GCE ideascapes

Global Citizenship Education idea-scapes:
summary of educational implications

Social cartographies are educational instruments that are not meant to describe or prescribe things, but to be a stimulus for different conversations about  intersections that are usually not talked about. This social cartography exercise presents three approaches to GCE (soft/radical/otherwise) and invites educators to reflect on their practice and the challenges of global justice in their contexts of practice.

As you engage with this social cartography, think about:

  1. What is possible/expected in your context of work in relation to GCE? Why is this the case?
  2. What approach would be more difficult to introduce? Why is this the case?
  3. What approach was the most common in your own education? What approach do you feel most and least equipped to do?
  4. What global challenges are students affected by? What circumstances would require your students to have stamina?

You can also use this table as a tool for evaluating the approaches and tasks you choose to address a particular GCE topic, remembering that soft, critical and otherwise approaches can have different effects in different contexts and they can also complement each other if the timing is right.

Soft GCE Critical GCE GCE Otherwise
General focus Fostering inclusion in and informed engagement with institutions, belonging, self-esteem, peace and equality, mutual understanding Fostering advocacy for and solidarity with historically marginalized groups Engaging with complexities, paradoxes, uncertainties, difficulties and wicked problems (with no simple solutions)
Engagement with
Helping those “behind” or excluded to catch up, jump in and “move forward” Fighting on the side of the oppressed against injustices Tackling the root causes and alleviating the effects of historical, systemic and on-going violence
Engagement with un-sustainability Doing one’s part to mitigate the effects of climate change and consumption, supporting greener policies, fostering appreciation for nature Engaging with the limits of greening policies, critiquing ‘greenwashing’, while attending to intersectional approaches to climate justice Developing capacity to face the tipping points (energy, water, food, health, relations) of unsustainability with sobriety and accountability
Engagement with discrimination Promoting inclusion and appreciation of diversity Engaging with the subtle aspects of discrimination and promoting representation, recognition and redistribution (‘the 3 Rs’) Attending to diversity within diversity, beyond romanticization and essentialism; reducing harm while questioning limits of the 3 Rs
Responsible participation Working towards a “single forward” supporting institutional approaches Challenging the “single forward”; being an ally of those who have been oppressed by it Working through complicities and the complexities of solidarity; preparing for the multiple crises that we will need to face together
Examples of competency inventories UNESCO: preparing learners for the challenges of the 21st century FREIRE’s critical pedagogy
Feminist critical pedagogy
Queer/SOGI pedagogy
In Earth’s CARE curriculum
GCE Otherwise study program
Examples of GCE tools and initiatives Model UN
Me to We
(feel-good approach)
Slavery & ecological footprints

(feels-right approach)
House of modernity
Crossing borders dispositions

The Storm
(build-stamina approach)

The resource Tataiako: cultural competencies for teachers of Maori learners has soft, critical and otherwise approaches in it. We invite you to examine this resource to identify traces of each approach: https://teachingcouncil.nz/required/Tataiako.pdf


This table of 3 approaches to GCE is a summary/adaptation of a larger map of  “4 different approaches to GCE“. For a discussion on different mapping exercises in the GCE area, see
Pashby, K., da Costa, M., Stein, S., & Andreotti, V. (2020). A meta-review of typologies of global citizenship education. Comparative Education56(2), 144-164.

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