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The World Wide Interconnectedness Today Education Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Education
Wordcount: 3434 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The notion of globalisation and citizenship are the two areas that always been debated long time ago. If we look at the idea itself, it is not new and both are the concepts that always compete each other as it involve the ‘among other things’ arguments about politics, identity, rights, equality, inequality and so on. However, the term globalisation was first used in 1960s which based on the idea of bringing the world together. In other words, it means every person in the world is the citizen of the world, who has the status and rights of citizens but on a global context rather than city or nation state basis. In reality, globalisation has took place long time ago especially in the term of communication which we sometimes fail to see them as a form of globalisation for instances international time zones, adoption of Gregorian calendar, adoption of seven days a week and international telegraphic and signalling codes. However, the idea of globalisation started to rise and increasingly debated in the latter part of the twentieth century, when the citizens are urged to ‘think globally and to act locally’. It is the mindset that presents globalisation as something new and dominant. It is also inevitable process of development by individual human which emphasises on the free of individual choice. There are a lot of definitions and point of views on globalisation. Giddens (1990, p.64) describes globalisation as ‘the intensification of worldwide social relations which link distant localities in such a way that local happenings are shaped by events occurring many miles away and vice versa’. This means that what shapes the locals nowadays may be influenced by the occurring events from different part of the world, resulted from the event of globalisation. In this day and age, the information is very easy to spread. If we look back 20 to 30 years ago, this might be so impossible but with the help of information technology and internet, the world is seemed as being at our fingertips. I quite agree with how Giddens defines the term globalisation. In my point of view based on what Giddens’ statements, globalisation is things that change our everyday life which we cannot see because it is a hidden process which the effects mostly can come out in long term. However, I believe that it is inevitable, can affect us positively as well as negatively. Refer back to the definition that Giddens come out, positively, poor and underdeveloped countries has started to open their eyes and slowly they can see how outside world looks like. Rich and developed countries start to see how the unlucky sides of the world and help them to lighten their burden for example in Africa and Palestine. This is good as what shapes human’s social relations with others can be the situation that happens miles away from them.

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Globalisation has significant impacts on educational policies, structures and practices in countries around the world, though these have been differentially experienced. The driving forces of these changes in education have been economic, political, technological as well as cultural. One of the obvious changes is the global citizenship education which lots of countries in the world adopt this in their education policies and practices. In England, Citizenship Education became part of the English primary schools National Curriculum in September 2000. It is then introduced across the curriculum in secondary schools from September 2002 and will include a ‘global dimension’ (QCA, 2000). The key concepts of global citizenship are said to include the idea of ‘sustainable development’, ‘social justice’ and the concept of interdependence enhanced by globalisation. It also involves of understanding conflict and conflict resolution, human rights as well as responsibilities (Globalisation and Citizenship edu. Jack demaine). There are lots of critiques on global citizenship education as a new reform of education. However, many beliefs that national citizenship is now being weakened and a new reform of education are necessary to cope with the developing world nowadays. Global citizenship education is said to be concerned with specific issues and underlying values and attitudes. It urged people to think and use their brain by questioning and exploring their own and other’s values within community and different parts of the world. It encourages people to think and act globally, making them to see themselves as growing up in the global context, no more thinking only in their society and nation state. In fact, there is emphasises on the global dimension to the food they eat, the clothes they wear, other pupils from different parts of the world in their schools and community (Brownie, 2001).

Basically, global citizenship curriculum is designed to develop students’ knowledge and understanding globally. During the participation, their skill of enquiry and communication will be developed and responsible action appropriate prior to their age will be involved. The requirements are to be met in a variety of ways across the curriculum and also will be embedded in teaching methodology and school ethos (Jack Demaine). Skills, knowledge and understanding of the key concepts of global citizenship education can be developed across the secondary curriculum in many subjects areas such as PSHE and citizenship session. In subject areas such as Science, Mathematics, and English, the knowledge and understanding can be developed through the topics, methodology, activities as well as relation to the appropriate concepts. For example given by Demaine (2002), in English, students may compare the reporting of a world issues in different newspapers, and on the Internet, and critically assess the reports for bias and varying points of view. While in Mathematics, concepts such as ‘mean, mode and median’ can be used to investigate average wages around the world. World trade, the idea of ‘fair trade’ as well as the impact of global relations on the lives of individuals along a trade route can be explored in subject Geography. In addition Walkington (1999) demonstrates how geography and global citizenship education both have complimentary aims and provides detailed accounts of classroom strategies which have been used by the teachers that have successfully taught global citizenship through subject Geography. She then agrees that students can acquire appropriate useful knowledge, skills and understandings through the enquiry-based, participatory approaches to citizenship education.

