The Global Citizenship Education Gap: Teacher Perceptions of the Relationship Between Global Citizenship Education and Students’ Socio-Economic Status

Oct. 11, 2017

Source: Teaching and Teacher Education Volume 67, October 2017, Pages 9–22


The present study examined Israeli secondary school teachers' perceptions of global citizenship education (GCE), concentrating on the socio-economic makeup of the schools' population. The study illuminates how teachers' perceptions of their students' mobility and the imagined futures that teachers attribute to their students may shape teaching. The study involves in-depth, semi-structured interviews with fifteen Israeli teachers at schools catering to student populations of various socio-economic backgrounds within the public, secular Jewish school sector. The study provides evidence of a GCE gap involving students, schools, and teachers, shedding light on this gap's possible consequences. Policy implications of the GCE gap and future research trajectories are introduced and discussed.

As globalization progresses, global citizenship (and any of its derivatives) will become more of a necessity for education systems worldwide (Myers, 2016; Ramirez & Meyer, 2012). If some education systems continue to ignore these needs and avoid the construction of relevant policies, some students will continue to be taught to navigate and compete in global societies (mostly by their families and schools) while students from weaker backgrounds will be left behind (Goren & Yemini, 2016). Yet as teachers in our study noted repeatedly, policy alone may not be sufficient in minimizing the GCE gap. Teacher agency plays a major role in the enactment of policy in the classroom; therefore, teacher education must undergo reform to include GCE-related contents, and teachers should be encouraged to view students as potential global citizens regardless of their SES or imagined futures (Appleyard & McLean, 2011; Rapoport, 2015).

Updated: Jun. 14, 2017