Are WE the world? A critical reflection on selfhood and global citizenship education

Chenyu Wang, Diane M. Hoffman


Although much debate exists on the conceptualization, nature, and goals of global citizenship education, there has been widespread support for incorporating ideals of global citizenship into the practices, texts, and curricula of U.S. schools and universities. This article offers an interpretive discourse-based critique of ideas of selfhood underlying global citizenship education. Based on analyses of two U.S. high school curricula and materials available on websites devoted to global citizenship, we develop a critique of universalizing constructs of selfhood that underlie global citizenship discourse.  These assumptions obscure reflection on dynamics of social class privilege that shape global citizenship activism and situate global citizenship education as a potentially counter-productive neoliberal discourse. The article concludes with recommendations for practitioners interested in developing a more self-reflective and critical global citizenship education.


global citizenship education; selfhood; critical reflection; curriculum

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Copyright (c) 2019 Chenyu Wang, Diane M. Hoffman


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