Policy & Practice - A Development Education Review



Teaching Global Perspectives: Introducing Student Teachers to Development Education

Creating New Economic Paradigms: The Role of Development Education
Spring 2012

Sally Inman

This publication is concerned with the integration of development education (DE) and education for sustainable development (ESD) in initial teacher education (ITE) and the impact of provision for development education on teachers’ practices.  The book draws from the action research projects undertaken by teacher educators involved in the Ubuntu Network during 2008 – 2010.  Ubuntu is a network of teacher educators in the Republic of Ireland aiming to ‘Enhance the capacity of teacher educators to effectively integrate DE/ESD into their professional practice’.

The contents of this book are close to my heart not just in terms of the focus on the challenges of embedding DE and ESD into initial teacher education and evaluating the impact achieving this has on new teachers, but also in the way in which the various contributors are part of a wider collective network working together to develop an education that is part of the solution to global challenges rather than remaining part of the problem.  As chair of a UK network – Teacher Education for Equity and Sustainability (TEESnet) – with very similar aims I read this publication with great interest and empathy. 

The book is aimed largely at teacher educators but will also be of interest to teachers and student teachers, policy makers and researchers as it provides a rich mix of theory, research and practical case studies.  As Tormey outlines in his introduction the challenge addressed by the contributions to the book is to develop a curriculum and pedagogy that integrates DE and ESD into the training of new teachers.  It also aims, through action research, to produce evidence of impact that, as Tormey says, will help us to identify ‘what, where, how or when’ our practice can have maximum impact.

The book has a number of sections.  Liddy provides a very useful discussion on the context in which this work is located and outlines both the current obstacles and the opportunities that exist in the wider political environment within the Republic of Ireland.  This is followed by sections on interdisciplinary and subject approaches; theory and pedagogy; active learning methodologies; and a final section on Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and media education.  Nearly all the contributions describe and analyse curriculum projects with student teachers.  The section on interdisciplinary and subject approaches includes chapters on Biology, Technology and Home Economics, and each chapter gives the reader some useful insights into how we can most effectively embed ESD and DE into the subject.

The second section on theory and pedagogy is somewhat curious as it consists of just one chapter outlining one element of a large scale Citizenship Studies Project.  In this chapter Cusack evaluates and compares the impact of training programmes on student and practising teachers aimed at helping them to develop the Civic, Social and Political Education (CSPE) curriculum for secondary pupils.  The third and largest section focuses on active learning methodologies and includes some fascinating accounts of innovative, powerful and challenging curriculum development work in the arts including Art and Design, English and Drama.  Some of the work outlined here is, for me, the most exciting and vibrant and provides some extremely useful ideas that can be replicated and adapted by others.  It is a pity, however, that there is no case study material on subjects sometimes wrongly seen as ‘marginal’ to DE and ESD.  It would have been very useful to have seen some projects based in Mathematics, History or the languages.

The final section concentrates on how we can use ICT and media to develop DE and ESD.  All three contributions in this section are both excellent examples of innovative practice and challenging to educators and learners.  I shall certainly be using some of the ideas in Bryan’s piece on using the documentary Darwin’s Nightmare (2004) with student teachers.

In conclusion this book is a welcome contribution to the growing literature on how we might best embed DE and ESD in the training of new teachers.  The research base of the contributions is particularly important at a time when we need to demonstrate that ‘powerful’ teacher education programmes (Darling – Hammond 2006 quoted by Tormey) in which DE and ESD is core and properly embedded can develop teachers who can work with young people to help shape a more equal and sustainable world.  I will certainly recommend this book to colleagues and student teachers.


Batteson, T J and Tormey, R (eds.) (2011) Teaching Global Perspectives: Introducing Student Teachers to Development Education, Dublin: Liffey Press.


Sally Inman is Professor of Educational Development, Head of the Centre for Educational Research and Director of Centre for Cross Curricular Initiatives (CCCI) within London South Bank University.  Sally has been director of the UK Initial Teacher Education (ITE) Network for Education for Sustainable Development/Global Citizenship (ESD/GC) since its launch in 2007 and chairs the UK steering group. Sally’s curriculum work and research has focused predominately on educational policy and practice in relation to the broader personal and social development (PSD) of young people in formal and non formal settings.  This has included citizenship education, Personal Social Health and Economic Education (PSHEE), student voice and sustainable development/ global citizenship education. She has worked extensively within ITE teaching PSHEE and citizenship and developing curriculum and research around ESD and global citizenship.  She has led a number of national and regional ITE ESD/GC projects funded by World Wildlife Fund United Kingdom (WWF – UK) and by the Department for International Development (DfID).

Inman, S (2012) ‘Teaching Global Perspectives: Introducing Student Teachers to Development Education’, Policy and Practice: A Development Education Review, Vol. 14, Spring, pp. 116-118.