Global citizenship education
A challenge for adult learning and education
Since 2019, the work of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) has included a renewed focus on citizenship education with a particular emphasis on global citizenship education. Global citizenship education (GCED) is a strategic area of UNESCO’s education programme. Its work in this field is guided by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, notably Target 4.7 of Sustainable Development Goal 4 on education, and the Education 2030 Framework for Action.
Global citizenship responsibilities apply to all individuals, and invite them to assume active roles, both locally and globally, to face and resolve global challenges and, ultimately, become proactive contributors to a more just, peaceful, tolerant, inclusive, secure and sustainable world.
While some progress has been made in promoting GCED in schools and formal education, GCED is comparatively neglected in adult learning and education (ALE). This was confirmed in the findings of UNESCO’s fourth Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE 4), published in 2019, which recorded a very low participation of adults in citizenship education, including GCED. The report stressed that greater acknowledgement of the role of citizenship education in adult leaning and education is needed for realizing the 2030 Agenda.
Addressing global citizenship education in adult learning and education
A joint project on GCED in ALE was conducted by UIL and the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU) in 2019. The project’s objective was to promote and better understand the role of GCED for youth and adult learners. A series of thematic and country case studies were commissioned to showcase GCED and identify good practices. A selection of these background papers can be found on this webpage. The output of this first step was a summary report on Addressing Global Citizenship Education in Adult Learning and Education. The report stresses the role of adult education in empowering individuals to build just and sustainable societies. It highlights the critical importance of access points, such as cultural centres and libraries, in strengthening GCED opportunities for adults.
- Addressing global citizenship education (GCED) in adult learning and education (ALE) by Marcella Milana (University of Verona) and Massimiliano Tarozzi (University of Bologna and UCL Institute of Education)
- Global citizenship and adult literacy by Ulrike Hanemann
- The professionalization and training of adult educators in global citizenship education for youth and adults by Sameena Eidoo
- Competency framework for adult educators In teaching GCED by Susanne Lattke and Anne Strauch, with assistance from Christina Bellmann and Valentyna Gladkova, German Institute for Adult Education – Leibniz Centre of Lifelong Learning, Bonn, Germany
- Adult learning and education for global citizenship in Finland by Fingo, Finnish Development NGOs, Helsinki, Finland
- Global citizenship education and learning for adults in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania by Abdelatif Faribi
- Adult learning and education for global citizenship in South Africa by Mejai Avoseh, Professor of Adult and Higher Education, University of South Dakota, United States
- Global citizenship education in adult learning and education. Addressing learning needs of migrants: Lessons from the BEF Alpha Scheme (Germany) by Dr Ilka Koppel, Junior Professor, University of Education Weingarten, Germany
Fifth UNESCO Global Report on Adult Learning and Education
UIL is currently preparing the fifth edition of the Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE 5). The report will combine survey data, policy analysis and case studies to provide policy-makers, researchers and practitioners with an up-to-date picture of the status of ALE in UNESCO Member States, together with a review of citizenship education, including global citizenship education. It will provide recommendations for strengthening developments in ALE and for promoting active and global citizenship. GRALE 5 will be launched at the seventh International Conference on Adult Education (CONFINTEA VII) in Morocco in 2022.
UNESCO learning cities
The UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC), coordinated by UIL, works with its members in a particular cluster on GCED. Cities of this cluster are committed to developing or further improving relevant lifelong learning policies and strategies aimed at promoting global citizenship and to design and/or reinforce initiatives for implementing policies and strategies related to global citizenship.