Guide to Infusing Global Education into the Curriculum
Guide to Infusing Global Education Into the Curriculum
This guide for implementing global curriculum in schools is a welcome
tool for educators seeking to extend the reach of education with a global perspective. Projects are evolving with renewed vigour, stimulated by the CIDA Global Classroom Initiative and inspired by the mentorship of teachers’ organizations in the 1990s.
As learning modules and curriculum develop to embrace emerging global issues, this Guide is an important step towards continuity and classroom friendly outcomes. The marriage of inspired perspectives of NGOs and the requirements of formal education extend the applicability of curriculum resources.
Barbara MacDonald, Canadian Teachers Federation,
Director of International Programs
1. Definition, Strands, and key Elements of Global Education
3. Elements of Design:
a. Head, Heart, Hand
b. Curriculum links
c. Planning Checklist
4. Student Outcomes or Expectations: Connections to Curricula
The impetus to construct this document for integrating global curriculum into school life comes from the increasing demands of students, teachers, pre-service teachers, parents, community educators and districts, boards and faculties of education over the past 15 years in Canada. This demand has also led to the increasingly large body of global education units available both in print and through Internet sources. The goal is to deliver a short, concise document to guide those wanting to infuse the curriculum with a global perspective, as well as those in the non-profit community wishing to create practical curriculum instruments to promote their work. The Canadian International Development Agency through their Global Classroom Initiative, along with
other agencies and foundations across the country, seek to fund and evaluate credible curriculum endeavours; to that end, evaluation tools are suggested herein.
To those ends, this guide is intended as a beginning document, to be amended, added to, modified in as many ways as its use dictates. It outlines principles to apply when an educator in any setting incorporates a global perspective into existing or new curricula. Although teaching, ideally, is meant to be an integrative, holistic process where flow from one lesson to the next and among subject disciplines and grade levels takes place, this Guide necessitates a linear form. It begins with defining and outlining the terms of reference then incorporates these into a broad rationale, sets out key elements to consider and finally presents ways of evaluating the success of the intended unit.
To date (2005) there is a shortage of coherent, brief, practical frameworks to use in creating or
evaluating such work. As an experienced global educator and mentor of teachers in Ontario who want to bring a global perspective to existing curricula as well as create their own lessons for the increasingly diverse student population, I can attest personally to this need. In addition, community educators managing global Education programs for a variety of NGOs have asked for assistance as they create practical means of integrating a global perspective in any topic to any
The work of the committee in responding to drafts and participating in the creation of the document has proven invaluable. Presentations and conversations with students and professors at the Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa, and Canadian Hunger Foundation have been instrumental in guiding its shape and content.
The Reviewing Team includes:
Graham Pike (University of PEI Faculty of Education), Tracy Crowe and Sharon Cook,
(University of Ottawa Faculty of Education),
Barbara MacDonald (CTF), Tim Grant (Green Teacher), Gordon Harrison (Pembina Institute),
June Williams (retired B.C. teacher), Sandra Adamchuk (CHF/Partners), Carol Scott and
Letitia Charbonneau (OCDSB teachers), Sara Coumantarakis (U. of Alberta), Nadya Weber
(OCIC), David Gamble, National Ballet School teacher.
Comments and suggestions are welcome. As it is a living document, it will undergo further revisions, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I. What is Global Education?
Global Education is a lens (or perspective) through which material on the curriculum is
viewed. Teachers employ certain methods, outlined herein, which allow the students at
any age to employ this lens to illuminate any subject material. Global Education respects
environmental needs, peace and justice, and human rights for all through positive ways
of reaching out to the students’ peers in developing countries, and around the world. It
transcends subject matter and age level, and through focusing on developing global
citizens, adds authenticity to any curriculum.
B. Strands of Global Education:
Global Education can be broken down into four broad strands:
； Development Education - looks at International Development programs and the
conditions in developing countries, examines Canada’s international role, and
encourages us to address global issues and look critically at the notion of
； Environmental Education – fosters an awareness of and concern for environmental
issues that aid in developing new patterns of behaviour that will promote
； Human Rights Education – teaches about civil, political, economic and social rights,
with the goal of promoting social justice for all.
； Peace Education – studies war and disarmament, and encourages movement
towards peace both globally and in the classroom.
C. Key Aspects of a Global Perspective
Key elements of educating with a global perspective may be used to guide evaluation of student outcomes and school culture. The key to this approach, for school administrators particularly, is the development of a K – 12 curriculum, introducing themes and concepts in the primary years, reinforcing the ideas in the junior grades, and expanding and developing them into the intermediate and secondary years.
For an example, see Father Bressani Catholic High School In Woodbridge, Ontario, where a Global Focus permeates the school’s goals.http://www.ycdsb.edu.on.ca/schools/fabr/index.htm
Important elements of this approach are:
- thinking and teaching holistically, incorporating learning from one topic or theme to the
- celebrating cultural diversity in the classroom, the school, Canada and the world
- encouraging optimism in a troubled world, for society in general and international
development in particular.
- providing opportunities to care for self, for others at home and abroad, and for the global
- integrating this approach across the curricula increases the impact.
