Journal of Global Citizenship & Equity Education, Vol 1, No 1 (2011)

Creating a Global Citizen and Assessing Outcomes

Journal of Global Citizenship & Equity Education
Volume 1 Number 1 2011

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Creating a Global Citizen and Assessing Outcomes

Dr. Margaret Brigham

Dean, Institute for Global Citizenship & Equity
Centennial College

Keywords: Global Citizenship Education; Learning Paradigm

ABSTRACT: This article examines development of the field of global citizenship education in postsecondary education in Canada. Analysis centers on the forces of globalization and internationalization as a catalyst for innovation. Plato’s Allegory of the Cave is invoked to explain the nature of transformative education and reflective practice. A signature pedagogy is identified for global citizenship education based on an emerging model. The model consists of five components: theory, content, experiences, methodology, and assessment. Student outcomes are defined in terms of a demonstrated ability to act with a global mindset based on an application of values, ethics, identity, social justice perspective, intercultural skills, and sense of responsibility.


Global citizenship education provides an opportunity for situational analysis into the dynamics of organizational development and change. This article explores reform, revitalization, and innovation. Research questions include:

  • What set the direction for change?
  • How was implementation executed in postsecondary education in Canada? and
  • What was the impact of such change?

The case study narrative, based on documents and scholarship, gives meaning and definition to such questions as: What is global citizenship education? What are its components? Moreover, how do we define it for assessment purposes?

Part I: The Policy Context

A. The Impetus for Change

The forces of globalization and internationalization represent a powerful catalyst for change. Globalization is the process of increasing interconnectedness between societies such that events in one part of the world more and more affect people and societies far away (Kelleher and Klein, 2006). Internationalization applied to a campus involves integrating an international, intercultural, or global dimension into the purpose, functions or delivery of postsecondary education (Knight, 2004). In a report that evaluates study abroad and international exchange programs, the authors note that “globalization may be the most important factor in the development of higher education worldwide” (Massey and Burrow, 2009). The first research question guiding our inquiry is ---What set the direction for change?

Canada’s postsecondary education system, which consists of several sectors, perceives itself thrust into change. Accordingly, the Association of Canadian Community Colleges notes that, “Canadian society is transforming in response to the forces of globalization, the demands of the knowledge/information economy, and the challenges of demographic change” (ACCC Pre-Budget Consultations, 2009). Similarly, from the university sector, the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, points to an “unprecedented level and depth of global interaction in all domains -- economic, political, and cultural” that alters the way we do business in the “new global context” (AUCC, 1995). Further, from an institutional perspective, Massey and Burrow (2009) in a recent research report suggest that the influences are widespread and impacting “where, when, and for how much, higher education is provided, delivered and practiced”.

What is Global Citizenship? About some things, there is much agreement and common definitions tend to overlap. Yet, as demonstrated by the following descriptive statements, global citizenship is a concept that assumes many forms and meanings and it is highly dependent on the particular context in which it is used.

Atlantic Council for International Cooperation, Halifax

Global Citizenship is:

  • A way of understanding---how the world works, links between our own lives and those of people throughout the world.
  • A way of seeing--- social justice and equity, other people’s reality, diversity, inter-connectedness, and the way that people can make a difference.
  • A way of acting---exercising political rights, critical thinking, and challenging injustice

Oxfam Canada

We see a Global Citizen as someone who:

  • is aware of the wider world and has a sense of their own role as a world citizen;
  • respects and values diversity;
  • has an understanding of how the world works economically, politically, socially, culturally, technologically and environmentally;
  • is outraged by social injustice;
  • participates in and contributes to the community at a range of levels from local to global;
  • is willing to act to make the world a more sustainable place;
  • takes responsibility for their actions.

Centennial College President, Ann Buller

We want our students to:

  • Better appreciate the role they can play in addressing challenges in the world today
  • Be equipped with the crit¬ical thinking skills necessary to work together in today’s multicultural and multinational busi¬ness environment
  • Learn about the global issues of our time
  • Show compassion for people in our community and other communities
  • Take action to improve our lives, our community and the global community

University of Alberta, Dialogue on Educating for Global Citizenship

The aim is to create a global citizenship curriculum that:

  • Helps prepare students to be active, responsible citizens
  • Engaged in the democratic process
  • Aware of their capacity to effect change in their communities, society and the world.

The Influence of Government

The concept has received further definition as a result of political proceedings. Global citizenship is invoked by government as being synonymous with globalization and internationalization. For instance, Ontario’s postsecondary education review, conducted by Bob Rae (2005), was entitled Ontario a Leader in Learning and it indicated several areas for reform. As the rationale of the report notes, “Ontario must face up to the many different challenges of globalization”. While the report did not directly address global citizenship, it did pursue a theme of quality and innovation to make the student experience rewarding and successful through “experience abroad” and “international students”. Specific recommendations called for improvements in the internationalization of the student population; in the marketing of colleges and universities to students from other countries; and for an increase in study abroad opportunities.

Besides the Rae report, Ontario’s Internationalization Strategy (Steenkamp, 2008) reports key objectives for the marketing of postsecondary education services to the international community, and for developing and increasing the opportunities for Ontario students to study abroad. An official of Ontario’s Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, notes in relation to the strategy, that international education has become a “competitive sector within the field of postsecondary education”. In fact, since 2004 the province has approved a yearly allocation of $1 million for the international marketing of postsecondary education. The intent of the stimulus is to enhance the reputation of postsecondary educational institutions as distinguished, diverse, and the welcoming providers of a valuable learning experience (Steenkamp, 2008). The conceptual alignment of global citizenship with the broader forces of change is a prelude to the strengthening of global citizenship education.

A Strategic Learning Objective

Of the utmost importance, are the policy directives by colleges and universities that translate the concept into an educational objective. Mission statements clearly reflect an alignment with globalization and internationalization, but in addition seek to produce graduates who possess a global mindset. A case in point, Centennial College’s policy commitments state that “In creating good global citizens” we will promote the values associated with global citizenship, social justice and equity, as distinguished through portfolios, international learning experiences, cross-cultural learning opportunities, and an international bursary program for study abroad. Along the same lines, Lambton College’s value commitments state, “In all of our interactions, we commit to responsible global citizenship”. Likewise, Thompson Rivers University has a global competency commitment, and the University of Ottawa’s academic strategic plan affirms that to move onto the international stage, “ensure that the University’s main concern is to train global citizens.”

In short, global citizenship remains a broadly defined concept in Canadian postsecondary education. An important development however, is that it has the attention of policymakers. As a new and emerging priority, communication pertaining to the concept of global citizenship differs across a variety of Canadian educational and legislative contexts. For the task at hand, we will devise a more specific definition, as a step toward identifying what skill set will be incorporated later as student learning outcomes. As indicated, the influence of globalization and internationalization is changing lives worldwide, leading government and higher education to articulate goals for international and cross-cultural experiences. Additionally, there are some general themes emerging from the various contexts reviewed. In the current study, global citizenship means possessing the values, ethics, identity, social justice perspective, intercultural skills, and sense of responsibility to act with a global mindset.

