Poor understanding? Challenges to Global Development Education
As members of a global community, we cohabit a metaphorically shrinking physical environment, and are increasingly connected one to another, and to the world, by ties of culture, economics, politics, communication and the like. Education is an essential component in addressing inequalities and injustices concerning global rights and responsibilities. The increasing multicultural nature of societies locally, enhanced access to distal information, and the work of charitable organisations worldwide are some of the factors that have contributed to the interest in, and need for, understanding global development education. The project on which this paper reports sought answers to the question: to what extent and in what ways can a semester-long subject enhance and extend teacher education students’ understandings of and responses to global inequalities and global development aid? In the course of the project, a continuum model emerged, as follows: Indifference or ignorance ➝ pity and charity ➝ partnership and development among equals. In particular, this paper reports on some of the challenges and obstacles that need to be addressed in order to enhance pre-service teachers’ understandings of global development education. The study, conducted in Australia, has implications for global development education in other developed nations.
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