- teaching critical thinking and problem-solving leads directly to action.
A. Why teach with a Global Perspective?
The following statements describe the effects on the students themselves:
？ Students learn to respect, to value and to celebrate other cultures. ？ Students learn about developing countries and their issues in a positive way. ？ Students become socially and environmentally responsible, by learning about their
interdependence with other peoples and species.
？ Many Provincial curriculum documents encourage a global perspective. ？ Students gain a positive outlook on their role in making the world a more peaceful and just
？ Global Education enriches any curriculum by clarifying the connections to real life.
(Source: adapted from CHF at www.chf.ca)
B. Canadian statement of intent:
The legitimacy of a global perspective is reflected in the CIDA policy for support:
CIDA/Global Classroom Initiative (http://www.acdi-cida.gc.ca/gci) states:
“Explore Canada’s role in Development, through CIDA, and where possible:
; encourage the integration of a global perspective in teaching;
; increase knowledge of international development and cooperation issues and
help teachers deliver related resources and curricula;
; instil an understanding of global interdependence and Canada's responsibilities
as a member of the global village;
; instil a sense of global citizenship and increase awareness of the difference that
individual and collective actions can make on issues of global importance; and
; raise awareness of the role Canadians, Canada, and CIDA specifically, play in
international development assistance.”
C. U.N. Millennium Development Goals, which Canada supports, also reflect the need for a
Global Education Perspective to achieve success.
Goal 1 - Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Goal 2 - Achieve universal primary education
Goal 3 - Promote gender equality and empower women
Goal 4 - Reduce child mortality
Goal 5 - Improve maternal health
Goal 6 - Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
Goal 7 - Ensure environmental sustainability
Goal 8 - Develop a global partnership for development
III. How to Proceed?
Elements of Design for a Global Perspective Curriculum
A. Head, Heart and, Hand
Teaching globally is a process most likely to succeed, regardless of pedagogical tools when certain principles are applied. A global education unit also does more than just present facts. It strives to involve students on three different levels as outlined herein.
(i) The Head: Intellectual:
This aspect involves presenting as many of the facts as possible, touching on all four Global Education strands mentioned above. The student is also made aware of a variety of sources of information, which can be accessed via the Internet. These activities will try to help them assimilate the information, analyze it, practice critical thinking, or perhaps do a research project on a specific, related topic, and share this information with fellow students.
(ii) The Heart: Personal Involvement of students:
A key part of any global education teaching strategy is what is known as empathy training, or integrating caring into the classroom.
This aspect involves an examination of the basic human and ethical attitudes and values found within the strands and their related issues. Without these activities, a critical analysis remains simply a cold, intellectual exercise, which will not help the student integrate and act upon the knowledge he/she has gained.
(iii) The Hand: Action project:
Through the process of creating possible solutions to the problems students have studied, they may become involved in their chosen solutions. This stage of the unit is very important. As educators, we do not want to leave students with the impression that there is no hope for resolution to some of the injustices they will have learned about. We need to help students develop, not a sense of despair and hopelessness, but a sense of their power as effective decision-makers, responsible consumers and involved citizens in the quest for social justice.
(Adapted from an unknown source)
B. How is a Global Perspective reflected by Ministry Documents?
Connections to Curricula for Canadian provinces can be found by reviewing the documents at:
Many provinces have evaluation tools, which can be adapted for specific grades and
C. Adapting any curriculum model or unit:
A Planning Checklist to Develop Global Awareness
by Sara Coumantarakis was produced for the Learning Network (Alberta)
Is the activity cooperative rather than competitive? Global education is about helping students understand the world and their place in it more fully, not about finding out what they don't know.
Does it provide opportunities for taking further action? Taking action, either personally, in the classroom or community gives opportunity to practise the skills of responsible, global citizenship.
Does it connect global with local? Making connections between local and global manifestations of common issues builds understanding of interconnections and interdependencies and ensures that a Southern perspective, where the majority of the world's people live, is included.
Does it examine root causes? A deeper analysis of an issue allows for an understanding of the systemic nature of power, violence and so forth.
Does it examine the historical context of a situation? An examination of historical perspectives uncovers alternatives and lessons, which can inform a new direction.
Does it examine power issues? Analysis of who is included and excluded: who is the
beneficiary, who is harmed and who is ignored, whose voices speak loudest and most often helps to deconstruct the issue.
Is it participatory and experiential, and does it address various learning styles? A diverse approach to teaching and learning reflects the diversity of the human family and the Earth's ecosystem.
Does it address the whole student (intellectual, social, psychological, spiritual) and connect with his or her experience? Making global education relevant to their day-to-day life helps students develop critical thinking skills applicable to daily decisions, which impact global peace and security.
Does it include a futures orientation? Planning for the "seventh generation" guarantees a more sustainable approach to solving the challenges of the present.
Note: The teacher has a key responsibility in developing curricula for each local context:
; Is it respectful of the learner, the group, and the school community?
; Is reflective teaching employed to make a judgment on the suitability of the curriculum for
the situation, the time allowed, and the target age group?