B. The Implementation Framework

Accountability for internationalization reform is highly dependent on collaboration rather than formal compliance. Results of a survey reported by the Canadian Bureau for International Education (2009), show that Canadian institutions view “developing global citizens” as their top reason for promoting study abroad (44%), followed by strengthening international understanding (23%), developing intercultural awareness (11%), and as a means to increase job skills and employability (5%). Furthermore, in this report, the president of the organization, underscores that “Canada cannot afford a new generation of graduates whose exposure to the world is confined to the classroom and the media, however in-depth, ubiquitous and helpful these may be” (CBIE, 2009). A submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance by the Association of Canadian Community Colleges makes note that while “many employers are anxious to hire graduates with international experience” Canada lags behind other countries “in promoting and investing in international student mobility” (ACCC Pre-Budget Consultations, 2009).

Mobility Statistics

Mobility programs that “send or receive” students constitute a step toward preparing them for global citizenship. As a policy relevant statistic, study abroad rates show that 2.2% of University students and 1.1% of College students in Canada take part in mobility programs (ACCC, 2010; AUCC, 2007). Although the number is quite low, there is growing interest among students. According to the Canadian Bureau for International Education’s World of Learning report “the institutional vehicle for these mobility programs is study abroad” with the “potential to be no less than a transformative experience that alters a student’s sense of self and understanding of others in the world.” Study abroad is defined as “any internationally based program or experience including exchange, clinical placement, field placement, internship, co-op placement, practicum or voluntary service/work placement offered by a postsecondary institution, of varying durations and places, and for which academic credit may or may not be granted” (CBIE, 2009).

International Activity

Unlike the United States where the integrated postsecondary database system (IPEDS) provides higher education statistics, Canada has no comparable system. Instead, internationalization is evaluated through surveys conducted by the various sectors. To illustrate, the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (2010) conducted a survey on “Internationalizing Canadian Colleges and Institutes”. Data collection will serve as a benchmark for how institutions are doing in comparison to their peers, and as a baseline for the degree of internationalization taking shape in the coming years. The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (2007) conducted a similar survey to track the “depth and breadth” of member institutions’ international activities and “integration of an international and intercultural dimension to teaching/learning, research and community service on campuses across the country.” These reports, which had survey response rates of 74% and 78% respectively, constitute voluntary monitoring of the scope of internationalization that is occurring in Canadian higher education.

Outcome-Based Learning

Student learning outcomes connect program quality and workforce training to the emerging global economy. As an accountability mechanism, they consist of two types of outcomes. Program outcomes refer to the performance demonstrated by all learners upon completion of a program. Course learning requirements, also called benchmarks, reflect the outcomes set for a course, module, or unit of learning (Algonquin College, 2008). For global citizenship education, it is important to note that the same learning outcome is achievable through the study of a wide variety of content, and by student participation in different learning experiences. The measures are part of a trend towards outcome-based education in Ontario. Introduced in a government document entitled Vision 2000: Quality and Opportunity (1990), student outcomes are affirmed by the Ontario Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology Act, 2002 (Woodhead, 2009).

What is the status of research on global citizenship outcomes? According to a recent report on internationalizing Canadian campuses, targeted research is lacking that can “identify the benefits of an international experience, specify the desired learning outcomes and determine the indicators for the skills, values and perspectives needed to become a global citizen” (AUCC, 2006). In a study that looked at the study/volunteer abroad programs offered as part of Canada‘s foreign policy mandate, a focus was on their role in educating global citizens. Outcomes are described as “life-transforming experiences” that increased “cross-cultural understanding” by immersion in different cultures. Researchers point out that “personal growth” often is quite simply a natural outcome of living abroad (Tiessen, 2008) and not necessarily a result of participation in a postsecondary experience. Yet, a dominant claim of international immersions is their ability to transform participants (Crabtree, 2008). The challenge for college and university programs is to isolate the human experience involved in global citizenship education, as well as develop measures for tracking global competence.

A study by Hunter et al (2006) investigated the question “what does it mean to be globally competent?” Using a Delphi technique and a survey of 133 participants, the study involved human resource managers, international educators, United Nations officials, intercultural trainers, and foreign government officers. Results produced a formal definition for assessment purposes. Global competence was technically defined as “having an open mind while actively seeking to understand cultural norms and expectations of others, plus leveraging this gained knowledge to interact, communicate and work effectively outside of one’s own environment”. Applying Hunter’s definition as a measure of global citizenship, Grudzinski-Hall, (2007) evaluated a representative group of 25 colleges and universities offering undergraduate level global citizenship programs on a range of specific knowledge, skills, and attitudes. According to the findings of this study, global competencies are not synonymous with global citizenship. Further research is needed to decipher the implications of these results.

C. The Turning Point

Global realities combined with the internationalization of postsecondary education, marks a turning point for global citizenship education. Colleges and universities have traditionally cordoned off learning experiences related to global citizenship across a range of departments. Examples of these affiliations include General education, International education, Service learning, Foreign languages, Teacher education, and Study Abroad programs. The location, in terms of organizational structure, speaks to the emerging nature of the field and a need to focus from an academic perspective on global citizenship as a learning objective.

Not surprisingly, scholarly conferences offer a forum to discuss global citizenship. For instance, Brandon University’s President Emeritus, Dr. John Mallea offers a viewpoint that “Canada is at a crossroads in developing its global role in the 21st century.” Specifically on the university’s role in developing global citizens, he notes that the “international dimension of people’s lives is becoming more important, as well as their global identification, not only in consumption and employment, but also participation in global civic society.” As an astute observer, Mallea makes the point that “A central challenge is reinterpreting the public good, civic society and citizenship in global terms” (Mallea, 2006).

Reframing Global Citizenship Education

Global citizenship education is not new. The concept of a “global citizen” continues as a contested site of scholarly discourse and debate. What is new is the reframing of it as an educational policy objective by Canada and other nations of the world. Study abroad, for example, is undergoing a profound shift in goals from “cultural acquisition to global citizenship” per the new global order (Lewin, 2009). Similarly, student outcomes once articulated as the preparation of students to move seamlessly between North America and Europe and characterized as “the Grand Tour”; now reflect a focus on the preparation of students to compete in the global marketplace or to find solutions to problems of global significance (Lewin, 2009). The factors involved in this shift are the blurring of economic boundaries between nations, the nation state failing as the principal site for identity construction, the increase in global cooperation to address political, social, economic, and environmental problems, and the advent of Internet and instantaneous communications (Lewin, 2009).

