Reconceptualizing Geography as Democratic Global Citizenship Education
by William Gaudelli & Elizabeth Heilman - 2009
Background: Geography education typically appears in school curricula in a didactic or disciplinary manner. Yet, both the didactic and the disciplinary approach to geography education lack a serious engagement with society, politics, and power, or democratic theory. We suggest, from Dewey, that most students, the social studies, and indeed society are not well served by these approaches, particularly as we confront global challenges that demand geographic knowledge and insight.
Purpose: We propose that geography can and should reflect the interests of students and society and thus be what Dewey calls psychologized through a democratic vision of global citizenship education (GCE). Toward that end, we develop a typology of global education to identify those types most congruent with democratic citizenship (cosmopolitan, environmental, and critical justice) and those less congruent (disciplinary, neoliberal, and human relations). Drawing on our typology, we show how GCE can be a point of synthesis in practice, bringing together global education and reconstituted geographic knowledge.
Research Design: The method of this article is a secondary analysis of literature in democratic theory, global citizenship education, and geography education that synthesizes points of overlap.
Conclusions: Based on this analysis, we recommend that geography curriculum should be remade within a vision similar to GCE so that space and place can be socially understood.
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