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Education in Global Education

Training Professional Educators

Much education planning in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries focused on preparing students for the increasingly interdependent world and the diverse societies they would graduate into. Professional educators, parents, and policy-makers understood that educators need to have a sound awareness of other nations, their social milieus, cultures, customs, political and economic processes, and educational systems. Accordingly, teacher-education programs in colleges and universities around the world responded by introducing courses of study and program components to help meet this need.

Such courses and program components fall under the generic heading of Global Education but may have different labels such as Global Comparative Education or Comparative Education. Postsecondary education reacted to the globalization phenomenon in a way that sought to use the technological, economic, social, and political developments of the late twentieth century to develop a shared vision of global responsibility and economic sustainability.

Courses in global education tend to fall into two general categories: survey courses and courses dealing with specific issues. Survey courses have three basic components. First, they introduce students to the field of global/comparative studies in education. Second, they undertake examinations of selected countries as case studies. Third, these case studies provide the data and substantive content for comparing national systems of schooling; discerning common themes and trends; appreciating differences; understanding problems and controversies; and drawing conclusions, insights, and lessons.

The second category of courses focuses on specific issues in contemporary schooling, examined in an international context. The wide scope of issues addressed includes equality of educational opportunity; educational achievement; evaluation and examinations; the treatment of minority groups; women in education; formal, nonformal, and informal education; delivery modes; teacher training, certification, and supply; citizenship education; politics, ideology, and schooling; language and literacy; schooling and the economy; education, modernization, and development; education reform; accountability; effective schooling; and school administration and governance.


Global education addresses schooling in all its aspects. Pedagogical strategies, curricular content, evaluation, classroom management, and organization and administration are conducted in fundamentally different ways around the world. Research into how children learn, what constitutes "best practices" in pedagogy, and how schools serve social and class interests is being conducted in many societies and in many different national and cultural contexts. All around the world, educators, departments of education, education research institutes, professors of education, and others are working conscientiously to produce pedagogy, curricula, and diagnostic tools to better serve students, parents, society, and the teaching profession.

Schooling will inevitably reflect the cultural biases on which it is established, but as a general rule, global education aims to:

Find a cross-cultural foundation for knowledge and human values;

Refine understandings of globally applicable ethical attitudes;

Consider how international organizations might affect national political and economic decisions;

Foster a global civic culture with a capacity for altruism and empathy, one that encourages social action and community service.

Additional topics

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