Global Citizenship Education in North America



To begin to consider the context of global citizenship education in North America, it is important to look at some key characteristics of the continent. In this chapter, we will emphasize the relationship between North America’s multicultural population and multicultural policies and the content and pedagogy connected to global education. We will start with some key characteristics of the North American context and will link the history of multiculturalism and global education. Then we will look specifically at global citizenship education (GCE) trends within North America. Our focus in this chapter is on the theoretical and empirical literature on global citizenship education in elementary and high schools (and not including higher education) in Canada and the USA as well as some reflections on some of the issues arising principally from English-language literature from Mexico. We conclude with an argument for the importance of mobilizing around a critical approach which is already occurring but that requires more work in curriculum, pedagogy, and research.


  1. Abdi, Ali A. (2008). De-subjecting subject populations: Historico-actual problems and educational possibilities. In A. Abdi & L. Shultz (Eds.), Educating for human rights and global citizenship (pp. 65–80). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  2. Abdi, A., & Shultz, L. (2008). Educating for human rights and global citizenship: An introduction. In A. Abdi & L. Shultz (Eds.), Educating for human rights and global citizenship (pp. 1–10). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  3. AE (Alberta Education). (2016). Competencies: Descriptions, indicators and examples. Edmonton, Alberta: The Crown in Right of Alberta. Retrieved from:
  4. Andreotti, V. (2006). Soft versus critical global citizenship education. Policy and Practice: A Development Education Review, 3, 40–51.Google Scholar
  5. Andreotti, V. (2010a). Global education in the 21st century: Two different perspectives on the ‘post-’ of postmodernism. International Journal of Development Education and Global Learning, 2(2), 5–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Andreotti, V. (2010b). Postcolonial and post-critical global citizenship education. In G. Elliott, C. Fourali, & S. Issler (Eds.), Education & social change (pp. 233–245). London, England: Continum.Google Scholar
  7. Araujo-Olivera, S. S. & Gonçalves e Silva, P. B. (2009). The education of ethnic minority groups in Mexico. In J. A. Banks (Ed.), The Routledge International Companion to Multicultural Education (pp. 540–553). New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Bamber, P., & Hankin, L. (2011). Transformative learning through service-learning: No passport required. Education and Training, 53(2/3), 190–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bryan, A. (with M. Bracken) (2011). Learning to read the world?: Teaching and Learning about global citizenship and international development in post-primary schools. Dublin: Identikit. Available online:
  10. Bryan, A., Clarke, M. & Drudy, S. (2009). Social justice education in initial teacher education: A cross border perspective, A report for the standing conference on teacher education north and south (SCoTENS). Available online:
  11. Bourn, D. (2009). Students as global citizens. In E. Jones (Ed.), Internationalisation: The Student Voice (pp. 18–29). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  12. Delanty, G. (2000). Citizenship in a global age: Society, culture, politics. Philadelphia, PA: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Delanty, G. (2006). Nationalism and cosmopolitanism: The paradox of modernity. In G. Delanty & K. Kumar (Eds.), The sage handbook of nations and nationalism (pp. 357–368). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Díaz Barriga, F.‚ & Rigo, M. (2000). Formación docente y educación basada en competencias. In M. A. Valle (Ed.)‚ Formación en competencias y certificación profesional (pp. 76–104). México: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.Google Scholar