Emerging Field in Canada

Global citizenship education in many sectors has subsumed multicultural education, peace education, human rights education, and international education. It is an emerging field of research and scholarship that “combines the local and international with the goal of global citizenship as an educational outcome” (Longo and Saltmarsh, 2011). To illustrate, Pike (2008) explores the broadening of citizenship education in Canada to a global context and indicates a “merging of learning objectives”. Shultz and Jorgenson (2008) survey global citizenship literature and highlight “transdisciplinarity” as a new research approach allowing for “holistic” framing and analysis of socially relevant issues. Pashby (2008) examines the potential of global citizenship for negotiating a “sense of belonging” that “re-imagines political community, encounters and engages diversity, and in exposing the symbolic act of citizenship, constructs citizenship as a site of struggle.” Finally, O’Sullivan and Pashby (2008) relate Canadian perspectives to a host of issues such as “global and national citizenship, critical and transformative pedagogies, and mutually responsible and competitive global impulses”.

D. Summary

In sum, reform in Canadian postsecondary education was triggered by globalization and internationalization. More importantly, however, it was a response to the marketplace. As a result of this shift in national priorities, global citizenship education was strengthened considerably. In fact, the new emphasis placed on the field of global citizenship education gives clear evidence of systems level “structural” change. Policymakers set an agenda for the introduction of change into Canada’s postsecondary education system, for purposes of increasing market advantage in attracting international students to Canada, and to promote the concept of global citizenship primarily by sending more Canadians to study abroad. Activity emerging from this agenda initiated dialogue on the definitions, concepts, and meanings associated with global citizenship as a learning objective.

Part II: Implementing Change

A. Creating a Global Citizen: Plato’s Allegory of the Cave

The second research question guiding our inquiry is ---How was implementation executed in Canadian higher education? Global citizenship as a learning objective implies transformation of perceptions and views of reality. In many ways, it invokes images of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave (Plato, 1955) where people seated on a log with a fire behind them; perceived reality as the shadows cast on the wall in front of them. Of course, after stepping outside of the cave, their reality shifts and at least philosophically, they are transformed forever. Similar to the exit from the cave, global citizenship education emphasizes the transformational nature of student experiences that often are international in scope, containing various forms of study abroad, civic engagement or community service. Global citizenship education also incorporates a strong element of reflective practice, which in the metaphor would help teachers and learners make sense of the “exit from the cave”.

B. Global Citizenship Model

The global citizenship model taking shape in Canada’s postsecondary system is market-driven. On the global level, the model represents a comprehensive approach for achieving Canada’s strategic goal of internationalization. On the local level, it brings together an institutional response to the objective of global citizenship as a student outcome. It also involves pedagogy, defined as “all aspects of the postsecondary delivery system”, and consists of five academic components related to assessment oriented learning. Each component represents a necessary step in the educational process, and must undergo a “retrofit” to ensure proper expansion and integration of the international dimension.

The model has three organizing principles: theory to inform practice, transformative learning, and critical reflection. It draws from the scholarly literature on past practices in global citizenship education, study abroad, service learning, civic engagement, and the findings and reports of empirical research conducted on relevant topics. It is a work in progress, however, as new thinking and better research will lead to improvements that may alter the structure of it. A schematic of the model is provided for purposes of clarity (see Figure 1). The components consist of (1) theory, (2) content, (3) experiences, (4) methodology, and (5) an assessment component.

Figure 1 - Global Citizenship Pedagogy

Learning Objectives & Constructs.
(Includes emerging thinkers, integrated learning theory & student development.)
Specific Topics, "course of study".
(Includes ways in which faculty teach & the content of what is taught.)
Study Abroad; Service Learning; Civic Engagement
(Includes global, intercultural, & international learning.)
Strategies & Techniques
(Includes Transformative, Collaborative, & Experiential learning, and Reflective practice.)
Process used to establish & document student learning outcomes.

1. The Theory Component

Theory includes emerging thinkers and integrated approaches for making meaning out of learning and student development frameworks. These offer a foundational base for the model and learning outcomes. Profiles of several frameworks underscore the importance of incorporating theory into practice. In general, frameworks consist of two different types of models or learning theories. One type (inductive) is a schematic representation of reality, based on studies and empirical observation. It purports to explain how the reality it represents really works. Another type (deductive) is a prescriptive plan or blueprint for reality, based on valued ideals. It purports to represent the ideal version of reality and to show how it can be attained (Kallen, 2010). The global citizenship model proposed here is an example of the first type; the philosophy of learning proposed by Nicholas Maxwell is an example of the second type.


Nicholas Maxwell’s philosophy on The Urgent Need for an Academic Revolution: From Knowledge to Wisdom identifies qualities of wisdom that are significant for global citizenship education. The work is an example of intellectual development theory that was recently presented in an address to the Society for Research into Higher Education in South Wales, UK. (2010) Maxwell defines wisdom as “the capacity to realize what is of value in life, for oneself and others, wisdom thus includes knowledge and technological know-how.” Theorizing about the scientific approach to rational problem-solving, Maxwell found as a teacher of the philosophy of science, that “there is an urgent need to bring about a revolution in academia so that it seeks and promotes wisdom and does not just acquire knowledge”. Scientific knowledge is described as “increasing our power to act, but not our power to act wisely.” The fundamental aim of inquiry, organized around wisdom-inquiry as opposed to knowledge-inquiry, is to solve problems of living, of action, rather than problems of knowledge (Maxwell, 1984).

Maxwell delineates a role for academics to deal with this “major intellectual disaster at the heart of western science, technology, scholarship and education. ” Rather than blaming science for current global problems, the theory points to the role of academics as one of “resolving problems of living, in increasingly cooperative ways;” thus overcoming a failure to help humanity create a better world. There are seven qualities to the theory that can provide a foundation for colleges and university courses seeking to address ethical, personal, and civic responsibility. These include doing one’s best; integrity; contributing to local, national and global society; recognizing and acting on the obligation to inform one’s own judgment; relinquishing a sense of entitlement; engaging diverse and competing perspectives; and, refining ethical and moral reasoning (Macdonald,2009).

Identity and Belonging

Etienne Wenger‘s theory, Knowledgeability in landscapes of practice: from curriculum to identity is a useful framework for global citizenship education. The theory is an example of social identity and knowledge acquisition theory that is gaining prominence for its application to business, government, and education environments. Wenger defines the locus of learning as “taking place in a living landscape of communities of practice.” Communities of practice are “groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.” Theorizing about the production of identities and situated learning, Wenger describes communities of practice as sites for knowledge production, identity cohesion, and transmission of tacit knowledge, as participants figure things out (Wenger, 2010).

A set of principles connected to the theory offer a social perspective on learning, outlined as follows. Learning is inherent in human nature, ongoing and not separable from one’s life. Foremost, is its ability to negotiate new meanings, create emergent structures such as communities of practice, and yet remain fundamentally experiential and social. Learning transforms our identities; constitutes trajectories of participation similar to a journey; and means dealing with boundaries created by our multiple forms of participation. Learning is also a matter of social energy and power; a matter of engagement; and a matter of imagination and reflection. Learning gives cause for alignment of our actions, involves an interplay between the local and the global; and most importantly, it cannot be designed. Wenger’s point is that it can only be “designed for” as actualization remains the purview of the communities of practice that form in response to any design (Wenger, 1998).

