Global, International and Inclusive Education
Globalization has played a key role in shaping societies over the past couple of decades. Still, there is little agreement on its merits and perils and, most importantly, on how it can be best defined. Attempts to provide a broader understanding of this charged concept see globalization as the widening, deepening and speeding up of worldwide interconnectedness in all aspects of contemporary social life, including economic, political, social and cultural spheres, as a result of rapid advances in technology, communication and travel (Giddens, 2000). This interconnectedness offers new possibilities to interact with and learn from culturally-diverse people, as well as to access information in real-time. However, it also brings challenges of unparalleled magnitude. Because we are interconnected (and interdependent), what happens in other parts of the world on a global level affects us on a local level, and vice versa. Hence, climate change, war and conflict, gender and social inequality, poverty and unemployment, and forced migration have all become global problems with consequences for many different countries and communities.
Addressing these global problems requires increasingly complex skills, knowledge and predispositions from people (Banks, 2004), such as critical thinking; communication, negotiation and collaboration skills; knowledge and understanding of global issues and responsibilities; valorization of diversity and commitment to social justice; to name but a few (Oxfam, 2015). This brings out the need for clearer and bolder education goals, as well as more flexible, appropriate and inclusive forms of education.
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