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Global citizenship about education is a topic that has to be analyzed from different points of view to see how each of them perceives the concept of globalization. In the article, Shultz presents three main approaches to global citizenship: neoliberal, radical, and transformational (248). These three concepts and their perception of people, businesses, and governments are the central frameworks of this research. Shultz compares the three ideologies and argues that they act counterproductively, restricting the progress and achievements of globally-focused education (256). Moreover, the author notes that teachers should define their vision of global citizenship to clearly show which path they are choosing to explore and promote because each of them has unique aspects (248). In should be noted that Shultz considers the transformational approach to be the most valuable and progressive and uses this method to explain how global education may benefit the world and its people.
The discussion of the three concepts represents the author’s personal opinion about them. However, Shultz relies on scholarly research and uses real examples to prove points and show how each worldview operates on the government level. For instance, the description of the neoliberal global citizenship reveals the focus on the economy, where all other structures are encouraged to revolve around capitalistic processes. In this system, a citizen is a person who engages in commercial relations, positively influences the market, and uses his/her powers to reap the rewards of the global society through travel, international ties, and consumerism (Shultz 251). Thus, education in this context is also centered on open borders – the author presents a policy proposing international students and workers’ exchange and recruitment to increase the mobility of skills (Shultz 252). The pitfall of this approach, according to the scholar, lies in the fact that it fails to acknowledge the power and influence structures that give some groups more privileges and opportunities than others. Moreover, the role of the citizen becomes highly limited, thus diminishing the significance of compassion and meaningful connections.
As a contrast, Shultz discussed radical and transformational approaches and shows how the former still has some problems, and the latter should be considered the main ideology and used in education. First of all, the concept of radical global citizenship is described as anti-neoliberal, as it directly opposes the structures focused on economic relations (Shultz 253). Therefore, this approach works to dismantle these systems and highlight the power dynamic that exists between developed and developing countries. Nevertheless, it is still concerned with global issues, neglecting the fact that local initiatives can affect the world as well. Here, the transformational worldview is presented as a more nuanced concept. It views global citizens as people with the power to impact conflicts of all scales through international communication, compassion, and inclusion (Shultz 255). Therefore, the approach recognizes both global and local strengths which form the dynamic that affects marginalized groups. Transformational education is accessed through the exchange of knowledge and mutual learning.
The author’s arguments show that global citizenship and education should be considered using the transformational approach. This position is supported by evidence and policies that reflect the actual efforts of the government to utilize the three concepts. The drawbacks of neoliberal and radical approaches are presented using real situations as well. The author approaches the discussion of global exchange in education but leaves many questions unanswered. For instance, Banks argues that global migration presents a challenge to schools and governments, especially in recognizing cultures that are different from that of the country-recipient (4). However, the description of the three approaches provides one with a solid foundation for further analyses and shows how different educational strategies can shape one’s understanding of global citizenship.
Banks, James A. “Diversity, Group Identity, and Citizenship Education in a Global Age.” Journal of Education, vol. 194, no. 3, 2014, pp. 1-12.
Shultz, Lynette. “Educating for Global Citizenship: Conflicting Agendas and Understandings.” Alberta Journal of Educational Research, vol. 53, no. 3, 2007, pp. 248-258.