Global Mindset

David Cooperrider’s publication Elevation of Inquiry into the Appreciable World posits a useful approach for global citizenship education. The theory is an example of transformational learning and appreciative inquiry utilized in the internationalization of organizations. Theorizing about change, Cooperrider rejects a deficit approach that views change from the perspective of “what is wrong?” then directs attempts to “fix” it. In contrast, the process of appreciative inquiry operates from the premise that asking positive questions can draw out the human spirit. Cooperrider defines appreciative inquiry as “a process of search and discovery designed to value, prize, and honor” the core values of individuals in an organization (Cooperrider and Sekerka, 2003). The process involves “structured inquiry and asking questions that lead to reflection” (Davis, 2005). Moreover, since “the relationship of persons with their environments is constantly reconstructed with new meanings (Kegan, 1982), appreciative inquiry helps clarify a new mindset emerging as part of the focus of the inquiry.

The model uses both objective reframing by reflecting on the stories of others shared throughout the process, and subjective reframing as the learner responds to questions prompted by their own story telling. There are four phases to the model. The first, Discovery, initiates questions to identify the “best of what is” by eliciting stories. The second, Dream, focuses on “what might be” and encourages appreciative reflection on the stories. The third, Design, forms “provocative statements” on the creative vision emerging. The fourth, Destiny, centers on a praxis of “what will be”. In a meta-case analysis to determine when appreciative inquiry is “transformational”, it was validated as a process for “changing how people think” and for “supporting self-organizing change that flows from new ideas” (Bushe, 1995; Bushe and Kassam, 2005). Examples of its use include educational planning, curriculum design, faculty development, international and service learning programs; as well as world affairs associated with the Dalai Lama, and Kofi Annan while at the United Nations.

Knowing and Reasoning

Baxter-Magolda’s book Knowing and Reasoning in College identifies learning principles important for global citizenship education Baxter-Magolda’s model of epistemological reflection is an example of cognitive structural theory (Evans et al, 2010) that builds on William Perry’s work in ethical and intellectual development. Baxter-Magolda defines epistemological reflection as “assumptions about the nature, limits, and certainty of knowledge”. Theorizing about learning, Baxter-Magolda found that validating students as “knowers” is essential to encouraging the development of their voices. Further, that situating learning in the students’ own experience legitimizes their knowledge as a foundation for constructing new knowledge. There are four stages to the theory, absolute knowing, transitional knowing, independent knowing, and contextual knowing (Baxter-Magolda, 1992).

In the first stage, absolute knowing, knowledge is viewed as certain. Professors are seen as authorities with the answers. The purpose of evaluation is to reproduce what one learns so that the professor can determine its accuracy. Stage two, transitional knowing, involves an acceptance that some knowledge is uncertain. A realization that authority figures are not all-knowing is a turning point from absolute knowing. Transitional knowers expect professors to go beyond merely supplying information to facilitating understanding and the application of knowledge. Evaluation that focuses on understanding is endorsed over that which deals only with acquisition (Baxter-Magolda, 1992).

Stage three, independent knowing, views knowledge as mostly uncertain. The role of the professor shifts to providing the context for knowledge exploration, promoting independent thinking, and the exchange of opinions. Evaluation that rewards thinking and does not penalize views that diverge from those presented by professors or in textbooks is sanctioned. Stage four, contextual knowing, involves the belief that the legitimacy of knowledge claims is determined contextually. While the individual still constructs a point of view, the perspective now requires supporting evidence. The role of the professor shifts to creating a learning environment that endorses contextual applications of knowledge, discussions that include evaluation of perspectives, and opportunities for mutual critiques by students and professor. Evaluation that measures competence contextually and permits the mutual involvement of professor and student is endorsed. Baxter’s theory results from a five-year longitudinal study of 101 university students (Baxter-Magolda, 1992). Additional theories related to global citizenship are available on the University of British Columbia’s web-based guide, the Ethics of International Engagement and Service-Learning (

2. The Content Component

Content includes the ways in which faculty are teaching the subject matter, as well as the content of what is taught.

One type of necessary change to “retrofit” global citizenship education is to shift analysis from “thin” to “thick” descriptions of culture as articulated by Geertz (1973). Now a classic text on intercultural study, Geertz’s concept is that insight comes from interpreting signs “to gain their meaning within the culture itself.” Deardoff (2009 a.) in the Sage Handbook of Intercultural Competence, reiterates this need by noting a tendency to rely on “objective” culture consisting of history, literature, language, music, and so on, rather than the underlying cultural values, communication styles, and worldviews that create the boundaries of difference. Stearns (2009) in Educating Global Citizens in Colleges and Universities notes a second type of necessary change is to create “habits of mind” as a germane feature of global citizenship course offerings. This approach involves identifying and emphasizing core analytical skills, and privileging them over masses of factual data and memorization tasks. Both changes indicate going beyond the subject matter, and cultivating skills or tools so that students can arrive at their own analysis of global issues.

As a former provost and professor, Stearns (2009) offers basic guidelines for the design and delivery of global citizenship education courses. First of all, a global citizenship course should teach students how to compare, plus the value of comparison in looking at one’s own society through a global lens, as well as examining others. Second, it should provide experience in relating global factors to local developments, and vice versa. Third, it should generate cultural awareness of how some cultures differ or are similar to our own, with capacity to comprehend and utilize the information. Fourth, it should help students identify magnitudes of change in global situations, as well as being able to assess continuities and the factors that give rise to both. Fifth, it should encourage students to see connections, not just in different parts of the world, but also among systems and social institutions and processes (Stearns, 2009).

Teaching and learning is a third area of change in the content component. University of Sudbury president Zundel and McMaster University president Deane, point to a need for “a radical re-conceptualizing” of the teaching and learning process, where the goal becomes “helping students learn” rather than teaching them to take notes (Zundel and Deane, 2010). In a similar vein, the President’s Task Force on Learning, initiated by Centennial College president Buller, calls for curricula centered on “global citizenship and social justice” and instructional methods/teaching strategies that best assist students in “engaging with the course and benefiting from their learning” (Centennial College, 2009). The quest is articulated as letting go of “feeding as many as possible from the same bread basket” to seeking new and better ways “to satisfy the hunger of our students” (Zundel and Deane, 2010).

The role of the professor is a fourth area of change in the content component. Zundel and Deane (2010) cite a need for moving beyond the model of a “teacher addressing a room of essentially passive students” to more engaging pedagogical and curricular design options. Specifically, they propose a series of threshold questions to reflect the shift “towards learning, away from teaching”. Namely, what do students need to be able to do by the end of their course or program? What pedagogical and curricular opportunities can we design to help them learn to do it? What resources can we consider as we design these learning opportunities? What can we do as institutions or educators to bring those resources to bear on student learning? And, How will we know whether we are successful? (Zundel and Deane, 2010).

