Give me a child until they're three ...

Posted in: Comment, Talks and Presentations

... and the world will be a nicer place.

That seemed to be the message from one of the presentations I listened to at the Primary Education: what is and what might be conference last Friday.  The excellent event was organised by the Cambridge Primary Review Trust and was very well attended.

The assertion, which out-Jesuits the Jesuits in its scale and ambition, came from Liverpool John Moores University during a sustainability and global citizenship discussion group which also included inputs from Oxfam (who have produced all the resources that a jaded teacher could ever need, but would never have time to read) and the Global Learning programme (funded by our friends at Pearson who, coincidently of course, sponsor the Cambridge Trust).  It was a good (interesting / challenging / energetic / passionate / ...) session that was well chaired by Ben Ballin in difficult circumstances as we were banished to the rear of a large auditorium where another group was meeting.

There was the usual plethora of "globals" on offer" global this and global that and global the other, as if the world had run out of adjectives.  I'd like to go to one of these events one day when the word global is banned.  I joined in the fun by asking (after all three presentations) this question:

"If education for global citizenship gives rise to global learning, and if global learning results in global citizenship, what does global citizenship lead to?  Does it lead, for example, to people voting for progressive politics?"

On reflection, it might have been rather too subtly phrased, but I have thought for a while that's exactly what Oxfam (and others) have in mind.  DfID too, whose sponsorship of the Global Learning programme is clearly aimed at buying support for the policy of having 0.7% of national income spent on overseas aid (or whatever we're supposed to call it these days).  But will that policy survive the new regime at DfID?  Indeed, will the the Global Learning programme?  Will Pearson's fiefdom?

Keep tuned for this compelling everyday story of internationalist folk.

Posted in: Comment, Talks and Presentations


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