The Critical Global Educator: Global Citizenship Education as Sustainable Development by Dr. Maureen Ellis

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Published by Routledge in September 2015, ‘The Critical Global Educator: Global Citizenship Education as Sustainable Development’, emphasises the crucial role of theorised passion in chapters entitled ‘Bible to Bibliography: Personal, Professional, Political Efficacy’ and ‘Personal Search to Public Research’. Globalisation, cyborg identities, potentially powerful social media oblige educators to deploy educational tools, toys, texts and technologies for oecumene, global bioethics, political justice for all. Ethical frameworks and professional identities depend on and emerge from material resources and social practices; spiralling dialogue to dialectics, critical global educators ‘realise’ Peirce’s (1955) semiotic trinity or semantic triangle. Frequently accused of seeing everything in terms of power (for which diverse disciplines may read energy, light, truth, beauty, faith, capital, at-one-ment, love), critical theorists align micro to macro, physics to metaphysics, genre to generation, and concrete reality to abstract reasoning.

Based on Maureen’s PhD thesis, which traced ‘The personal and professional development of the critical global educator’, the book is a product of her research which was granted an ‘Unconditional Pass’ at the Institute of Education in 2013. Its findings reveal teachers lacking political literacy, turning to union only when in distress. Financially constrained international NGOs, their political-economic, legal, multimodal expertise untapped, tangentially engage online cohorts of around 600 teachers, hampered by superficial education/campaigning/ fundraising distinctions. Even teacher educators who ‘know how to do literacy’ report inability, through lack of time and access, to share with teachers the theoretical underpinnings of fractured, fragmented faith in global education.

The research yielded four outcomes: a Jungian mandala of philosophical and theoretical foundations for humanitarian education (Chapter 3); a comparison highlighting inadequate government policy guidelines (Chapter 5); data from surveys, focus groups, and face-to-face interviews involving over 500 teacher trainees, teachers, teacher educators, international NGO administrators, and academics (Chapter 6); and eight recommendations (Chapter 7). The book advocates urgent conceptual deconstruction, refined redefinition. It demonstrates the power of theory, multiple intelligences, synaesthetic literacies deployed for human well-being. Eight recommendations include calls for theorised multimodality, explicit political remit, and funding which stipulates multi-stakeholder, transdisciplinary global citizenship education as sustainable development.

Dr. Maureen Ellis is currently Senior Research Associate at Development Education Research Centre, University College London-Institute of Education, and Associate Lecturer at the Open University, UK. She has taught, trained teachers and undertaken consultancies in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Australia for British publishers, universities and English language organisations, including the British Council.

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