Use of the questions can create a new direction. When faculty are engaged as designers and facilitators rather than dispensers of formal declarative knowledge, Zundel and Deane report the following changes. Course preparation becomes a “pedagogical design problem over the ultimate objective” rather than a task of selecting content with a weekly plan. Courses become “much more creative” as choices are made among many more variables. The traditional lecture course or power point is “no longer the only model utilized”, opening a door for activity that involves community members, community organizations, other societies and institutions. Concern with “what the students are actually doing”, allows planning into new kinds of situations in which students learn, such as intercultural environments, international internships, or service and experiential learning opportunities (Zundel and Deane, 2010).

Finally, while the content of what is taught to students was not part of this analysis, note is made that sample syllabi for global citizenship and equity programs are available in Centennial College’s Spring/Summer 2010 Global Citizen Digest. Course descriptions were researched and compiled from a variety of colleges and universities in Canada and the United States ( Likewise, Schultz and Jorgenson (2009) in Global Citizenship Education in Post-Secondary Institutions: A Review of the Literature, provide a summary of current programs and practices in Canada and other nations world-wide.

3. The Experiences Component

Experiences include study abroad, service learning, civic engagement, placements, internships, and voluntary service/work connected to a postsecondary institution. These are of varying duration and place, and may or may not grant academic credit. While policymakers declare study abroad as the institutional vehicle for mobility programs and global citizenship initiatives, in reality, the vast majority of college and university students partake in global learning without leaving the country. The thrust of global learning experiences is to “generate learning that extends beyond the conventional subject-based content knowledge frequently associated with campus-based courses” (CNIE, 2009). Further, Hovland (2010) denotes these experiences as “high impact learning” that can be used to explore the local/global intersections that exist in every community.

Crabtree (2008) depicts study abroad and service learning experiences as “cross-cultural encounters” having disruptive as well as transformative power. According to Crabtree these experiences can “awaken global awareness, create cognitive dissonance, and lead to personal growth.” Hence, from an ethical perspective, the role of faculty is to “manage these changes in ourselves, in addition to helping our students process them” (Crabtree, 2008). Critical reflection has been identified as the developmental tool that can help make meaning out of such experiences. Yet, Jones and Steinberg’s (2011) analysis of international service learning programs found a range in the use of reflective practice. According to the researchers, one-time service events often have little reflection or academic integration; while on the other hand, there are service experiences of several hours per week during a semester with frequent and deep reflection (Jones and Steinberg, 2011).

Interestingly, criticism has accompanied the development of curricular and co-curricular global citizenship experiences. Sometimes viewed as an undesirable trend toward “commercialization” of higher education, the marketing of global citizenship education in international settings is issue sensitive. Lewin details such criticisms in the Handbook of Practice and Research in Study Abroad (2009). The issues include a sense that academic integrity is compromised as destinations become “exotic” commodities; colonialism is invoked through “poverty tourism” or engagement that involves “visiting the natives”; and more students going to more countries, from wide socio-economic backgrounds, is generating a debate over whether study abroad should be a privilege or a right in undergraduate education (Lewin, 2009).

4. The Methodology Component

Methodology includes transformative learning, reflective practice, experiential learning, and collaborative learning. These strategies and techniques are being rediscovered as part of the new global citizenship learning paradigm.

Transformative learning involves a deep, structural shift in the basic premises of thoughts, feelings and actions. It is an education for the mind as well as for the heart. This implies a radical change towards interconnectedness and creates possibilities for achieving more equality, social justice, understanding and cooperation amongst peoples (Global Education Guidelines, 2009.) It is also a process, as Cranton (2006) points out, “that can be provoked by a single event—a disorienting dilemma—or it can take place gradually and cumulatively over time”. Further, it is also voluntary, “otherwise an educator steps outside of the definition of transformative learning and into something like brainwashing or indoctrination”. Moreover, a key in the process is discourse, as we need to engage in conversation with others in order to consider alternative perspectives and make a determination on their validity (Cranton, 2006).

In a study reported by Hendershot and Sperandio (2009) transformative learning was the focus. Lehigh University has a global citizenship program consisting of courses, study abroad, and experiential co-curricular activities related to global citizenship. The study set out to determine which of the three components was perceived by students as most transformative in the development of their global citizenship identity. The sample involved 75 students, and analysis of surveys, admissions essays, as well as self-reflective interviews Students identified “experiences with other cultures and places” as most significant in their global citizen identity development. Statements that emerged from the work pointed to critical incidents, encounters, and engagement as defining moments for participants. An important perspective shared with the researchers, was that students and faculty, formed what could be described as a learning community “who shared with, and learned from each other” (Hendershot and Sperandio, 2009).

Reflective practice is the idea that while experience may underpin all learning, it does not always result in learning. We have to engage with the experience and reflect on what happened, how it happened and why. Without this, the experience tends to merge with the stimulants that assail our senses every day (Beard and Wilson, 2010). Moreover, everything is reflection-worthy, and few if any details are too small or insignificant to have meaning, according to researchers. In fact, critical reflection builds on itself. Bringle (2011) report research that suggests using a “a pre-, mid-, and post experience structure” to direct the learner’s attention to changes in thinking and progress made toward fulfilling objectives.

In a program reported by Centennial College (2009) reflective practice was the focus. The college has a signature learning requirement for graduation that must be fulfilled by completion of a portfolio. Students complete the portfolio in conjunction with a mandatory general education course. The course is based on a faculty designed textbook entitled GNED 500 Global Citizenship, From Social Analysis to Social Action (Centennial College School of Advancement, 2011). Core concepts of the course include identity and values, inequality and equity, social analysis, and reflective practice. A condensed version of the course is available for faculty preparing to teach it or for staff advisors supporting it. As noted in the report, the program outcome is to “develop understanding of global citizenship, social justice and diversity”. While the course outcome is “to develop competencies for learning, teaching and working that value diversity and difference, and embrace and promote equity and inclusion.”

Experiential learning is the sense-making process of active engagement between the inner world of the person and the outer world of the environment. Active engagement is one of its basic tenets, and involvement of the ‘whole person’ through thoughts, feelings, and physical activity. Recognition of this ‘whole environment’ both internally and externally is important. Experiential learning can take on many appearances in life, such as recreational or leisure activities, exhilarating journeys or adventures, experimentation or play. It can also be in the form of painful events (Beard and Wilson, 2010).

