Global Citizenship Education: Preparing learners for the challenges of the twenty-first century

What is Global Citizenship Education ? Do we learn it in school? What difference can it make if it is a common feature of all education systems? How can it be implemented and scaled up? The answers to these questions and others can be found in a new publication just released by UNESCO.

For UNESCO, global citizenship education (GCE) develops the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes learners need to build a more just, peaceful, tolerant, inclusive, secure and sustainable world.

In a globalized and fast-changing world, these are critical skills that current and future generations need to act today and find solutions to tomorrow's global challenges.

The starting point of GCE is to recognize the relevance of education in understanding and resolving global issues in their social, political, cultural, economic and environmental dimensions. It also implies acknowledging the role of education in moving beyond the development of knowledge and so-called cognitive skills – e.g. reading and mathematics -  to build values, social and emotional skills and attitudes among learners that can facilitate international cooperation and promote social transformation.

Building on the conclusions of two international conferences dedicated to GCE , this publication aims to:

  • Improve understanding of GCE as an educational approach and its implications for education content, pedagogies and approaches;
  • Identify innovative approaches and good practice in GCE globally; and
  • Share lessons learned and pathways to scaling up GCE.

It has been prepared for education policy makers, practitioners, civil society organizations and young people from all regions of the world with an interest in equipping learners with the knowledge, skills and values they need to thrive as global citizens in the twenty-first century.