Policy & Practice - A Development Education Review



Global Education Guidelines: Concepts and Methodologies on Global Education for Educators and Policy Makers

Innovations in Development Education
Spring 2010

Charo Lanao-Madden

I came across this useful guide while doing a Google search for the phrase ‘what is global education?’  This resource is not only a guide for understanding and practicing global education, but also a pedagogical coaching tool to implement and enrich global education practices.  


            The guidelines are intended to strengthen the delivery of global education and to assist practitioners in both formal and non-formal education by introducing general elements which they can develop using their own experiences and according to the needs of their practice. They also help to identify existing global education approaches and practices, and to support educators in becoming more aware of their own global education activities.


            To achieve these objectives, the guidelines describe global education approaches, related methodologies and evaluation criteria by sharing existing practice and tools, and providing an extensive list of resources, including a bibliography.  I found the guidelines particularly useful for the design and delivery of a global educators’ training programme.  I would recommend the resource to global education practitioners, and to individuals interested in understanding what global education is and requiring practical guidance as to how to include it in their practice. The resource features a clear and accessible structure; however I would have preferred more examples and more accompanying graphs and images.


            Chapter A provides definitions of the term ‘global education’.  It also explains its rationale for its focus on global education as a transformative learning process, which 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’ (North-South Centre, 2008:13). It describes how the purpose of global education is not just to learn about global themes, world problems and how to find solutions by working together.  It is also meant to help us envision a common future with better life conditions for all, connecting local and global perspectives, and learning how to make this vision a reality, starting from our local communities.


            Chapter B asks ‘Why Global Education’? The guidelines explain that our world today is a globalised world and how globalisation poses fundamental challenges for all areas of education.  It also details the aims of global education, including:  ‘educating citizens in social justice and sustainable development’; ‘opening a global dimension and a holistic perspective in education in order to help people understand the complex realities and processes of today’s world and develop values, attitudes, knowledge and skills that will enable them to face the challenges of an interconnected world’; ‘developing learning communities, in which learners and educators are encouraged to work cooperatively on global issues; and ‘stimulating and motivating learners and educators to approach global issues through innovative teaching and pedagogy’ (North-South Centre, 2008:18).


            Chapter C explains that ‘global education enables people to develop the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes needed for securing a just, sustainable world in which everyone has the right to fulfill his/her potential’ (North-South Centre, 2008:20). It explains the difference between the traditional understanding of education as a collection of previously approved content and global education, which is a process that encourages learners to explore the roots and causes of events and developments. It also delves into the types of knowledge, skills, values and attitudes it aspires to enable in learners.


            Chapter D is titled ‘Methodology’.  It describes the fundamentals of global education methodology, presents methodological approaches such as cooperative-based learning, problem-based learning and dialogue-based learning. It also outlines criteria for planning and evaluating global education activities, criteria for selecting and evaluating resources, and criteria for curriculum design for formal and non-formal settings. This is one of the most practical chapters and is highly recommended as a resource when delivering any global education training or activity.


            Chapter E provides a comprehensive bibliography and list of resources. The resources support global educators at a practical level by:


·  Clarifying fundamental questions related to global education;

·  Suggesting strategies on how to build content;

·  Proposing aims, skills, values and attitudes;

·  Offering guidance on methodologies, curricular design and programme evaluation; and

·  Listing useful contacts and links.


            The Global Education Guidelines recognise that ‘global education is not just concerned with different perspectives on globalised themes and what you teach and learn about them.  It is also concerned about how you teach and learn and the contextual conditions in which you teach and learn’ (North-South Centre, 2008:20). They balance the importance of content with that of the context in which the learning process takes place.


            The resource was developed by the Global Education Week Network in coordination with the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe. There is a hard copy of the guidelines available from the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe and an electronic version available from the Council of Europe website. The latter version has an additional chapter with useful global education-related links.




North-South Centre of the Council of Europe (2008) Global Education Guidelines: Concepts and Methodologies on Global Education for Educators and Policy Makers, Lisboa-Portugal: North-South Centre, available: http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/nscentre/ge/GE-Guidelines/GEguidelines-web.pdf.


Charo Lanao-Madden grew up in Peru, where she worked for different organisations on issues of fair trade, gender and development and management of natural resources. Charo is an experienced trainer and facilitator on antidiscrimination, antiracism and diversity.  She was deeply involved in the development of the Latin American Association and served as the coordinator from 2003-2005.  From 2005-2007 she worked for Community Change providing training on governance and strategic planning for community groups.  On 2008 she worked for Rural Community Network as the Good Relations Officer. Since September 2008, she has worked for the Centre for Global Education as the coordinator for the Making Connections Project, a global education project for the ethnic minority sector in Northern Ireland.  She has a BSc in Sociology, a MA in Conservation and Development, Post Graduate Diplomas in Gender Studies, Community Drama Facilitation and recently obtained her accreditation as an NLP practitioner.

Lanao-Madden, C (2010) 'Global Education Guidelines: Concepts and Methodologies on Global Education for Educators and Policy Makers', Policy and Practice: A Development Education Review, Vol. 10, Spring, pp. 139-142.