Current Issues

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Current Issues- Education

Current Issues-Education

Global education has been gaining increasing prominence in K12 and higher education policy and curriculum in response to a world in which our geopolitical, environmental, and economic fates are increasingly interconnected (Heilman, 2007). It focuses on knowledge of issues, on understanding the world through interrelated systems, and on multiple perspectives and cultures. Young people learn about issues from the cultural curriculum of television, movies, newspapers, and magazines; from social and religious groups, friends, and family; from their work environments and schools; and from a range of explicit formal curriculum in school. The related but distinct fields of social studies, science, literature, environmental education, multicultural education, critical theory, peace education, education for human rights, and development education all include theorists and organizations who call for globally focused curricula. Global education can both globalize a single curriculum subject area and it can also serve as an interdisciplinary integrated curriculum synthesizing elements of various curriculum subject areas such as history, economics, geography, the arts and literature, and science. To add further complexity, corporations, pundits, politicians, and nongovernmental organizations also weigh in on the question of what a global education should entail. Thus, global education includes a wide range of approaches and theoretical understandings of the political, educational, moral, imaginative, technical, and economic issues at stake (Selby, 2000).

Curriculum studies not only explores the complexity of global education as a field that can be understood through issues, systems, and cultures, but also much more broadly explores the conceptions of knowledge, culture, power, and citizenship in use in various global education curriculum discourses—the different imaginaries that can be found in curriculum. Further, global curriculum is understood to include not just theories and the explicit and formal curriculum, but also the implicit messages of the hidden and null curriculum and the broadly available cultural curriculum.

Neoliberal global education aims not at exploring global diversity within an ethos of equal human rights, but aims to understand issues and people in order to maximize advantage. It is directed at mostly private interests and is primarily concerned with better preparing the workforce and consumers through learning about the world. This approach to curriculum tells us that the world is globalizing and that we need to learn about it to succeed; neoliberal global education is problem based, and the problem is maintaining power in a globalizing world. Corporate citizens who are able move and work easily from place to place in a global world can maximize income and power. Issues and diversity are something to master for the sake of geopolitical and economic advantage. One studies the Other to be able to teach them or work with them or market to them (Myers, 2006).

Environmental global education is also concerned with power and with global economic systems, but aims not at liberation, justice, and human rights, but at creating global responsibility directed toward sustainable societies (Henderson, 2005).

Students are encouraged to learn about their local environments, specifically how human development has shaped the landscape, what resources are employed, and the ...
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