Australian Teacher Education Association Conference
Australian Teacher Education Association
Place of publication
[Gold Coast, Qld.]
How do teacher educators prepare students to become teachers for a world which is global in its outlook and influences? There are now strong imperatives for teacher educators to develop pre- service students' understandings about a world which is 'global'. It is not only curriculum statements, textbooks, films, videos, that are the carriers and resources in global education but teachers themselves through their own stories and narratives and the meanings attached to these. The role of teachers' lived experiences in teaching global education is often silenced in teacher education courses, policy documents and school classrooms.
In searching for meaning in global education, it is the capacity of the teacher to reflect not only on their own multiple identities but on the nexus between their local and global worlds and the struggle often evident here. A resource teachers have to teach global education is their own stories, lived experiences of being in a global world. This comes from giving meaning to travel, of living in a multi-cultural multi-faith world of viewing and noticing similarities and differences and giving meaning to these.
Despite increasing demands from education systems and governments for teachers to teach with a global focus, many teachers do not feel confident or prepared to do so. Importantly curriculum policy statements are carrying imperatives to teach to a global world that is rapidly changing. Curriculum statements in Society and Environment area in Australia include 'global' in their rationale. However this does not mean that global education is taught nor understood by teachers who translate these documents to practice. In curriculum documents such as those produced by the state and territory governments there is some inclusion of global education. Singh (1998) argues that there is a marginalisation of global education in official curriculum policies in Australia. Integrating global education into different subjects is really up to the creativity, expertise and experience of teachers. If it is up to teachers to teach global education as stated by Singh then it will be the capacity of the teacher to draw on a range of resources, pedagogy and approaches to teach global education. One resource is teachers' stories and narratives and students own lived experiences and stories.
Banks (2001, p. 5) states that "teachers must develop reflective cultural national and global identifications themselves if they are to help students become thoughtful caring and reflective citizens in a multicultural world society." Teacher educators who wish to embed global perspectives in their teaching require reflective practices on their own identities, prejudices, choice of curriculum content and pedagogy.
Teaching global education requires a conscious understanding and reflection to begin the journey of self as located in the classroom. The central issue of this paper is to bring forth emphasis on the lived experiences of teachers and teachers educators in order to develop deeper global understandings in students.
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