe and Mail. Retrieved from https://www.
Monsebraaten, L. (2011, July 13). Canada’s income gap growing. Toronto Star. Retrieved
Morais, D., & Ogden, A. (2010). Initial development and validation of the global
citizenship scale. Journal of Studies in International Education, 20(10), 1– 22.
Noack, R. (2015, December 14). Multiculturalism is a sham, says Angela Merkel.
Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/
Nussbaum, M. (2002). Patriotism and cosmopolitanism. In M. C. Nussbaum &
J. Cohen (Eds.), For love of country? In a new democratic forum on the limits of
patriotism (pp.3– 17). Boston, MA: Beacon Press.
Organisation for Economic Co- operation and Development. (2011). Divided we stand:
Why inequality keeps rising. Paris, France: Author. Retrieved from http://www.oecd.
Teaching Global Citizenship.indd 26Teaching Global Citizenship.indd 26 8/11/2020 9:51:35 PM8/11/2020 9:51:35 PM
Chapter 1 Global Problems Require a Global Citizenry 27
Orlowski, P.(2001). Ties that bind and ties than blind: Race and class intersections in
the classroom. In C. E. James & A. Shadd (Eds.), Talking about identity: Encounters
in race, ethnicity, and language (pp.250– 266). Toronto, ON: Between the Lines.
Orlowski, P.(2008). Youth “participaction” and democracy: Reﬂections on teaching
Civic Studies 11 in British Columbia. Our Schools/Our Selves, 17(2), 109– 122.
Orlowski, P.(2011). Teaching about hegemony: Race, class, and democracy in the 21st century.
New York, NY: Springer.
Orlowski, P.(2015). Neoliberalism, its eﬀects on Saskatchewan, and a teacher educator’s
response. Alternate Routes: A Journal of Critical Social Research, 26(1), 223– 250.
Orlowski, P.(2018). e “science” of climate change and the (mis)informed citizen. In
K. Kozolanka & P.Orlowski, Media literacy for citizenship: A Canadian perspective
(pp.119– 144). Toronto, ON: Canadian Scholars.
Osborne, K. (1999). Education: A guide to the Canadian school debate— or, who wants what
and why? Toronto, ON: Penguin Books.
Osborne, K. (2008). e teaching of history and democratic citizenship.In R. Case &
P.Clark (Eds.), e anthology of social studies, volume 2: Issues and strategies for
secondary teachers (pp.3– 15). Vancouver, BC: Paciﬁc Educational Press.
Osborne, K. (2010). Political education and citizenship: Teaching for civic engagement.
Education Canada, 45(1), 13 – 16.
Ostry, J., Loungani, P., & Furceri, D. (2016, June). Neoliberalism: Oversold?
International Monetary Fund: Finance and Development, 53(2). Retrieved from www.
Ross, E. W. (2018). Class.In D. G. Krutka, A. M. Whitlock, & M. Helmsing (Eds.),
Keywords in the social studies: Concepts and conversations(pp.249– 260). New York,
NY: Peter Lang.
Sears, A., & Hughes, A. (1996) Citizenship education and current educational reform.
Canadian Journal of Education, 21(2), 123 – 142.
Sensoy, O., & DiAngelo, R. (2017). Is everyone really equal? An introduction to key concepts
in social justice education. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.
Sfeir, G. (2016). Bridging the gap: Towards a cosmopolitan orientation in the social studies
curriculum in Saskatchewan high schools. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University
of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon.
Sharp, A. (2019, September 26). Conservatives more likely to view immigrants as
“costly to society.” National Observer. Retrieved from https://www.nationalobserver.
Stanlick, S. (2018). Citizenship.In D. G. Krutka, A. M. Whitlock, & M. Helmsing
(Eds.), Keywords in the social studies: Concepts and conversations (pp.351– 363).
New York, NY: Peter Lang.
Teaching Global Citizenship.indd 27Teaching Global Citizenship.indd 27 8/11/2020 9:51:35 PM8/11/2020 9:51:35 PM
28 SECTION I KNOWING AND DOING
Van Hooft, S. (2009). Cosmopolitanism: A philosophy of global ethics. London, UK:
Warf, B. (2012). Nationalism, cosmopolitanism, and geographical imaginations. e
Geographical Review, 102(3), 271– 292.
Westheimer, J. (2014). What kind of citizen? Educating our children for the common good.
New York, NY: Teachers College Press.
Westheimer, J., & Kahne, J. (2004). What kind of citizen? e politics of educating for
democracy. American Educational Research Journal, 41(2), 237– 269.
Yalnizyan, A. (2011, April 7). Middle class in decline is the electoral elephant in the
room. e Globe and Mail. Retrieved from https://www.theglobeandmail.com/
Teaching Global Citizenship.indd 28Teaching Global Citizenship.indd 28 8/11/2020 9:51:35 PM8/11/2020 9:51:35 PM