In a study reported by Jones and Esposito (2006) experiential learning was the focus. Elon University has an experiential learning requirement for graduation. Students can fulfill it by participating in a winter term service learning abroad project, or through short-term study abroad experiences. A preparatory course offered by faculty involves historical and cultural reading materials on the destinations, training for participants in daily reflective practices for group discussions, and reflective techniques for journal writing. Prior to departure students develop learning goals related to academic knowledge, skill development, and personal and cultural awareness. The preparatory course is mandatory in the semester prior to the actual experience. As reported in the study, the program outcome is “to develop awareness of global citizenship”. While the course outcome is “to broaden the student perspective from a narrow ethnocentric one, to one that is more globally aware and globally sensitive”.

Collaborative learning entails “students teaching other students” through small groups, and as such it is a highly effective method for capitalizing on the value of peer interaction (Barkley et. al, 2005). The “scholarship of teaching” suggests that instructors must not only know their subject matter, they must also know how to get students actively involved in working with the concepts of the discipline to make the knowledge their own (Boyer, 1990). In other words, as Collaborative Learning Techniques: A Handbook for College Faculty, points out “students must build their own minds through a process of assimilating information into their own understandings.” Definitive features of this learning strategy specify the professor’s role as ensuring that meaningful learning takes place, there is an intentional design, and all group participants engage actively in working toward stated objectives (Barkley, 2005).

In a study reported by Hill and Beaverford (2007) collaborative learning was the focus. The University of Manitoba, Faculty of Architecture offers a month- long study abroad experience allowing students to transcend the traditional studio environment. The context is an international service learning project organized around the construction of a tea house and garden. The study notes a shift in the role of the faculty, from studio professor, to co-investigator, co-learner, and facilitator due to the complexity, intensity, and unpredictability of the project. Intercultural experience is addressed through partnering with a local organization, community involvement, and family home stays. Other results include meaningful learning on course learning objectives, and students report learning from the professor, the community, and most importantly, from each other (Hill and Beaverford, 2007). As reported in the study, the course outcome was to “broaden international knowledge and intercultural competency”; while the program outcome is “to prepare our graduates to work in the global community”.

5. The Assessment Component

Assessment is a process used to establish and document student learning outcomes. There is no one way to accomplish the assessment task. While standards exist on formulating learning outcome statements for programs and courses, guidelines are lacking on the assessment process itself. Briefly stated, the process involves several key questions. How was global citizenship broadly defined? What outcome, definition, or theory is associated with creating a global citizen? What constructs or measurements are to be used and aligned with the program, course, or experience? How will the researcher operationalize the constructs for assessment purposes, and finally, what means are available for the collection of evidence? (Sinicrope, 2008; Rosenberg and Wartzok, 2010).

The first step in the process is to determine the student learning outcomes for global citizenship and intercultural learning (See Figure 2). In the case at hand, our definition of global citizenship, expressed as an outcome states: The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to act with a global mindset based on an application of values, ethics, identity, social justice perspective, intercultural skills, and sense of responsibility. Outcomes are specific on what the student will be able to demonstrate upon completion of a program of study (MTCU, 2005; OCAV, 2007) and require one to integrate and apply one’s learning. They do not break learning into the domains of knowledge, skills and attitudes and thus differ from behavioral objectives (Aligning and Building Curriculum, 2011). As indicated in the following examples from Ontario, global citizenship outcomes do appear consistent with existing regulatory criteria, and a “retrofit” means simply strengthening the international or global dimension, or adding such an element.

Figure 2 – Student Assessment Process

Student Learning Outcomes:
Detail on skill set
Performance Indicators
Direct (portfolios)
Indirect (surveys, statistics)
Levels for evaluating quality
Performance Descriptors
Rating scales


The standards for colleges in Ontario, available in the Framework for Programs of Instruction, mandate that courses leading to a diploma, certificate, or other document awarded by a college must be designed so that students achieve outcomes prior to graduation (MTCU, 2005, 2006). Graduates are required to demonstrate skills and knowledge in three areas. These include, Vocational Learning Outcomes specific to a field of study, Essential Employability Skills (communication, numeracy, critical thinking & problem solving, information management, interpersonal, and personal), and General Education Skills (themes include arts in society, civic life, social and cultural understanding, personal understanding, and science and technology) for citizenship development. Of these, the category of “general education” specifies the development of “citizens who are conscious of the diversity, complexity and richness of the human experience; and, the society in which they live and work” (MTCU, 2005, 2006). Adding the international or global dimension would expand the criteria to include global citizenship.

Similarly, the standards for universities in Ontario, printed in the Overview of Provincial and Regional Quality Assurance Mechanisms in Canadian Higher Education require indicators to assess the quality of faculty, program outcomes, and learning objectives (AUCC, 2007). The Guidelines for University Undergraduate Degree level Expectations also details the performance expectations for graduates in six areas. These include depth and breadth of knowledge, knowledge of methodologies, application of knowledge, communication skills, awareness of the limits of knowledge, and autonomy and professional capacity (OCAV, 2007). Of these, the category of “autonomy and professional capacity” specifies qualities and transferable skills for community involvement, personal responsibility and decision making, working effectively with others, and behaviour consistent with academic integrity and social responsibility. Adding the international or global dimension would expand the criteria to include global citizenship.

Knight (2004) iterates the importance of addressing the intersection of international and intercultural in the promoting of internationalization. Barker and Crichton (2008) found that the two dimensions are related, and that the “intercultural” is more inclusive and influential to student learning. Standards are available from UNESCO in Guidelines on Intercultural Education linking culture and education, particularly in programs that encourage dialogue between students of different cultures, beliefs and religions. Not a simple “add on” to the regular curriculum, intercultural education is described as consisting of “four pillars of education”. The pillars are: Learning to Know (combines general knowledge with opportunities to work on in-depth projects, exposure to other languages, communication); Learning to Do (the competence to deal with many situations, work in teams, and to find a place in society); Learning to Live Together (carrying out joint projects, managing conflicts, appreciating interdependence); and, Learning to Be (able to act with greater autonomy, judgment, personal responsibility, capacity for right of others to difference) (UNESCO, 2006).

The second step in the process is deciding on how to operationalize the stated outcomes. Some strategies are based on a definition, while others adopt a construct. A variety of theoretical constructs are available for assessment of global citizenship and intercultural learning. These constructs have been applied to study abroad, international service learning, civic engagement, and academic courses. Examples include intercultural competence (Sinicrope, 2008), reflection (Ash, 2005), cross-cultural skills and global understanding (Kitsantas, 2004), perspective transformation (Kiely, 2004), cognitive development, intrapersonal development, interpersonal development (Massey and Burrows, 2009), and intercultural effectiveness (Pederson, 2010). Illustrating the use of such constructs, Sinicrope (2008) report three different ways of organizing assessment of “intercultural competence”. One focuses on the communicative nature of intercultural competence, another on the individual’s adaptation and development when confronted with a new culture, and a third is empathic and tolerant reactions to other cultures. Further, Pederson (2010) shows how “intercultural effectiveness” can be used to assess results in a study abroad program.

