Radical Pedagogy

Radical Pedagogy (2014)

Volume 11 Issue 2

ISSN: 1524-6345

Promoting Local Community and Global Citizenship through Collaborative Curriculum Building

Lisa G. Propst

Department of Humanities and Social Sciences

Clarkson University, USA

E-mail: lpropst@clarkson.edu


     Over the past decade, the development of global citizenship has become an increasing priority in undergraduate education. This paper reflects on two undergraduate courses that promoted global citizenship by departing from the traditional model whereby students encounter a pre-set syllabus and instead asking students to collaborate in building a curriculum regarding significant social problems. Based on anecdotal evidence from class discussion and analysis of final projects, the paper argues that overall, shared control over the parameters of their education increased students’ motivation and critical thinking along with mutual respect and responsibility, key elements of global citizenship. Notably, however, the greatest successes in these areas occurred when students became conscious of their own positioning within local and global systems of power. This suggests that critical attention to the construction of students’ own identities – in terms of categories such as race, class, gender, religion, etc. – may be a helpful focal point for programs designed to promote global citizenship.

     Keywords: global citizenship, community, collaboration, identity, politics of location