Journal of Global Citizenship & Equity Education, Vol 4, No 1 (2014)

Linking Global Citizenship Education and Education for Democracy through Social Justice: What can we learn from the perspectives of teacher - education candidates

Paul R Carr, Gary Pluim, Lauren Howard


The respective projects of education for global citizenship and education for democracy are inherently intertwined; the richness and salience of one is dependent on the expression of the other. While both of these ideals are varied and broad in definition, they are each gaining prominence in theoretical debates, in policy development, and at the school level, where the implementation of (formal) education takes place. In this article we examine the construction of meanings ascribed to global citizenship education, survey its position in the curriculum today, and connect it with education for democracy. Structured around the findings of a multi-faceted study with teacher-education candidates in education programs at an Ontario, Canada, university, this article uses data that demonstrates how education for democracy, like global citizenship education, is largely perceived in and between a binary of mainstream and critical orientations. Further, we find that central descriptors of critical perspectives have been coopted or conflated, resulting in reduced meaning. To add a practical element to this conversation, we present six proposals to develop and bolster the critical facets of education for democracy and global citizenship, including addressing the local in global, welcoming conflict in learning sites, and highlighting the primacy of equity in each approach.


critical global citizenship, thick education for democracy, teacher-education candidates, social justice, equity, participation, reflexivity

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