Gilbert (1996) argues that students appear to be well disposed to discussion around the question of the environment. In global citizenship education module, particular emphasises is given to United Nations Agenda 21, an environmental plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organisations of the UN and national governments. Students can develop awareness on the global issues and deeply understand the concepts. Sustainable development, one of the well-known issues increasingly debate globally is one of the key topics discussed in global citizenship education. Students can be encouraged to explore the local action in response to global issues by investigating local plans and priorities for sustainable development. In this module, they can learn and understand the ideas of sustainable development work and their effect on different aspects of local and national government planning and policy decision. Teachers are encouraged to collaborate in order to help students to learn how citizens can contribute to local decision that will influence their environment and life’s quality. Additionally, the concept of global citizenship education has been linked with the offer of helping humanity. Students are increasingly aware about the human rights, social justice and global issues such as war and peace.

Some secondary schools in certain countries like England have already developed their global citizenship curriculum by becoming involved in long-term projects and school-linking particularly in the EU (Demaine, 2002). They have developed strong citizenship elements within their school ethos, policies and curriculum. Some schools also encourage their students to take part in decision-making on anti-bullying and anti-racism policy. However, there are questions to be answered about the possible effectiveness of school-based citizenship education programme. The effectiveness depends on the teacher and the students, as well as school institutions itself. It is essential to motivate teachers that teach the programme by providing enough professional training and excellent materials for the teaching. For the students, the lesson should be integrated with fun and interesting activity whilst the aims of the teaching still can be achieved at the end. Looking at the differences in developed and underdeveloped countries, global citizenship education takes place mostly in school in develop countries. This education programme still seems strange in underdeveloped countries, making that it only benefits by the rich people in rich countries. People in poor countries still left behind and in my point of view, this idea of global citizenship education only cater certain kind of people, leaving behind the basic intention of globalisation, that is bringing the people around the world together.

In my point of view, global citizenship education is a good approach to increasingly interconnected world we live right now. Globalisation is an issue that does really exist and despite the fact that I aware that I hold the view of negative things about it, it may come with positive things too. In fact, I really support the implementation of global citizenship education in most countries as it opens up students mind on the global issues, encourage them to address global issues such environmental and war, as well as preparing themselves for global challenges of the future.

Long time ago, education is believed to be concerned mainly in producing people with knowledge and skill and their well-being. Education can only affordable by high class and high status people. Later then, as political systems and boundaries and demarcation lines differentiating one country from the other were identified, it can be clearly seen that there was governments’ involvement in education through the establishment of the public schools. The reason for such an involvement seen by the government was to have a good grip of its citizens. Having held on its citizens, the government was able to have a common ideology inculcated and transferred to its citizens. The same concepts have been applied to the implementation global citizenship education, but in different perspective obviously. The idea and concept of globalisation is delivered and transferred to the people across the world through education. It was thought as the means to enhance the individual’s cohesiveness with others globally. Such an effort is expected to bring unity among citizens across the world, for having a common goal in the hearts and minds of its citizens.

Looking at how globalisation is so powerful in influencing people in various types of field such as economic and political, it also has its strength in affecting the education across the world. One of the obvious effects of globalisation is the emergence of technology-mediated learning which has revolutionised the teaching and learning process. In the era of information technology, explosion of knowledge and information helps the globalisation in term of education. The invention of computers, internet and technology-mediated learning such as through the use of CD, webpage and so on helps in the spreading of information and knowledge to millions around the world. Compare to 10 to 20 years ago, it is difficult to access knowledge and information from outsides, and more dependable on limited books and journals available in local libraries. Nowadays, through online and digital libraries, people especially researchers and educationalist can get access to information and knowledge from books and research works done in the other parts of the world without having the need to travel to the required places. This certainly important as it make the access to education easier and save so much time to do the work. In addition, through the use of the internet, distant learning is now possible and accessible. People especially students can access knowledge twenty-four hours in a day and learn anytime they want to, without having to attend the lectures in the lecture halls. In fact, in completing this course work, I do not have to travel around the world to see how the process of globalisation takes place. Searching information from online journal articles and books internet has already helped me a lot to make progress in this work.