In the study, Pederson adopts a theory that views intercultural sensitivity as occurring in stages, or on a continuum. The points on the continuum are the basis for an instrument, the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), which measures movement through the stages suggested by the theory. The context for the study is a psychology course with intercultural pedagogy, guided reflection, and intercultural coaching. Participants (N=50) were placed in three groups, those who took the course and went abroad, those who went abroad without the course, and those who stayed on campus (control group). All were administered the IDI pre and post test. Results assessed whether a student moved on the continuum as measured by the scale. Findings reported the highest growth (statistically significant) for the group who took the course and went abroad. A conclusion was that “to simply send students to a location abroad is not sufficient toward facilitating the larger goal of creating effective global citizenship” (Pederson, 2010).

The third step in the process is selecting and establishing performance indicators. This involves obtaining and validating actual evidence of global citizenship and intercultural learning (Deardorff, 2009 b.). Maki (2002) notes the importance of using multiple data collection methods, and distinguishes between direct and indirect evidence of student performance. Direct indicators show gained knowledge or skills (Rosenberg and Wartzok, 2010). These include portfolios, course-embedded assignments, capstone or culminating projects, evaluation of specific behaviours such as collaborative problem solving or teamwork, performances, internships, observation of simulations, essays, interviews, and tests (Maki, 2002; Sinicrope, 2008). Indirect indicators ask students to reflect on their experiences (Rosenberg and Wartzok, 2010). These refer to survey instruments, focus groups, document analysis of syllabi or transcripts, and follow-up statistics such as the percentage who go on to graduate school, retention and transfer data, and job placement data (Maki, 2002; Sinicrope, 2008). Triangulation of the evidence, which means collecting more than one piece of evidence, is recommended as a means of validation (Deardorff, 2009 b.).

The fourth step in the process is devising rubrics as a tool for evaluating the quality of the student’s work related to global citizenship and intercultural learning. Rubrics are descriptive scoring schemes that clarify what is expected and how the student’s work will be evaluated. Oakleaf (2009) describes two types, namely holistic or analytic. A holistic rubric scores the overall process, without judging the component parts separately. One score is given for performance that is based on an overall impression. The second type, an analytical rubric divides performance into dimensions which are judged and scored separately. Formatted in a matrix or table, rubrics include criteria for assessment in the left column and levels of performance across the top. A rubric can be used for both formative (to give general feedback) and summative (to assign marks) (Red River College, 2009). Accordingly, a factsheet from Red River College indicates that rubrics provide clarity for both teachers and learners, especially for assessments that are complex and subjective. They reduce ambiguity by providing a guide that clearly states the criteria for the components of a project, assignment, skill or behaviours (Red River, 2009).

The fifth step in the process is deciding on performance descriptors or rating scales on global citizenship and intercultural learning if appropriate. According to the Sage Handbook of Intercultural Competence, the IDI is one of approximately fifty survey research scales available (Deardorff, 2009 a.).The IDI is a 50-item self-assessment with five-point Likert scales. Some surveys result from individual researchers’ work, while others are available as commercial products. Key examples include the Cross-Cultural Adaptability Inventory, the Global Competency and Intercultural Sensitivity Index, the Global Perspective Inventory, the Global Mindset Inventory, Intercultural Development Inventory, the Behavioral Assessment Scale for Intercultural Competence, the Intercultural Sensitivity Inventory, the Intercultural Sensitivity Index, and the Assessment of Intercultural Competence. Sinicrope’s review of assessment tools, notes the most popular is the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) followed by the Cross-Cultural Adaptability Inventory (Sinicrope, 2008). The reporting of results is based on whether a student moves on the continuum measured by a particular scale. As noted by Maki (2002), interpretations of assessment results enable an institution to verify how well it is achieving student outcomes, and determine how to improve the quality of education.

C. Summary

Revitalization efforts were instrumental in a reframing of Global Citizenship Education. The creation of new alliances to align the curricula with the new learning paradigm gives clear evidence of organizational level “behavioral” change. Academic leaders responded to the agenda for change by increasing the ‘sending and receiving’ of international students, by encouraging new mobility programs, through new approaches to global citizenship education, and by promoting transformative learning. The new emphasis gave increasing importance to other practices such as study abroad, service learning, and collaborative methodologies. In time, these efforts and developments converged around an emerging global citizenship pedagogy.

Part III: The Impact of Change

The third research question guiding our inquiry is--- What was the impact of change? Several key areas are major sites of change in Canada’s postsecondary education system. These include new directions for curriculum, teaching and learning, pedagogy, and the scholarship of teaching and learning.

A. Curricular Activity

First, global citizenship as a student outcome shifts the curriculum to a more learning-centered approach. The reason for adopting a learning-centred approach is to support students in becoming deep learners, according to a policy document of the College Student Alliance titled Roadmap to Excellence (Woodhead, 2009). Moreover, deep learners take from a program the skills necessary to be productive in work and personal life while also intrinsically valuing learning itself (Woodhead, 2009). A focus on learners also requires content and experiences that expand learning beyond the conventional classroom or lecture hall. Addressing the challenges of assessing global citizenship and study abroad outcomes, Deardorff (2009 a.) notes that an assumption is that students’ active engagement in their own and the host community will increase intercultural competence and global awareness (Deardorff, 2009 a.). While there are alternatives to study abroad, a tendency exists to focus primarily on international vehicles for learning that involve less than 3 percent of university and college students in Canada.

Trilokekar and Shubert (2009) explore the question “Is there a distinctly Canadian approach to study abroad and the making of global citizens?” The researchers note vacillating federal and provincial support for study abroad. While internationalization is promoted as a means of advancing Canada’s global presence, financial resources are not adequate for the task. However, the needs of students who do not study abroad are being addressed in Canadian institutions (Trilokekar and Shubert, 2009). Offerings include multifaceted on-campus approaches to internationalization focused on curriculum, co-curricular activities, and work abroad programs, such as volunteering, internships, and co-op programs. According to the researchers, these appear more effective than study abroad, which provides less direct contact with the community at large and is expensive to pursue (Trilokekar and Shubert, 2009).

Internationalization of the curriculum has embarked on a uniquely Canadian approach. Some research indicates Canadian multiculturalism may be an impetus for global citizenship activity and a more inclusive curriculum (Trilokekar and Shubert, 2009). Moreover, Williams (2008) reports three forms of curricular realignment taking place in Canada. The first approach “add-on” adds international or intercultural content to existing curricula without modifying the pedagogy. The second approach “infusion” infuses the curriculum with cross-cultural content from interdisciplinary and international perspectives. And the third approach “transformation” modifies the curriculum to be more inclusive of culture, new ways of thinking, and new educational practices and methodologies. A conclusion of the study is that although the infusion approach is the most widely used in Canada, the more culturally inclusive transformation approach is being developed as the goal to which institutions aspire (Williams, 2008).