  15. Edge, K., & Khamsi, K. (2012). International school partnership as a vehicle for global education: Student perspectives. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 32(4), 455–472.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Eidoo, S., Ingram, L., MacDonald, A., Nabavi, M., Pashby, K., & Stille, S. (2011). “Through the kaleidoscope”: Intersections between theoretical perspectives and classroom implications in critical global citizenship education. Canadian Journal of Education, 34(4), 59–84.Google Scholar
  17. Evans, M., Ingram, L. A., Macdonald, A., & Weber, N. (2009). Mapping the “global dimension” of citizenship education in Canada: The complex interplay of theory, practice and context. Citizenship Teaching and Learning, 5(2), 17–34.Google Scholar
  18. Fitchett, P. G., Heafner, T., & VanFossen, P. (2014). An analysis of time prioritization for social studies in elementary school classrooms. Journal of Curriculum and Instruction, 8(2), 7–35.Google Scholar
  19. Galczynski, M., Tsagkaraki, V., & Ghosh, R. (2011). Unpacking multiculturalism in the classroom: Using current events to explore the politics of difference. Canadian Ethnic Studies, 43(3), 145–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. García, A. M. (2014). Pedagogical training and culture for global citizenship: Reflections for its creation. BCES Conference Proceedings, 12, 165.Google Scholar
  21. GEFI (Global Education First Initiative). (n.d.). Priority #3: Foster global citizenship. Website of the UN Secretary General’s Global Initiative on Education. Retrieved from
  22. Hahn, C. (2016). Pedagogy in citizenship education research: A comparative perspective. Citizenship Teaching and Learning, 11(2), 121–137.Google Scholar
  23. Harshman, J. (2015). Introduction: Research in global citizenship education. In J. Harshman, T. Augustine‚ & M. Merryfield (Eds.), Research in Global Citizenship Education (pp. 1–8). Charlotte, NC: IAP.Google Scholar
  24. Humes, K. R.‚ Jones, N. A.‚ & Ramirez, R. R. (2011, March). Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin: 2010. Washington, DC: United States Census Bureau. Retrieved from:
  25. Jorgenson, S., & Shultz, L. (2012). Global citizenship education (GCE) in post-secondary institutions: What is protected and what is hidden under the umbrella of GCE? Journal of Global Citizenship & Equity Education, 2(1), 1–22. Retrieved from
  26. Joshee, R. (2007). Opportunities for social justice work: The Ontario diversity policyweb. The Journal of Educational Administration and Foundations, 18(1/2), 171–199.Google Scholar
  27. Kymlicka, W. (1998). Finding our way: Rethinking ethnocultural relations in Canada. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Kymlicka, W. (2003). Multicultural states and intercultural citizens. Theory and Research in Education, 1(2), 147–169.Google Scholar
  29. Lapayese, Y. V. (2003). Toward a critical global citizenship education. Comparative Education Review, 47(4), 493–501.Google Scholar
  30. Levinson, B. (2005). Programs for democratic citizenship in Mexico’s Ministry of Education: Local appropriations of global cultural flows. Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, 12(1), 251–284.Google Scholar
  31. Levinson, B. (2010). The State and the citizen in Mexican civic education: An evolving story. In A. Reid, J. Gill, & A. Sears (Eds.), Globalization, the nation-state, and the citizen: Dilemmas and directions for civic and citizenship education (pp. 175–190). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  32. Marshall, H. (2009). Educating the European citizen in the global age: Engaging with the postnational and identifying a research agenda. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 41(2), 247–267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Martin, F. (2013). Same old story: The problem of object-based thinking as a basis for teaching distant places. Education 3–13 41(4), 410–424.Google Scholar
  34. Merryfield, M. M., Lo, J. T. Y., Po, S. C., & Kasai, M. (2008). Worldmindedness: Taking off the blinders. Journal of Curriculum & Instruction, 2(1), 6–20.Google Scholar
  35. Mundy, K., & Manion, C. (2008). Global education in canadian elementary schools: An exploratory study. Canadian Journal of Education, 31(4), 941–974.Google Scholar
  36. OECD. (2013). Education policy outlook: Mexico.
  37. OECD. (2017). Country statistical profile: Mexico: Key tables from OECD.
  38. Pashby, K. (2008). Demands on and of citizenship and schooling: ‘Belonging and ‘Diversity” in the global imperative. In M. O’Sullivan & K. Pashby (Eds.), Citizenship Education in an Era of Globalization (pp. 9–26). Rotterdam: Sense.Google Scholar
  39. Pashby, K. (2011). Cultivating global citizens: Planting new seeds or pruning the perennials? Looking for the citizen-subject in global citizenship education theory. Globalisation, Societies, and Education, 9(3–4), 427–442.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Pashby, K. (2013). Related and conflated: A theoretical and discursive framing of multiculturalism and global citizenship education in the Canadian context (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Toronto, Canada. Available online:
  41. Pashby, K., Ingram, L., & Joshee, R. (2014). Discovering, recovering, and covering-up Canada: Tracing historical citizenship discourses in K–12 and adult immigrant citizenship education. Canadian Journal of Education/Revue canadienne de l’éducation, 37(2), 1–26.Google Scholar
  42. Pashby, K. (2016). Global, citizenship, and education as discursive fields: Towards disrupting reproduction of colonial systems of power. In I. Langran & T. Birk (Eds.), Globalization and global citizenship: Interdisciplinary approaches (pp. 69–86). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  43. Pike, G. (2008). Reconstructing the legend: Educating for global citizenship. In A. Abdi & L. Shultz (Eds.), Educating for human rights and global citizenship (pp. 223–237). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  44. Previte, M. A.‚ & Sheehan, J. A. (Eds.). (2002). The NCSS presidential addresses, 1970–2000: Perspectives on the Social Studies. ERIC Clearinghouse for Social Studies/Social Science Education. Washington, DC: Office of Educational Research and Improvement. Retrieved from:
  45. Rapaport, A. (2009). A forgotten concept: Global citizenship education and state social studies. Journal of Social Studies Research, 33(1), 91–112.Google Scholar
  46. Rapoport, A. (2015). Global citizenship education: Classroom teachers’ perspectives and approaches. In M. M. Merryfield, T. Augustine & J. Harshman (Eds.), Research in global citizenship education (pp. 119–135). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.Google Scholar
  47. Richardson, G. (2008). Conflicting imaginaries: Global citizenship education in Canada as a site of contestation. In M. O’Sullivan & K. Pashby (Eds.), Citizenship education in the era of globalization: Canadian perspectives (pp. 53–70). Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense.Google Scholar
  48. SACSC (The Society for Safe and Caring Schools & Communities). (n.d.a). Grade 10 social studies, english language arts: Unit one: Global issues awareness: Lesson one: Issues, what issues? [Lesson plan]. Retrieved from
  49. SACSC (The Society for Safe and Caring Schools & Communities). (n.d.b). Grade 10 social studies, english language arts: Unit one: Global issues awareness: Lesson three: A lived experience [Lesson plan]. Retrieved from
  50. Schattle, H. (2008). Education for global citizenship: Illustrations of ideological pluralism and adaptation. Journal of Political Ideologies, 13(1), 73–94.Google Scholar
  51. Steinberg, M. W. (1999). The talk and back talk of collective action: A dialogic analysis of repertoires of discourse among nineteenth-century English cotton spinners. The American Journal of Sociology, 105(3), 736–780.Google Scholar
  52. Tatto, M. T., Arellano, L. A., Uribe, M. T., Varela, A. L., & Rodriguez, M. (2001). Examining Mexico’s values education in a globally dynamic context. Journal of Moral Education, 30(2), 173–198.Google Scholar
  53. Taylor, L. (2012). Beyond paternalism: Global education with preservice teachers as a practice of implication. In V. Andreotti & M. Souza (Eds.), Postcolonial perspectives on global citizenship education (pp. 177–199). New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  54. Todd, S. (2010). Living in a dissonant world: Toward an agonistic cosmopolitcs for education. Studies in Philosophy of Education, 29(2), 213–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Tully, J. (2000). The challenge of reimagining citizenship and belonging in multicultural and multinational societies. In C. McKinnon & I. Hampsher-Monk (Eds.), The demands of citizenship (pp. 212–234). London, England: Continuum.Google Scholar
  56. Tully, J. (2008). Two meanings of global citizenship: Modern and diverse. In M. Peters, H. Blee, & A. Britton (Eds.), Global citizenship education: Philosophy, theory and pedagogy (pp. 15–39). Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense.Google Scholar
  57. Tye, K. A. (2014). Global education: A worldwide movement. An update. Policy Futures in Education, 12(7), 855–871.Google Scholar
  58. Urbina Garcia, M. A. (n.d.). Teaching values in Mexico. Unpublished paper, University of York, York.Google Scholar
  59. Willinsky, J. (1998). Learning to divide the world: Education at empire’s end. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Elementary EducationUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.Childhood, Youth and Education StudiesManchester Metropolitan UniversityManchesterUK

Personalised recommendations