Charting a democratic course for global citizenship education: Research directions and current challenges

John P. Myers


This article outlines research directions for global citizenship education, by emphasizing the centrality of democratic goals for schools in the 21st century. Despite a significant shift in educational policies and practices towards addressing education that respond to the conditions of globalization, there is not a clear vision regarding its role in schools. Furthermore, curriculum reforms such as global citizenship education inevitably face the issue of whether to adapt to neoliberal tenets of privatization, high stakes testing and standards-based accountability, or to resist and challenge these policies with alternative, democratic visions of schooling. This article argues that for global citizenship education to reach maturity, there is a need for a programmatic research agenda that addresses the complex dynamics that globalization has introduced to schooling, particularly the challenges to teaching and learning for helping youth to make sense of the world and their role in it. An analysis of recent advances in research and practice in civic education is used as a starting point to advance directions for global citizenship education. Two key directions are suggested: to gain a more secure foothold in schools and the need to focus on a shared conceptual focus that helps researchers, practitioners and other stakeholders to access the same body of practices and knowledge.


global citizenship education, research directions, globalization and education, democratic education, neoliberalism

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Copyright (c) 2019 John P. Myers


Contact EPAA//AAPE at Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College