Naturally, any invention and development has its positive and negative sides. Although this scientific and innovative way of learning has made people lives a lot easier and better by getting access to knowledge and information fast and efficient, we still can see the downsides of this situation. People have becoming more isolated from the world they use to share with others. They made people learn in a more personalised way in which the effect can be seen through the cut off interaction with the community and society around them. In fact, it drives them more towards achieving success and material gains for the benefit of individual rather than for society. Fromm (1995) has predicted this effect of the globalisation on human individuals a long time ago and he states that:

‘Modern man is alienated from himself, from his fellow men, and from nature. He has been transformed into a commodity, experiences his life forces as an investment which must bring him the maximum profit obtainable under existing market conditions.’ (Fromm, 1995, p. 67)

From the quotes, it is obviously similar to what happen nowadays. People believe that they have developed educationally and economically, and feel confidence that they are being ‘modern’ enough. They slowly isolate themselves from their society and surroundings. Anything they have done focused and aimed more on gaining maximum profit for them. Another aspect that is missing in the personalised form of learning is the interaction with the teacher and lecturer. Face-to-face interaction during teaching and learning between teacher and students is significant to the students. This is because they can get acquainted with the teacher by physically being present in front of him. In addition, information and knowledge can be more meaningful when they are properly explained by the teacher. Unlike online and distant teaching programme, even though it is easier in terms of accessibility, certain kind of things such as understanding of the knowledge may be difficult to obtain. This might be because of lack of tangible communication where body language, tone of voice, personality, and emotion are absent in virtual learning.

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Moving along the process of globalisation, education is seen as a tool of human capital development. Economists view education as both consumer and capital good because it offers utility to a consumer and also serves as an input into the production of other goods and services. Human capital theory emphasises how education increases the productivity and efficiency of the workers by increasing the level of cognitive stock of economically productive human capability which is a product of innate abilities and investment in human beings. The provision of formal education is seen as a productive investment in human capital, which the proponents of the theory have considered as equally or even more equally worthwhile than that of physical capital (Olaniyan and Okemakinde, 2008, p. 158). One of the most obvious examples of the application of human capital theory is that there are increasing demands of private education and other factors determining individual demand for education. Many of the developing nations have realised that the principal mechanism for developing human knowledge is the education system. Therefore, they invest huge sum of money on education not only as attempt to impact knowledge and skills to individuals but also to impart values, ideas, attitudes and aspirations which may be in the nation’s best developmental interest. Consequently, most countries have put high budgets on education including for development and better quality of education. Many private and international schools are built and they are believed to provide better quality of education rather than standard type of school. Parents that can afford to send their children to such schools choose private and international schools for their children to receive better education, thus providing them with better future and good jobs with higher wages. It is also worth noting that the causal relationship between education and earnings has important implications for public policy. If human capital theorists are correct in arguing that the education is the primary cause of higher earnings, then it obviously make sense to provide better quality of education to low-income groups of society to reduce poverty and the degree of income quality.

The next effect of globalisation on education can be seen through the commodity of education especially in higher education. Nowadays, the increasingly popular trend in education is the global trade of higher education in which receives lots of demand across the world. Higher education is seen as a medium for making money for certain organisation. More expensive education is introduced such as private university and international school. It is true that some cases, they provide better quality for learning but the price to be paid is too much. Those comes from rich family can afford the education but what will happen for the middle and low class family who could not afford it? Globalisation emphasises the idea of bringing people together, making the status all people the same but the reality is because of competition among individual people, education is the thing that you have to pay in order to get it. ‘The more money you willing to pay, the higher the quality of education you will get’, that what most of people nowadays believe in. Same goes to the schooling trend which is getting popular now, that is international school. The same concept as the concept of globalisation applies to international school which is bringing the people together across the world. It globalised in terms of content learning and students inside. Students share different cultures and values, but rarely we can see they share the same class and social status. Usually students come from high class and social status as we know the fees to enter this type of school is far too high. The curriculum usually uses International Baccalaureate which is claimed as a prestigious qualification. Here, we can see the proof of inequality of education being rise. It is obvious for most of the cases, education is seen as commodity, a tool for making money, rather than for public good.

There are competition to get into schools where the education is considered to be worth the students’ or their parents’ money. Moore (2000) argues that investing in education is same like investing in the stock market. People have to wait long enough for the outcomes. Most of us have a mindset that we can get a better job with high income of we attend better schools. In other words, a certified level of education is a commodity, means that it is useful and can be turned into commercial advantage.

Increasing in “outcome-oriented” form of education.

Knowledge for its own sake seems to have lost its currency in a world where “outcomes” have become the goal of tertiary education. (Mondon, 2010)

Babalola (2003, cited in Olaniyan and Okemakinde, 2008 2) states that the contribution of education to economic growth and development occurs through its ability to increase productivity of an existing labour force in various ways.

In Malaysia for example, the Malaysian government has made many efforts to make Malaysia as a centre of education excellence in the region and to supply the industry with the relevant human resources.


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