Global citizenship education within a context of accountability and 21st century skills: The case of Olympus High School

Marzia Cozzolino DiCicco


This article addresses the present gap in empirical research on the possibilities and challenges of global citizenship education in U.S. public schools by presenting findings from a five-year, ethnographic case study. The setting for this study is Olympus High School, a small, suburban public high school in Pennsylvania. Beginning in the 2009–2010 school year, Olympus undertook a reform initiative to integrate teaching about the world into its curricular offerings. Although Olympus is just one case, the story of Olympus’s reform process reveals the inherent tension between preparing students to be knowledge workers in the global economy and preparing them to be active participants in global civil society. It also illustrates how test-based accountability and alignment to standards can impede efforts to broaden the curriculum in the interest of developing knowledgeable, responsible, and critically minded global citizens.  


global citizenship education; accountability; 21st century skills; social justice; neoliberalism

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Copyright (c) 2019 Marzia Cozzolino DiCicco


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