CIER has a long tradition of working in the areas of democracy, equity, rights and participation, which can be bracketed under the more recent notion of ‘global citizenship’. These fit well with UNESCO’s ideals of peace, democracy, rights and sustainable development, and in 2000 CIER was commissioned to undertake a major review of the work of UNESCO’s 7,500 Associated Schools. (The School of Education is itself an Associated School of UNESCO UK). As well as research and writing on global citizenship itself, major projects have been undertaken on democratisation of education in Africa and in Europe, and on children as decision-makers in education.
The teaching of aspects of global citizenship is not without problems, and CIER has contributed to this area by production of guidance on teaching controversial issues as well as on teaching about Islamophobia.
Democratisation of education in the Gambia.
This two-stage project over five years worked with teacher educators and then inspectors in the Gambia to further processes of democracy in schools. The CfBT funded work resulted in two guidebooks which could be used in a wider context than the Gambia:
Democracy Through Teacher Education: a guidebook for use with student teachers (2002)
Democratic Professional Development: A guidebook for supervisors and inspectors of schools (2005). Both available free from CIER.
The impact of pupil participation in school.
The Carnegie Trust commissioned CIER in 2006 to undertake an international review of initiatives in student voice, and provide case studies of good practice. This resulted in three volumes:
Inspiring Schools: Impact and outcomes
Inspiring Schools: A literature review
Inspiring Schools: Case Studies of Good Practice
Global citizenship: The needs of teachers and learners (2004).
This DFID funded project looked at what teachers and students wanted from the global citizenship curriculum, and found that one of the major aspects was an understanding of conflict and war. However, many teachers lacked confidence to tackle this area. Download key findings from the Global Citizenship report (PDF, 991KB)
Education for global citizenship: case studies of good practice in Canadian schools (Government of Canada FRP).
This project (2004) explored how teachers in Ontario continue to promote global citizenship in classrooms in a context of increasing curricular control and accountability.
Indian influences on progressive education in Britain (2010)
This British Academy funded project explores the exchange of educational thought and practice between British and Indian educators in the latter stages of empire c.1890-1947, many of whom were part of the progressive education movement, with a particular emphasis on the flow of educational influence from India to Britain. It evaluates whether such influences had a lasting impact beyond the early twentieth century and whether a distinctive contribution to education in Britain can be attributed to India.
Teaching controversial issues and teacher education.
This British Academy funded project was a comparative study between South Africa and England which investigated the attitudes and experiences of student teachers and teacher educators concerning teaching controversial issues in four universities in England and South Africa. The universities were Birmingham and Wolverhampton (UK) and KwaZulu Natal and Cape Town in South Africa. Interviews explored views on the nature of controversial issues, where they arise in the school curriculum, methods of teaching controversial issues and the role of teacher education.
Examples of books and papers
Cox, S; Dyer, C; Robinson-Pant, A and Schweisfurth, Michele (2010) Children as Decision-Makers in Education: sharing experiences across cultures. Continuum. Including: Clive Harber ‘Long time coming : children as only occasional decision-makers in schools’ and Lynn Davies, Hiromi Yamashita & Chris Williams ‘Assessing the Benefits of Students’ Participation’
Chris Williams (2010) ‘Global justice and education: from nation to neuron’ Educational Review, 62(3), 343-356.
Clive Harber (2010) ‘Chronicling Educators Practices and Experiences in the Context of Democratic Schooling and Quality Education in South Africa’ (with V.Mncube) International Journal of Educational Development 30,6 pp 614-624
Lynn Davies & Hiromi Yamashita (2007) School Councils: School Improvement Report on London Secondary School Councils Action Research Project (LSSCARP), School Councils UK
Lynn Davies (2006) ‘Global Citizenship: Abstraction or Framework for Action?’ Educational Review 58,1, pp 5-25
Clive Harber (2009 ‘Revolution, What Revolution? Contextual Issues in Citizenship Education in Schools in England’, Citizenship, Social and Economics Education 8,1 pp42-53
Clive Harber (2007) Comparative Education and Quality Global Learning: Engaging with Controversial Issues in South Africa and the UK (Birmingham: Teachers in Development Education) – Edited with J. Serf
Michele Schweisfurth (2006): Education for Global Citizenship: teacher agency and curricular structure in Ontario Schools. Educational Review, Vol 58
Clive Harber (2006) ‘Democracy, Development and Education; Working with the Gambian Inspectorate’, International Journal of Educational Development, 26,6 618-630