B. Teaching and Learning Activity

Second, global citizenship education engages faculty in new directions related to global learning. A report issued by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada on internationalization efforts gives evidence of extensive discourse on major challenges, best practices, and the training of faculty to undertake course design (AUCC, 2009). Specifically, professional development to infuse interdisciplinary, thematic and more active and engaging learning methods into the curriculum is essential to support international learning. Tools of choice, noted in the report include case studies, problem-based scenarios, web-based technologies, video conferencing and comparative methodologies. New technologies, described in the report, make it possible to offer a globalized course that takes place simultaneously in four different institutions and three different countries (AUCC, 2009).

Other indications include a new focus on teaching and learning. A book commissioned by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO, 2010), entitled Taking Stock: Research on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, links practice with student outcomes (Hughes and Mighty, 2010). Active learning pedagogies are emphasized that engage students in deep learning processes, rather than a surface approach to learning. Specific recommendations to improve teaching and learning include support for research on the effectiveness of teaching practice, better assessment of faculty competence during hiring and promotion, professional development offerings for faculty through teaching centres, pedagogical leadership at all levels of the academy, and creation of departmental cultures that value pedagogical creativity and experimentation (Hughes and Mighty, 2010).

C. Signature Pedagogy

Third, global citizenship education creates unique teaching/learning experiences that are reconfiguring how knowledge is transferred and produced. The term signature pedagogy refers to a mode of teaching and learning that prepares students to acquire a certain skill set. The concept, attributed to Shulman (2005), suggests that certain teaching and learning practices define the student learning experience in professions such as law, medicine, engineering, the clergy and teacher education. Features specified include: (1) Uncertainty, from the perspective of the teacher and the student who make decisions and interact around contingencies; (2) Engagement, where students are actively responding to the teacher and situation; and, (3) Formation, in that they build identity, character, dispositions, values. These are described as instilling habits of mind (routine analysis), as well as habits of heart (connecting reason, interdependence, emotion) (Shulman, 2005). Applying these criteria, global citizenship education does qualify as a signature pedagogy, on at least two counts.

One example, is that global citizenship education utilizes a teaching mode based on specific strategies and techniques that constitute a signature pedagogy. In much the same way as the profession of law uses moot courts, debates, and mock trials, global citizenship education uses study abroad, service learning, and civic engagement. Since student outcomes connect program quality and workforce training to the emerging global economy, global citizenship outcomes are specific on what the student will be able to demonstrate upon completion of a program of study. In the case at hand, the mode of teaching prepares students to acquire a certain skill set related to global competence. This is defined as “the ability to act with a global mindset based on an application of values, ethics, identity, social justice perspective, intercultural skills, and sense of responsibility”.

Another example is that global citizenship education involves learning environments that foster personal change. Transformative learning, experiential learning, reflective practice, and collaborative learning deliberately create such environments. Research in this area involves understanding how individuals construct meaning and the relationship between the self and the social environment (Kegan, 1994; Baxter-Magolda, 1992). Epistemological development theory suggests that as learners “deepen structural understanding” necessary for transformative learning, students also come to understand the structures that underlie meaning making generally, and their own meaning making specifically (Cunningham and Grossman, 2009). Thus, to some extent the learner is involved in knowledge production as one creates and builds new knowledge. The teacher as facilitator, rather than “sage on the stage” as noted by Deardorff (2009 b.) means that faculty expertise is still critical, but the transference of knowledge is different.

To illustrate the significance of this point, knowledge production is explored further. The term epistemology refers to the philosophical theory of knowledge; of how we know, what we know (Scott and Marshall, 2005). It gives rise to questions such as “how do people learn? “ And, what is the origin of knowledge, the place of experience in generating knowledge, and the place of reason in doing so? These issues link with other central concerns of philosophy, such as the nature of truth and nature of experience and meaning. As Blackburn (2005) points out “It is possible to see epistemology as dominated by two rival metaphors”. One is that of a building or pyramid, built on ‘given’ foundations as a basis of knowledge, with inference as a method of construction. The other metaphor is that of a boat or fuselage, that has no foundations but owes its strength to the stability given by its interlocking parts. This rejects the idea of a basis in the ‘given’ and favours ideas of coherence and holism (Blackburn, 2005). What is exciting about interactive environments, is that the teaching/learning equation has potential to create new knowledge.

D. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Fourth, global citizenship education requires the cultivation of shared knowledge among practitioners and researchers. Writing from a perspective of the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), Poole et. al (2007) note that postsecondary institutions across Canada are producing research that is broad in scope, timely, relevant and engaging. For instance, multidisciplinary teams at the University of British Columbia’s Institute for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, create practitioner-designed studies into how to align student learning with goals articulated in the vision framework - TREK 2010: A Global Journey (Poole, 2007). Other research involves faculty engagement projects for internationalizing course curriculum and teaching practices that embed intercultural and international dimensions into the design and delivery of instruction (Odgers and Giroux, 2006). Additionally, researchers are exploring formation of communities of practice such as the ABC Knowledge Exchange Network (Aligning and Building Curriculum, 2010) formulated to facilitate communication, enhance the scholarship of teaching, interdisciplinarity, sharing of knowledge, and the professionalization of teaching (Smith, 1997; Poole, 2007).

E. Future Research in Global Citizenship Education

Creating a global citizen continues to attract the attention of researchers. Several items are worthy of further study. One is the connection of transformative learning, situated learning and the epistemological nature of the teacher/learner exchange. Savicki (2008) describes the experiential learning process as “forming new knowledge” within the context of study abroad. This concept needs be assessed as a learning outcome. A second item worthy of study is student life. Internationalization activity has been directed to the role of the faculty and the curriculum, with less attention on students. The concept of student life needs to be considered as a site of situated learning. A research study might probe into comparative dimensions of student life in Canada versus an international location. A third item worthy of study is institutional research on the infusion of global citizenship education by colleges and universities. Rodenberg (2010) for example, proposes an instrument to measure educational activity related to internationalization that could be modified for global citizenship. The idea would be to create benchmarks and to plot progress toward a desired stage of global evolution.

F. Summary

Innovation was a result of faculty engaging with students to create global competency. The new pedagogy constructed around the internationalization of Global Citizenship Education gives clear evidence of innovative change. Faculty responded to the need for students to demonstrate global competence by creating or revamping courses, introducing international and service learning experiences, and by utilizing transformative learning pedagogy. Activity centered on student learning outcomes and the establishing of global citizenship curricula. In particular, there was increasing academic interest in constructs and the pedagogy related to global competency.


Global citizenship education provides insight into how organizations respond to change. Systems level “structural” change is evident in the reforms leading to a new emphasis on the field of global citizenship education. Organizational level “behavioral” change is observed in the revitalization efforts of the faculty to learn new skills, redefine the teaching/learning relationship, and to engage in the scholarship on teaching and learning. The result was awareness of a signature pedagogy for global citizenship education. The type of change that this case exemplifies is “innovation” which was prompted by the marketplace. “Innovation” focuses on alliances within the organization, and usually does not involve a crisis.


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