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Claretian Missionaries – PROCLADE Internazionale

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Educating for Global Citizenship today. Claret Larraona. España. (I) SDG 4 EN

by | Dec 29, 2021 | Europe, Gente | 0 comments

Educating for Global Citizenship today. Claret Larraona


Aurora Banegas Collado, 

Pedagogical Director of Secondary and High School of Claret Larraona


Recently, I read in Intermón Oxfan editions some excerpts from the book Escuela y Educación para la ciudadanía global by Desiderio de Paz y Abril. The introduction begins with a quote from Bauman: ‘on this planet, we all depend on each other, and nothing we do or fail to do is alien to the fate of others. From an ethical point of view, that makes us all responsible for each other ‘[…].   

These words refer me to the statements that define the exit profile of our students; a profile that, in turn, is rooted in the principles of the ideology of the Claretian Schools and in pedagogical principles such as ‘the conception of education as a transforming force’ (Freire); learning as social service (Dewey and James) and the necessary involvement of the social agents in the school (Learning Communities).


            In our educational offer, we make explicit that our objective is to form people who, from the values of the Gospel, know, value, and improve themselves, are aware of their human dignity; competent in the knowledge necessary to live in a global and changing society; respectful of nature and defenders of the environment. 


If we add to this starting point, which is already a commitment in itself, two more premises that appear strongly in the current educational panorama although they have already been in force for some decades: 


1.         The social need to achieve more participatory and democratic citizenship that works for a fairer society. (Target 4.7 of the SDGs). 


According to Robinson, “Never before have there been so many young people and never before will there be so much potential for economic and social progress. How we address these needs and aspirations of young people will define the future of the planet. Education is critical. The skills and knowledge that young people acquire must be relevant to the economic context and must enable them to become innovators, thinkers, and problem solvers.”


And, despite this premise, there are studies that indicate a low involvement of young people and that the main causes would be: 


– Ignorance of educational centers of the 2030 agenda.

– There is no teaching curriculum on this topic.

– Lack of courses and/or classes related to sustainable development in schools for young people.

– Teachers lack training and knowledge on the subject.

– There is a low level of relations between NGOs and educational institutions.

2.         The budgets of the new Spanish education law (LOMLOE).  The preamble states, as one of its five key approaches to adapt education to current times, the following: “Fourthly, it recognizes the importance of addressing sustainable development in accordance with the 2030 Agenda. Thus, education for sustainable development and global citizenship has to be embedded in the educational plans and programs of all compulsory education.’


It is clear that our educational option cannot focus on a purely theoretical curriculum based on the transmission, without further ado, of a series of decontextualized and scarcely meaningful contents for students. That is to say, if we offer comprehensive education, this cannot only include learning a language, a scientific or social content, how to handle technology, etc., but also an education-oriented towards fundamental values such as humanism, justice, respect for diversity, education for peace and sustainable development. 


In education, however, theoretical approaches are generally well accepted and accepted by all; the problem really arises when we try to put them into practice. And then the questions arise: how should we approach education for Global Citizenship? what should we take into account?


The first premise is that this content is competency-based, globalizing, and must permeate the curriculum, it is not just another subject. This implies a revision of the programs, using an innovative methodology that gives a leading role to students and in which different agents are involved: management teams, teachers, students, families, NGOs, society, etc. 


The second premise is that in order to educate in Global Citizenship it is essential to work with students on their ability to look, to critically examine the reality that surrounds them and others, to recognize the problems, interests, needs, and characteristics of the group as well as its limitations and possibilities. Knowledge must be usable and serve them to understand their local world, which is indisputably linked to the global world.  Working in this capacity implies offering them opportunities to ask questions and imagine answers.

The third premise is that any learning experience must start from the knowledge that the participants possess if we want them to value, be interested in and learn from what is being offered to them. Starting from the expectations and needs that they bring to the classroom is fundamental because if their concerns and questions are not answered, they will feel that they are not taken into account, thus causing disinterest and demotivation. It means approaching the contents incorporating the students’ previous experiences and knowledge.


The aim is to offer a less compartmentalized and more integrated curriculum that makes more sense to students, that has to do with their daily lives, and that the school is not detached from reality.


And finally, the fourth premise is that education for global citizenship must also be translated into action. Based on this critical view, on the knowledge acquired and on motivation, it is an experience that enriches students’ lives, that connects them with realities other than their own, that helps them to understand the world and to feel that something can be done to improve it.  In this same direction is the perspective of Service-Learning, which is making its way into many educational projects.

How can we put it into practice?


In the educational world, the idea is gaining ground that in order to train in values, attitudes, and commitments, curricula divided into the watertight compartments of the different subjects are not very effective. More effective, however, are those that opt for interdisciplinary approaches, where different areas work together. As Dewey and Freire, among other authors, said, “the way of teaching in all areas must be coherent with the principles and values to be developed”.


In order to teach solidarity, critical, respectful, tolerant, participatory, … teachers have to make a thorough reflection on their teaching practice and design, as a team and from those same values they want to promote, methodologies in which students can reflect and address both their own problems and global problems from greater knowledge of themselves and the world (Delors report, 1996).


In this sense, in our school we have been implementing a series of projects that seek these goals and that we believe are valid for any other context or educational institution.


Aurora Banegas Collado, 

Pedagogical Director of Secondary and High School of Claret Larraona




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