IV. Student Outcomes or Expectations
Ideally, a continuum emerges when a teacher, a subject area, a school or parent group infuses the program with a Global Perspective across curricular and grade levels. An approach to a topic or concept is introduced at the primary level, reinforced in the junior
grades, and developed fully as the students mature in the intermediate and senior levels to
become part of the student’s total learning package on graduation. For example, support of fairly traded cocoa products can be fostered by learning about the source of chocolate, workers in the industry, and what the human rights and labour and environmental issues are around their favourite chocolate confectionary.
The evaluation process typically reflects some or all of the following criteria:
A. What will students learn?
； - to understand the connections among peoples, cultures, and environments around the
； - to understand that all human beings have similar potential and aspirations but are not
equally able to realize them.
； - to look at global issues from different perspectives.
； - to have an informed understanding of justice, human rights and responsibilities. ； - to ensure our natural environment is sustainable for future generations ； - to take responsibility as Canadian citizens for Canada’s role in international
B. How is the teaching connected to Global Education Themes?
Curriculum units can be infused with a global perspective in a myriad of ways.
For example, through using Pike and Selby’s four dimensions of globality in Pike, G. &
Selby, D.,(1999) In The Global Classroom pp. 12-14.
； The spatial dimension suggests that we are no longer isolated in our own small part
of the world.
； The temporal dimension suggests that we should no longer think of our time on
earth as a discrete period, but rather as a lifetime in the continuum of past, present
and future. What we learn from the past can be brought to bear on our present lives
and affect the lives of future peoples. … A temporal dimension – integrating past,
present, and future – is necessary for a profound understanding of any curricular
topic or subject.
； The issues dimension suggests that there is not one simplistic progression from
problem to solution. Rather, there are many causes and many related effects of
economic and political development, the environment, gender and race equity,
health, peace and conflict resolution, rights and responsibilities.
； Finally, the inner dimension, emphasizes the empowerment and autonomy of
individuals and groups. Personal development goes hand in hand with planetary
D. How does the content connect to CIDA Themes?
(Individual projects may link with different themes; however, they are all inter-connected):
Basic human needs explored through such topics as water, literacy, education for girls, HIV/AIDS, child and slave labour, child protection.
Gender equality explored through such topics as education for girls in developing countries, abuse of women in the work place, and sweatshop labour.
Private-sector development explored through such topics as fair trade coffee and chocolate co-operatives.
Environmental issues explored through such topics as ocean pollution, ozone depletion, deforestation, genetically modified crops, and engendered species.
(For example: Environment with human rights with gender equality and private sector development as demonstrated by the following:
Cooking over wood fires in many developing countries around the world where open wood fires are the primary cooking method has environmental implications, implications for girls’ education, and implications for women's health and economic contribution.
D. How do we know we have succeeded?
B.C. Performance Standards for Social Responsibility suggest the
following be examined. See Resources for link.
; Sharing responsibility for their social and physical environment
; Participating and contributing to the class and to small groups
; Managing conflict appropriately, including presenting views and arguments
respectfully, and considering others’ views
; Recognizing and defending human rights
; Knowing and acting on rights and responsibilities (local, national, global)
; Articulating and working toward a preferred future for community, nation, planet
A. Recommended readings on Global and Citizenship Education
(*currently out of print, but available from on-line booksellers or libraries.) *Earthrights: Education as if the Planet Really Mattered. By Sue Grieg, Graham Pike, David Selby.
WWF & Kogan Page, c 1987.
Outlines the thinking behind the four categories used in this site - really all part of "one education.” It also provides practical help for teachers wanting to engage their students in a global perspective.
*Greenprints for changing schools. By Sue Grieg, Graham Pike, David Selby.
WWF & Kogan Page, c1989.
This book provides the theoretical basis for holistic education, laying out requirements needed for the shift necessary from the "fragmentalist worldview" to the "holistic worldview”. It has become
the foundation for many world issues courses across Canada.
Educating For Global Citizenship in a Changing World. OISE/UT Graduate Programs in
Comparative, International and Development Education, 2005.
This “provides teachers and other educational stakeholders with a range of ideas and practices for teaching and learning about citizenship within today's global context”. http://cide.oise.utoronto.ca/globalcitizenship.php
Guidelines for rubrics, checklists, individual and peer assessments to use in determining
expectations and evaluating achievement of these.
Steve Naylor at the BCTF Global Classroom site uses the criteria below:
Global Classroom: Growth of the Global Perspective.
University of Alberta & CIDA.
Students for Change Action Manual is intended for educators to engage students in
cooperative social action. Comprehensive and practical tips for use in any classroom
developed by George McDougall High in Airdrie, Alberta.
Measuring the success of environmental education: a Guidebook from the B.C. Chapter of
the Sierra Club of Canada.
Environmental Education: Resources for Elementary and Secondary Teachers. Faculty of
Environmental Studies at York University, and a Consortium of School Districts have included
detailed rubrics for environmental education at many levels.
Examples of cross-curricular outcomes and rubrics are found at
B.C. Performance Standards for Social Responsibility