Global education is a growing concern not only in the United States but, in education across the world. Global education helps people make sense of the world around them. Reysen and Katzarsk-Miller (2013) define global citizenship as awareness, caring, and embracing cultural diversity while promoting social justice and sustainability, coupled with a sense of responsibility to act (p. 858). In other words, global education enables and equips others to live as global citizens in a diverse society. This essay will explain the importance of global education and how being a global citizen has developed my personal identity. This article will also provide personal examples in my life that that illustrate the development of global citizenship.
Importance of global education and a global citizenship
According to Reysen and Katzarsk-Miller (2013), outcomes of a global citizen must be witnessed in one’s ability to develop a personal identity by encouraging intergroup empathy, valuing diversity, social justice, and environmental sustainability. The overall implication of these attributes is that one can enhance intergroup assistance and nurture a high level of responsibility for the betterment of the world. Effectively, it is essential to educate others on global citizenship to create self-awareness and that of others (Reysen & Katzarska-Miller, 2013). Teaching global citizenship to others will result in a sense of cultural empathy whereas global citizens we treat one another with a sense of kindness, humanity, and benevolence. However, to teach others effectively, we must understand ourselves by espousing the attributes of a global citizen and appreciating the role that everyone must play to enhance the idea of that citizen.
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Research and theory have demonstrated that being aware of one’s connection with others at the global level and embedding the settings or an environment that appreciates global citizenship (normative situation), enhances greater identification with other global-minded citizens. Moreover, theory and research suggest that when global identity is salient, greater identity is connected to the adherence to a group’s content through behaviors and prosocial values (Reysen & Katzarska-Miller, 2013). Again, more studies have shown that self-awareness of a global citizen arises when there are knowledge and interconnectedness with others. Effectively, the most appropriate way to enhance knowledge and interconnectivity with others is through educating them on the benefits of being a global citizen. An individual’s normative environment where there friend and family that support global citizenship allows one to identify themselves as global citizens and the predicted prosocial values of intergroup empathy, value for diversity, social justice, and environmental sustainability (Global Video, n.d). Therefore, identification with global citizens at a personal level is imperative to the creation of self-awareness where a combination of the antecedent or normal environment and global awareness and the outcomes from prosocial values are considered by an individual.
As observed, global education is important for an individual because it allows them to appreciate diversity and multiculturalism. According to Reysen & Katzaysk (2013), global education allows individuals to participate in a variety of issues and settings because they value the diversity that exists at the global level and how to interact with others from multicultural settings. One does not need to abandon their identities such allegiances to their countries, ethnicities and political beliefs. These traditional identities are essential to one’s life and continue shaping who we are. However, living in a globalized world places further responsibilities that one cannot ignore because of being members of the global community sharing a similar global identity.
Being a global citizen has shaped my character in several ways. For instance, I consider my ethnicity and country as one aspect of the global diversity and a prosocial attribute that is important in enhancing a global citizen. Because of global awareness, I can advocate for issues that affect the world in different ways so that we enhance the value-system. For instance, issues that deal with the observation of human rights, environmental protection, gender equity, poverty alleviation and sustainable economic growth are dear to my heart (Global Video, n.d). I understand why one needs to advocate for the good of the people who seek humanitarian assistance and the need to preserve cultural diversity. These values have allowed me to develop empathy and seek group identity as a global citizen and not an individual. Diversity is an attribute that has shaped by identity whereby I can identify myself at college with other people from different parts of the world. I am aware of the nature of the challenges that the world faces today (Global Video, n.d). Furthermore, global awareness has shaped my ability to lead others by educating those who do not appreciate the need for a global approach to solving problems in different settings.
Personal illustrations of developing global citizenships
When I joined college, I had not realized the diversity that exists until I met students from different parts of the world. Meeting these people was not easy because of their value-system and my understanding of the world. I had a narrow perspective on how to interact with these people, for instance, students from Africa and the Middle East. However, through global understanding, I have come to realize that we are the same people sharing the world that needs all of us. Secondly, diversity is strength and not a weakness. When I nurture this perspective, I am better placed to interact with others in different environments.
Global Education and Global Citizenship Video, accessed at
Reysen, S and Katzarska-Miller, I. (2013). A model of global citizenship: Antecedents and
outcomes . International Journal of Psychology , Vol. 48, No. 5, pp.858-870, New York, NY: Routledge Publishing
Reysen, S., &Katzarska-Miller, I. (2013). A model of global citizenship: Antecedents and
outcomes. International Journal of Psychology, 48(5), 858-870.