Global Citizenship Education: Topics & Learning Objectives (UNESCO)

Published in 2015 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.


UNESCO has promoted global citizenship education since the launch of the UN Secretary-General’s Global Education First Initiative (GEFI) in 2012, which made fostering global citizenship one of its three education priorities.

This publication, titled Global Citizenship Education: Topics and learning objectives, is the first pedagogical guidance from UNESCO on global citizenship education. It is the result of an extensive research and consultation process with experts from different parts of the world. This guidance draws on the UNESCO publication Global Citizenship Education: Preparing learners for the challenges of the 21st century and the outcomes of three key UNESCO events on global citizenship education: the Technical Consultation on Global Citizenship Education (September 2013), as well as the First and Second UNESCO Fora on Global Citizenship Education, organized in December 2013 and January 2015 respectively. Before it was finalized, the guidance was field-tested by education stakeholders in selected countries in all regions to ensure its relevance in different geographical and socio-cultural contexts.

Following the foundational work of UNESCO to clarify the conceptual underpinnings of global citizenship education and provide policy and programmatic directions, this document has been developed in response to the needs of Member States for overall guidance on integrating global citizenship education in their education systems. It presents suggestions for translating global citizenship education concepts into practical and age-specific topics and learning objectives in a way that allows for adaptation to local contexts. It is intended as a resource for educators, curriculum developers, trainers as well as policy-makers, but it will also be useful for other education stakeholders working in non-formal and informal settings.

At a time when the international community is urged to define actions to promote peace, well-being, prosperity and sustainability, this new UNESCO document offers guidance to help Member States ensure that learners of all ages and backgrounds can develop into informed, critically literate, socially-connected, ethical and engaged global citizens.

Qian Tang, Ph. D.
Assistant Director-General for Education, UNESCO

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