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Title: Teaching the Global Dimension
Author(s): David Hicks and Cathie Holden (eds)
Date of Publication: 2007 Publisher: Routledge
Pages:xviii + 212 ISBN: 978 0 415 40449 5
Price: Format:Paperback
Target Readership Educator







Content: 1 – Responding to the world; 2 - Principles and precedents; 3 - Young people's concern; 4 - Student teachers' views; 5 - Teaching controversial issues; 6 - Conflict resolution; 7 - Social justice; 8 - Values and perceptions; 9 - Sustainable development; 10 - Interdependence; 11 - Human rights; 12 - Diversity; 13 - Global citizenship; 14 - The wider world in the primary school; 15 - Global citizenship in the secondary school.

Review: There is some common currency in educational circles that we need to look at the global dimension in many educational matters. This might be seen as obvious in ecological and environmental circles but there is often a gap between what we might expect to see and what can be delivered in the classroom. What is more interesting is that there is now a range of resources to help teachers at all levels to achieve this goal. Given the range of issues facing us this is no bad thing.

This book is based on a very simple but useful idea: to support a UK education document outlining global teaching and citizenship which is in itself allied to a website with a considerable range of resources. Thus the book is an attempt to put the document and resources into a useable context. Although this might seem simple there are many problems that can arise not least making the material actually useable to the teachers in the classroom. The text is divided into three. The first part looks at some of the theoretical issues surrounding this topic. We start with an overview of the project and how it came about - a history of the ideas. Chapter two takes this one stage further by looking at the ways in which these ideas have been articulated using three key projects as exemplars and then providing a critique of their value. If global education is to be useful then it needs to involve students which is where chapter three starts. It describes a range of studies in school-age children and the results obtained. Chapter four continues the theme but examines the student-teacher perspective with the notion that they will be entering the profession with the latest ideas. Finally, there is a chapter on how to deal with controversial issues. Since most global issues are controversial almost by definition it follows that this is one of the most important chapters if the work is to be of value. Part two comprises 8 chapters each of which takes a theme from the report noted above. Each chapter in this set follows a common layout. Firstly, there's an examination of the importance of the issue and an outline of what actions could be used to change this area to promote global citizenship themes (e.g. equity). 'Good practice' highlights one of more projects which have supported this issue and shows how it can be done well. Finally, for those wanting more there is a small bibliography acting as a starting point. Part three is just two chapters which look at how global information and organisations can be used as resources and how the whole school approach can be used to effect change.

This is a very useful book for teachers who have not confronted such issues and for those wishing to see new developments. It has many things in its favour not least the brevity of chapters which allow for good ideas to be made without being lost in rhetoric. It's the type of book a busy practicing teacher can go to for a quick example of what to do. The references and cases are clearly laid out allowing anyone to follow the main points. Finally it puts forward a case and does not attempt to proselytise which would be contrary to its asserted aim but which is all too common in such literature. A key text for any graduate trainee or beginner teacher and a very useful aid for those wishing to keep up with the field.





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