DFA Logo

This content from the
Department of Foreign Affairs
has moved to Ireland.ie/irish-aid. If you are not redirected in 5 seconds, click here.

Skip to main content

This content from the Department of Foreign Affairs has moved to Ireland.ie/irish-aid

Global Citizenship Education in Practice - WorldWise Global Schools Symposium

Global Citizenship Education in Practice - WorldWise Global Schools Symposium

Aishling McGrath, WWGS Director, with Dr Phil Bamber (Credit: Conor Healy PICTUREiT)



Global Citizenship Education in Practice - WorldWise Global Schools Symposium for Post-Primary School Management


"Global Citizenship Education aims to empower learners to engage and assume active roles, both locally and globally, to face and resolve global challenges and ultimately to become proactive contributors to a more just, peaceful, tolerant, inclusive, secure and sustainable world (Unesco 2014)".


Reading this definition, used by Dr Phil Bamber at the recent WorldWise Global Schools (WWGS) Symposium, who wouldn't want to see Global Citizenship Education embedded across all schools in Ireland? As part of their strategy to enable school management to achieve this aim, Irish Aid and WorldWise Global Schools hosted the second Global Citizenship Education in Practice Symposium in Iveagh House on 15 November 2018. The event was held to support and inspire post-primary school management to use Global Citizenship Education (GCE) to deliver on Junior Cycle, Transition Year (TY) and Senior Cycle curriculum opportunities.


WWGS works with schools across Ireland, helping to integrate Global Citizenship Education (GCE) into all aspects of teaching and learning at post-primary level. The small but mighty WorldWise team work hard to offer a comprehensive range of supports and interventions to schools including grant funding, training, events, resources and personalised support. They recently received international recognition when the WorldWise Global Passport programme won a Global Education Innovation Award in Brussels.


WWGS Education Officers: Aoife Rankin (Connaught and Ulster), Lizzy Noone (Leinster), Aishling McGrath (WWGS Director), Laura Cahill (Munster) (Credit: Conor Healy PICTUREiT) 

WWGS Education Officers: Aoife Rankin (Connaught and Ulster), Lizzy Noone (Leinster), Aishling McGrath (WWGS Director), Laura Cahill (Munster) (Credit: Conor Healy PICTUREiT)


Orla Mc Breen, Director of the Civil Society and Development Education Unit of Irish Aid, delivered the opening address, positioning GCE in the wider context of Irish Aid and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. She stressed the importance of GCE in a world where civil society space is narrowing and where humanitarian work is becoming more challenging as a result.                             


Orla McBreen, Director CSDEU, Irish Aid (Credit:Conor Healy PICTUREiT)

Orla McBreen, Director CSDEU, Irish Aid (Credit:Conor Healy PICTUREiT)


Dr Phil Bamber from Liverpool Hope University was the keynote speaker. His presentation: 'Transformative Global Citizenship Education in the 21st Century ', highlighted the values and attitudes inherent in GCE. He pointed out that GCE teaches a sense of identity and self-esteem, commitment to social justice, equity and sustainable development, respect for people and human rights and concern for the environment.  Above all it instils in us the belief that people can bring about change which is so important to inspire hope in these difficult times.


Mella Cusack's presentation, 'Global Citizenship Education in the Post-Primary Curriculum', focused on the myriad opportunities for 'Doing DE' across many subjects including English, Junior Cycle business, science and visual art. She promoted the excellent range of 'Doing DE' resources which she has helped WorldWise to develop. She emphasized that GCE is not something extra to burden busy teachers with, it is rather a 'lens' through which we learn to view the world.


This session was followed by a very interesting panel discussion on 'Global Citizenship Education in Practice - What Are Schools Doing?' Maighread Mhic Dhomhnaill (Seamount College, Galway), Patricia McPhillips (Coolmine Community School), Colm O'Connor (Cork Educate Together Secondary School) and Erica Sheehan (Willow Park School, Blackrock) shared their stories of best practice, providing excellent examples of implementing a whole school approach in their schools.


Maighread Mhic Dhomhnaill, Patricia McPhillips, Colm O'Connor and Erica Sheehan (Credit: Conor Healy PICTUREiT)

Maighread Mhic Dhomhnaill, Patricia McPhillips, Colm O'Connor and Erica Sheehan (Credit: Conor Healy PICTUREiT) 


Throughout the day, school managers were given many opportuities to reflect and to share their ideas and experience with their peers and with the panel. Michael Doorly, Head of Active Citizenship at Concern, brought the symposium to a close, with the important observation that the Global Goals are not just goals but rights and that if we see them as rights achieving them is an obligation rather than an aspiration.


Michael Doorly, Concern (Credit:Conor Healy PICTUREiT)

Michael Doorly, Concern (Credit:Conor Healy PICTUREiT)


WWGS plan to make this Symposium an annual event as the support and commitment of school management is crucial for the successful implementation of Global Citizenship Education in our schools.


NGO Workshop with Dr Phil Bamber


The Symposium was followed by an afternoon session in which NGOs met Dr Phil Bamber to discuss their Global Citizenship work (WorldWise funded) in Irish schools. Education officers from Children in Crossfire, Financial Justice Ireland, GOAL, Green Sod, Sonairte, Latin America Solidarity Centre, Poetry Ireland and Young Social Innovators shared their ideas and experiences with Dr Bamber along with staff from the Irish Aid Centre.


NGO Session (Credit: Phil Behan, Irish Aid)

NGO Session (Credit: Phil Behan, Irish Aid) 


WorldWise Global Schools: http://www.worldwiseschools.ie/

« Previous Item |