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Global Citizenship and International Experiential Learning

Module 1: Introduction to Global Citizenship

In order to understand global issues, a complex web of cultural and material local/global
processes and contexts needs to be examined and unpacked. My argument is that if we fail to do
that in global citizenship education, we may end up promoting a new civilising mission as the
slogan for a generation who take up the burden of saving/educating/civilising the world.

Andreotti (2006, p. 41)

Soft versus critical global citizenship education

International Experiential Learning and Global Citizenship

As you will discover through the readings, international experiential learning is adapted from Kolbs
experiential learning module to include international or travel components (Tiessen & Huish, 2014, p.
5). In basic terms, the experiential learning module emphasizes how one learns through his/her
experiences in a cyclical manner that begins with first observing, second reflecting, third
understanding abstract concepts and forth testing new concepts (ibid). Combining this with travel,
international experiential learning programs attempt to nurture students learning from their
experiences abroad. These programs provide students with both an overseas experience, as well as, the
tools necessary for the students to reflect, understand and build concepts, which are designed to enrich
the students learning from their experience abroad. In the context of education, universities, colleges,
and high schools are promoting international experiential learning programs as their way of cultivating
graduates who are global citizens.
Global citizen(ship) has become a catch-all phrase used in diverse contexts, which are at times
contradictory. Ankers article, while it does not discuss international experiential learning, examines
transnational migrants to understand if greater movement across the globe increases ones
cosmopolitan behaviour. Students who travel to volunteer and/or learn can also be thought of as
transnationals experiencing different communities, cultures, societies, and politics. To what extent do
you think travel and the ability to cross boarders contributes to ones ability to be a global citizen?
This question can be answered in numerous ways. Myers article is a good example of the difficulty in
having a concrete definition and understanding of global citizenship. In his discussion of how students
understand global citizenship, important questions are raised. Who is a global citizen? What
qualifications are necessary to become a global citizen? What responsibilities does a global citizen
have? Should global citizenship have legal status? These questions have been raised in all the
Camerons chapter and Ankers article relate global citizenship to cosmopolitanism. Both readings use
understandings of cosmopolitan theory to better understand global citizenship and what it entails. This
includes the responsibilities, both positive and negative, of cosmopolitanism/global citizenship. These
authors discussions bring up important questions worthy of further discussion on the online
discussion board.
Please complete all the readings and activities prior to proceeding to the discussion board where you
are expected to contribute your thoughts on the modules subject matter.

Module Readings:
In Globetrotting or Global Citizenship? Perils and Potential of International Experiential Learning
edited by Rebecca Tiessen and Robert Huish, 2014, University of Toronto Press.
Chapter 1 by Tiessen and Huish International experiential learning and global citizenship
Chapter 2 by Cameron Grounding experiential learning in thick conceptions of global citizenship

Additional readings: You can find the PDFs for these readings through the uOttawa library database.
Anker, C (2012). Transnationalism and Cosmopolitanism: Towards Global Citizenship? Journal of
International Political Theory. 6(1), 73-94.
Myers, J. (2009). To benefit the world by whatever means possible: Adolescents constructed meanings for
global citizenship. British Educational Research Journal. 36(3), 483-502.

Please watch the following video talk by Dr. David Jefferess.

Discussion Questions:
Having read the readings and watched the video assigned, how would you describe your understanding
of global citizenship? Can you define it? Who is a global citizen? Who is not a global citizen? Are
we all global citizens? Is it possible to achieve a legal status for global citizenship? Do we earn global
citizenship based on what we do and do not do? Do you think true global citizenship exists?
What do you think of applying cosmopolitanism to global citizenship? How does your understanding
of cosmopolitanism shape your perceptions of global citizenship?
What are your thoughts on David Jefferess discussion on benevolence and global citizenship? How
can you relate this to Camerons discussion on cosmopolitanism and thick and thin global
Can you be a global citizen if you never leave your national boarders? What if you advocate for First
Nations Peoples in Canada? Can you be a cosmopolitan, but not a global citizen? Does fighting for
social justice within Canada and locally contribute to an identity of global citizenship? Why or why
Take time to think through these questions. You may have come up with your own questions
throughout the readings and video. Please answer one or more of these questions on the discussion
board. Please also post at least one question you have from the readings. To earn your full
participation marks you must answer one of the questions above and one of the questions posted by
your classmates. As well, you must comment on one of your classmates answers to a question. In
total you should have three separate discussion board posts for this module. It is highly recommended,

to keep a dialogue going, that you also respond to questions and comments from your classmates who
reply to your own comments and questions.
Additional articles/videos that are recommended and useful for this module: