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Liisa Jääskeläinen 1 2


Abstract: In Finland the national core curricula are the most influential steering tools concerning teaching in primary schools, lower secondary schools, upper secondary schools as well additional classes to the lower secondary schools and preparatory education for migrants. The Finnish National Board of Education is the agency with responsibility for the preparation of these documents. I work in the unit and general education in the Board. As a secretary of the core working group of the curriculum reform of basic education1 and as a member of the coordination group of the whole working process I had good possibilities to provide a contribution to the whole reform. Having had for a long time many tasks in global education and related themes I tried to guarantee their visibility in the reform.

The main purpose of this article is to inform the international audience about Finnish solutions concerning global education in the newest reform. In this article I also give some reflections on the process of the reform. Additionally I also analyze the global education solutions through a preliminary theory on how we in Finland understand global education. This preliminary theory - often referred as a competence flower of global education - was constructed in a national education development process called As a global citizens in Finland2. I also want to awaken interest among researchers, curricula developers and decision makers to study the potential of our preliminary theory on global education as well as Finnish curriculum solutions.

Keywords: Global Education; Global Citizenship Education; Curriculum Reform; Basic education; Eco-social civilization.

1 Finnish National Board of Education (2014): The National Core Curriculum for Basic Education.

2 Jääskeläinen, L. and Repo, T. (eds., 2015): Schools Reaching out to a Global World. What competences do global citizens need? Finnish National Board of Education. Publications 2011:34.


Resumo: Na Finlândia, os currícula nacionais são as ferramentas mais influentes do governo para o ensino nos vários ciclos das escolas básicas, escolas do ensino secundário, bem como para as classes adicionais nas escolas básicas e ensino preparatório para migrantes. O Conselho Nacional de Educação na Finlândia (Finnish National Board of Education) é a agência que está responsável pela elaboração destes documentos. Eu trabalho na unidade de Educação geral deste Conselho e tenho tido oportunidade de contribuir para esta reforma, enquanto secretária do grupo de trabalho do núcleo da reforma curricular do ensino básico e como membro do grupo de coordenação de todo o processo. Tendo em conta o trabalho que tenho desenvolvido no passado com temáticas da Educação Global, tentei procurar dar-lhes visibilidade no processo de reforma curricular.

O principal objetivo deste artigo é dar a conhecer ao público internacional as soluções finlandesas relativas à Educação Global na mais recente reforma educativa. Neste artigo, faço também algumas reflexões sobre o processo desta reforma. Além disso, analiso ainda as soluções encontradas para a Educação Global através de uma teoria preliminar sobre como, aqui na Finlândia, compreendemos a Educação Global. Esta teoria preliminar - muitas vezes identificada como uma referência da Educação Global - foi criada no âmbito de um processo nacional de desenvolvimento do ensino designado “Como Cidadãos Globais na Finlândia". Este artigo tem ainda como propósito despertar o interesse dos investigadores do desenvolvimento curricular e decisores políticos para o estudo do potencial desta teoria preliminar sobre Educação Global e para as soluções curriculares finlandeses.

Palavras-chave: Educação Global; Educação para a cidadania global; Reforma curricular; Educação básica; Civilização Eco-social.


Resumen: En Finlandia, el curriculum oficial es una de las herramientas más influyentes en la Educación Primaria y Secundaria, además de en la docencia en Secundaria y en la Educación preparatoria para estudiantes migrantes. La Agencia Nacional de Educación Finesa (Finnish National Board of Education) es la responsable de estos documentos, en la que trabajo. Como secretaria del grupo de trabajo de la reforma del curriculum de educación básica y como miembro del grupo coordinador del proceso del grupo de trabajo general tengo buenas posibilidades de aportar a la reforma al completo. Habiendo estado trabajando durante largo tiempo en abundantes tareas sobre educación global y sus temas relacionados intenté garantizar su visibilidad en la reforma. 

El principal propósito de este artículo es informar a las y los lectores internacionales como los elementos referentes a la Educación Global están presentes en la reciente reforma educativa finesa. En este artículo también proporciono reflexiones sobre el proceso de esta reforma. Además también analizo las soluciones desde la Educación Global a través de una teoría previa según como la entendemos en Finlandia. Esta teoría previa – siempre referida a la competencia asociada a la educación global - fue elaborada en un proceso de desarrollo nacional sobre educación titulado: ¿Cómo es un ciudadano global en Finlandia? También quiero despertar interés entre personas investigadoras, desarrolladoras de curriculum y/o implicadas en la toma de decisiones, sobre el potencial de nuestra teoría sobre Educación Global, así como sus adaptaciones en el currículum finés.

Palabras-clave: Educación Global; Educación para la Ciudadanía Global; Reforma Curricular; Educación Básica; Civilización eco-social. 



Open dialogue in key role

A ground-breaking curriculum reform of the entire general education sector is in the making in Finland and will continue to the end of 2016. The new national core curricula for pre-primary and basic education and as well as for the additional classes of basic education were approved by the Finnish National Board of Education in December 2014. In the Finnish education system the core curricula are key steering instruments for basic and secondary education. We have no system of school inspection and in basic education there is no regular national testing. The core curricula are renewed every 10 – 12 years, generally covering all aspects of school work. The reforms are preceded by and based on government decrees concerning the general aims of education and the allocation of lesson hours. The Decree3 on basic education was passed in the summer of 2012 and the new curricula must be in place in all basic education schools in the autumn of 2016. This will take place after the local adaptations of the core curriculum will have been completed, a great number of in-service training courses organized and new learning materials published4.

Children start basic education in Finland in the year they turn seven. Almost all of them will have participated in pre-school classes before this. Basic education lasts nine years. Basic education is most often provided by the municipality. There are a few private schools but they, too, follow the same National Core Curriculum, with their own adaptations. So, the National Core Curriculum is for all children from 7 to 16 years.

It has been our serious effort to organize the reform of the core curriculum5 in the form of a process that as such reflects the qualities we value most in good education, including global education. This is why the core curricula were drafted in an open and comprehensive dialogue and collaboration with education providers, researchers, teacher educators, teacher training schools and regional administrations. Civil society organizations played a most active part in the process and their voice was also well heard6 . In an article on the process of the curriculum reform, Heikkinen, Huttunen and Kiilakoski7 concluded that the process observed to a high degree the principles of democratic will creation as proposed by Jürgen Habermas in his discourse theory. In his works Jürgen Habermas has discussed the tasks and ethics of intellectual discussion and dialogue as action to transform a public sphere and how open dialogue and opinions agreed in public debates create legality to the decisions done through them.

Key words in the reform include: meaningfulness, authenticity, joy of learning, participation, dialogue, interaction and trust. The core curriculum describes schools as learning communities in terms that echo the spirit and formulations of the chapters on value basis (each child is unique and has a right to quality education, ethics of human rights and democratic society, necessity of sustainable lifestyle, cultural diversity as a richness8) and conception of learning – bearing in mind that also these will be subjects of continuous reflection and dialogue in order to develop both. If the learners and the teachers do not have a chance to participate in and influence the planning and crafting of their own work how could they teach and learn about these qualities. The messages and qualities of the processes in the schools need to comply with the results aimed at. Learning is seen as an inseparable dimension of an individual´s growth as a human being as well as in the construction of the good life of a community. Basic education is not committed to any religion, denomination or party politics. Violence, racism, harassment and exclusion are not to be tolerated and should they occur they are to be dealt with immediately9

The general parts of the core curriculum include, among others, chapters on the obligations concerning the provision of basic education, the value basis, the school culture, the overall tasks of basic education, and the transversal competences as goals. As a Finnish national interpretation of the so called 21st century skills, we have defined seven transversal (or generic) competences for learning. Among others they comprise: learning to learn, intercultural competence as well as participation, influencing and construction of a sustainable future.

One of the aims of the reform was to carefully accommodate what is stipulated in the general parts into the subject-specific curricula. For instance, what is said about the subjects is to reflect, in quite some detail, the value basis and the conception of learning.  As the value basis is essential in global education I repeat here the questions that were posed to the developers of the subject curricula during the process:

  • how does your subject consolidate core social and political values such as respect of human rights, democracy, welfare of all and  active participation in an open civil society?
  • how does your subject contribute in the forming of schools as meeting places for pupils coming from different linguistic, cultural and religious backgrounds?
  • how does your subject contribute in laying the foundation for global citizenship based on the universal values of human rights?
  • which  are the angles (insights, core understandings) in your subject that will help pupils understand the interdependence of  nature and human beings; how does your subject help create an understanding of  the concept of eco-social education; how does your subject help corroborate a sustainable lifestyle?


Recent developments in global education and global learning

Global education and global learning were integrated in a number of ways into the new core curriculum - both in the process and as regards the formulation of the final texts. I find it not possible to draw a line in between what is quality education in general and what is global education in particular.  A variety of specificities of global education have been embedded in so many parts of the texts. Let me point out some of the most obvious ones.

The definition of global education that we mostly use in Finland is the one from the Maastricht Global Education Declaration 200210. This definition can be now found in the core curriculum amongst the principles of developing schools as learning communities. Let me quote: [School as] a learning community will constitute hope of a good future by helping establish the foundations of an eco-social competence (sivistys in Finnish)11. It will encourage pupils to meet the diversities of the world around them in an open and curious manner and it will help them act for a more just and sustainable future.

Just a few years ago, the FNBE carried out a national project called “As a Global Citizen in Finland” in cooperation with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs as well as 15 schools and some other actors. The main results of the project were published in a scholarly journal “Schools reaching out to a global world”12 where you can find a chapter discussing from multiple angles the competencies of a global citizen. This preliminary theory is often referred in in colloquial as a competence flower of global education. Here I ask the reader to imagine a flower. The general aim (corolla of a flower) can be seen as the identity of a global citizen. Competences in this monograph are understood in line with the DeSeCo process of the OECD13.  They have been labelled as follows:

  • global citizen´s ethics
  • intercultural competence
  • sustainable lifestyle
  • global citizen´s civic competence.
  • global responsibility and partnerships
  • global citizen´s economic competence.

Due to the fact that ethics should be part of each competence of a global citizen it has described in the drawing as a calyx.  In the unjust and unsustainable world we should learn to orientate ourselves critically and ethically. All the other competences are drawn as petals.  Because the future is open and we cannot know in advance what the world challenges us to learn one petal is marked with a question mark.

The project and the work with the competencies provided a great inspiration to our work in the curriculum reform, but it also gave impetus to our next project with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and some new schools. This time we have been working on competencies regarding global education and partnerships in a project called “Schools as Development Partners”14

The competences of a global citizen have been further elaborated also in the two Hanasaari Symposia with GENE in 201115 and 201416.

The concept of global citizenship matches elegantly with the Finnish educational tradition as there is a clear interrelationship between the concepts of active citizenship and sivistys17. It is of certain interest that global education is one of the very few “educations” mentioned in the 549-page core curriculum. The text on the task of basic education reads as follows: Global education will provide for its part for the preconditions for just and sustainable development in line with the development goals of the UN. Where feasible, schools will work in cooperation with schools and education developers in other countries.  Basic education is a positive and constructive agent for social change both nationally and internationally.

While the new National Core Curriculum was in the making, a keen eye was kept on the discussions and policy statements concerning UN’s post-2015 development agenda. For quite a long time now, Finland has regarded global education and education for sustainable development as complementary elements in education.  The Global Education First Initiative by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon coupled with UNESCO´s18 work on ESD, were greeted with enthusiasm.  According to UNESCO, global citizenship “refers to a sense of belonging to a broader community and common humanity, promoting a “global gaze” that links the local to the global and the national to the international. It is also a way of understanding, acting and relating oneself to others and the environment in space and in time, based on universal values, through respect for diversity and pluralism.“ The FNBE had portrayed global citizenship in nearly identical phrases in the publication “Schools Reaching out to a Global World”19.


Competences of a global citizen in the core curriculum

In the Finnish National Core Curriculum for basic education 2014, several aspects of global citizenship are elaborated in the texts on value basis, transversal competences, school culture and subject curricula. In the following I point out samples from these texts in the light of how the competences of a global citizen were first drafted in the FNBE publication “Schools Reaching out to Global World”.

The National Core Curriculum gives a lot of emphasis on ethics the way it is based on universal human rights. In the education of a global citizen, ethical competence will constitute the core and foundation of all other competences.  According to the National Core Curriculum pupils will learn to know and respect human rights and protect them. Basic education will set out the foundation of global citizenship based on the respect of human rights and it will encourage pupils to act as agents of change. Pupils will also be guided to question which kind of behavior can and cannot be accepted. Seven documents on human rights are referred to, with special attention given to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.  The text on value basis in the National Core Curriculum opens as follows: Each child is unique and valuable exactly as he or she is. Each child has the right to reach his or her full potential as a human being and as a member of the society. Each child has the right to quality education and the right to be successful in his or her school work. The Finnish education system as a whole is highly inclusive and basic education is the most inclusive part of it.

Among the subject curricula we can find a strong contribution to the universal ethics of human rights in religious education (the core curriculum provides options in Evangelical Lutheran, Orthodox, Catholic, Islamic and Jewish religious education and more) and in the subject of ethics for those children who do not belong to any religious group. Teaching is non-confessional and shall include information about other religions and denominations in a respectful and analytical manner.

The new Core Curriculum deals with the global citizen’s intercultural competence in a variety of ways. Pupils are encouraged to build on an identity that is dynamic as it draws strength from the diversity and plurilingualism of both individuals and communities. Schools are seen as integral parts of culturally evolving and transforming societies where the global and the local are constantly intertwining. Pupils learn to live in a world which is linguistically, culturally and denominationally diverse. Pupils are guided to learn to see things and situations through others´ eyes.

For the first time, the Core Curriculum introduces schools’ international activities as a natural resource for bringing up interculturally savvy global citizens in basic education. In order to achieve this, schools´ international cooperation is to be carried out through purposeful networks. The cultural and linguistic diversity that are present in every classroom, at least through the media and ICTs, can be accessed with the help of internationalization at home.

Intercultural competence has always been seen as part of foreign language teaching. The new Core Curriculum introduces a paradigm shift concerning teaching and learning of ALL languages. The language curricula open now with a text on language education, stipulating that pupils will get support in appreciating their own plurilingualism and ability to exploit all the linguistic capacity they have, including the languages they use in their free-time. Even when pupils’ linguistic skills are limited, they should be encouraged to use them [without fear of being mocked]. The significance of minority languages and vulnerable languages will be dealt with. The language curricula repeat what has been underlined already in the chapter on School culture: Basic education in a linguistically conscious school makes every adult a linguistic model and also the teacher of the language of the subject they teach.

All language curricula now also include much greater emphasis on interactive skills than before, reflecting what has been said in the generic part of the Core Curriculum on value basis and school culture. Language learning is key in helping pupils communicate in manners that underline cultural awareness, curiosity and appreciation of the other.

The competence of sustainable lifestyle is also repeatedly discussed in the National Core Curriculum: Schools are to construct hope for a good future by creating capacity for ecosocial sivistys20 , a sustainable lifestyle and circular economy. Pupils are guided in how to live modestly and to share what they have. They will also learn how to act as enlightened consumers. The intangible elements of welfare will be highlighted. Pupils are encouraged to reflect on how to transform their lifestyles so that raw materials and energy can be saved and biodiversity safeguarded. Special attention is to be paid to climate change. Basic education will open views to global responsibility beyond generations. Through their choices and actions schools express their responsible relationship to the environment, and choices that may be harmful to the existence of raw materials, energy or biodiversity are to be altered in a sustainable manner.

Sustainable lifestyle is set as an umbrella goal for the development of school culture. In the subject curricula for environmental studies, chemistry, physics, geography and biology, there is a lot of detailed evidence on how this competence is embedded in teaching and learning. The subject of home economics teaches both girls and boys as environmentally sophisticated consumers, also in the spirit of fair trade. One of the transversal competences, participation, influencing and constructing a sustainable future is aimed at building bridges across the problems we identify and the solutions we have the potential to develop in school, in society and through international cooperation and even globally.

The civic competence of a global citizen is also written in many ways into the National Core Curriculum.  Pupils’ rights to participate in decision-making will be respected taking into consideration their age and maturity. Basic education will promote democracy and active agency in a civil society. The aims of basic education support pupils’ growth towards … justice and peace. Basic education will promote economic, social, regional and gender equality. Basic education will consolidate pupils’ participation… and growth towards a [full] membership in a democratic society. Pupils are encouraged to think, to construct knowledge, to be critical and to express their opinions.  Pupils will participate in the planning of their school work including phenomenon-based project studies. … Pupils learn to make agreements, to take on responsibility, to appreciate the value of trust, to encounter and solve conflicts, to mediate, to do voluntary work and to participate in the work of pupils´ councils.

Pupils are encouraged to relate to globalization in wise ways as citizens and as consumers. Global responsibility is a heavy word, especially for a child. In basic education the idea is to support every child in building a sound, informed and brave relationship with the surrounding world. Pupils are not supposed to feel guilty about the injustice and inequality of the world but instead, already at school, learn to know what life is like in different parts of the world and how to take on a positive approach to collaboration across borders. The FNBE has been working on a project on the competence of development partnership called “Schools as Development Partners”21 and will publish a book on the results and suggestions in spring or summer 2015.


Concluding remarks

In the Conclusions of Hanasaari Symposium of 2011 the participants stated that “Curriculum development or reform is best understood as a critical, participatory learning process”.  With the development process of Finland’s National Core Curriculum for basic education in 2012 - 2014 we Finns have experienced that this high goal is possible to achieve. The Hanasaari Conclusions also state that “global education is primarily about the formation of key competencies for global citizens. Our understandings of key competencies for global citizens should continue to be clarified, contested, debated and mainstreamed.” This is what we have tried to accomplish in our new core curriculum in Finland.

The Hanasaari Conclusions from the year 2014 state that “the ethical aspect of all competencies of Global Citizens, we (the participants of the Symposium) emphasize the need to put justice, equity and sustainability at the core of all that we do in Global Education”. I think our new curriculum bears clear witness of such solutions. Sustainable lifestyle and eco-social civilization are seen as the next phase of the cultural evolution we are aiming at. The recent Hanasaari Conclusions also point out that “Focusing on the dimensions of civic competence, we (the participants of the Symposium) recognize that within the process of Global Education and Global Citizenship Education there is a need to build on understandings of the multiple perspectives present in local, national and global communities; and to give access to knowledge and practice in order to facilitate participation in decision-making and to encourage civil-society action”. To achieve this, our future basic education graduates will have a better foundation in life than any generation before in Finland. And one more quote from Hanasaari 2014: “Focusing on the intercultural competence of Global Citizens, we (the participants of the Hanasaari Symposium) recognize that linguistic and cultural awareness, pluri-lingualism and valuing diversity are key learning goals in enabling sustainable identity-building, communication and actions at both individual, local and global levels.” This challenge has been taken onboard in the new curriculum in an exemplary way, fully knowing that it is a generation of teacher in-service training and a full set of new teaching materials that it may take before “all teachers are language teachers”.

To conclude, let me say that I am very happy with the curriculum reform as it has been carried out in Finland –especially from the viewpoint of global education. The solutions give a strong mandate for global educators to do their work well.  I would like to see a strong mandate to be formed also for global educators at the secondary level of general education with which we are working this year. Finnish specialists of global education would also like to have possibilities to compare our solutions – as they will always be in the making – with the solutions made elsewhere.



[1] The language of the article has been checked and the part on global citizen’s intercultural competence co-authored by Paula Mattila, counsellor of education, FNBE.

[2] Liisa Jääskeläinen is a master of social and political sciences from the Helsinki University. She had done  a long career mainly in the Finnish National Board of Education and been involved in curricular work and development projects on international education, later global education and environmental education since the 80´s. Liisa has represented Finland in GENE since 2004. Now she is actively involved it the curricular reform of general upper secondary schools.

[3] Government Decree on the general aims of basic education and allocation of lesson hours (422/2012).

[4] Halinen, I. (2015): What is going on in Finland. Curriculum Reform of 2016 (See here the document), .and Halinen, I. (2014): General aspects of the curricular reform of basic education (See here).  

[5] Finnish National Board of Education (2014): The National Core Curriculum for Basic Education.

[6] In their open letter, dated 23.3.2015, to Ms Krista Kiuru, Minister of Education and Culture, 11 civil society organizations headed by KEPA (umbrella organization in development cooperation and global education) thank her for the open preparation process and the integration of global education to the National Core Curriculum. The organizations also appeal to the Minister for similar process and quality for global education in the National Core Curriculum for the upper secondary schools which is in the making.

[7] Heikkinen, H.L.T, Huttunen, R. and Kiilakoski, T. (2014): Opetussuunnitelmatyö kollektiivisena tahdonmuodostuksena Jürgen Habermasin oikeuden diskurssiteorian valossa. Kasvatus 1/2014. (Curriculum work as a collective will-formation according to the discourse theory of law by Jürgen Habermas. Education 1/2014.)

[8] Texts in italics have been directly translated from the National Core Curriculum.

[9] Texts in italics have been directly translated from the National Core Curriculum.

[10] O´Loughlin, e. and Wegimont, L. (2002): Global Education in Europe to 2015. Strategy, policies, and perspectives. North-South Centre of the Council of Europe.

[11] The Finnish concept ”sivistys” (Bildnung in German, utbildning in Swedish) has no exact translation into English. It means education, competence, cultivation, civilization and enlightenment. The concept was introduced into Finnish language during the era of national romanticism in the 19th century.

[12] Jääskeläinen, L. and Repo, T. (eds., 2015): Schools Reaching out to a Global World. What competences do global citizens need? Finnish National Board of Education. Publications 2011:34.

[13] OECD.  DeSeCo. Definition and Selection of Competences.

[14] Jääskeläinen, L., Mattila, P., Repo, T. and Niska, H. (eds., to be published in 2015): Schools as Development Partners. Finnish National Board of Education. Publications 2015:3.

[15] Jääskeläinen, L., Kaivola, T., O´Loughlin, E. and Wegimont, L. (ed., 2011): Becoming a Global Citizen. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Competencies of Global Citizens. Espoo, Finland, 5 -7th October 2011. Finnish National Board of Education and Global Education Network Europe.

[16] Jääskeläinen, L., Mattila, P., Repo, T. and Niska, H. (eds., to be published in 2015): Schools as Development Partners. Finnish National Boad of Education. Publications 2015:3.

[17] One of the etymologies of the Finnish word “sivistys” is that it has been coined from “siveä” which is Finnish for virtuous, and “civic”, which is Latin, meaning a citizen.  Thus “virtuous citizens” can be seen as the ultimate aims of education.

[18] UNESCO. Global Citizenship Education. Preparing learners for the challenges of the 21.st century.

[19] Jääskeläinen, L. and Repo, T. (eds., 2015): Schools Reaching out to a Global World. What competences do global citizens need? Finnish National Board of Education. Publications 2011:34.

[20] See footnote 12. More about the concept of ecosocial “sivistys”: Salonen, A. (2014). An Ecosocial Approach in Education.  In the book: Jucke, R. and Mathar, R. (eds.) Schooling for Sustainable Development: Concepts, Policies and Educational Experiences at the End of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. Berlin-Heidelberg. Springer.

[21] Jääskeläinen, L., Mattila, P., Repo, T. and Niska, H. (eds., to be published in 2015): Schools as Development Partners. Finnish National Boad of Education. Publications 2015:3.



  • Government Decree (422/2012) on general aims of basic education and allocation of lesson hours.
  • National Core Curriculum of Basic Education (2014): Finnish National Board of Education. Available in Finnish and in Swedish here. To be published in English in September 2015.
  • Halinen, I. (2014): General aspects of the curricular reform of basic education. See more here.  
  • Halinen, I. (2015): What is going on in Finland.  Curriculum Reform of 2016. Available here.  
  • Heikkinen, H.L.T., Huttunen, R. and Kiilakoski, T. (2014): Opetussuunnitelmatyö kollektiivisena tahdonmuodostuksena Jürgen Habermasin oikeuden diskurssiteorian valossa. Kasvatus 1/2014. (Curriculum work as a collective will formation process according to the discourse theory of law by Jürgen Habermas. Education 1/2014.)
  • Jääskeläinen, L., Kaivola, T., O´Loughlin, E. and Wegimont, L. (ed., 2011): Becoming a Global Citizen. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Competencies of Global Citizens. Espoo, Finland, 5 -7th October 2011. Finnish National Board of Education and Global Education Network Europe.
  • Jääskeläinen, L., Mattila, P., Repo, T. and Niska, H. (eds., to be published in 2015): Schools as Development Partners. Finnish National Boad of Education. Publications 2015:3.
  • Jääskeläinen, L. and Repo, T. (eds., 2015): Schools Reaching out to a Global World. What competences do global citizens need? Finnish National Board of Education. Publications 2011:34.
  • KEPA. Letter to Ms Krista Kiuru, Minister of Education and Culture. Dated 23.3.2015. 
  • OECD.  DeSeCo. Definition and Selection of Competences.
  • O´Loughlin, E. and Wegimont, L. (eds., 2002): Global Education in Europe to 2015. Strategies, policies, and perspectives. North-South Centre of the Council of Europe.
  • Salonen, A. (2014): An Eco-social Approach in Education.  In the book: Jucke, R. and Mathar, R. (eds.): Schooling for Sustainable Development: Concepts, Policies and Educational Experiences at the End of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. Berlin-Heidelberg. Springer.
  • UNESCO. Global Citizenship Education. Preparing learners for the challenges of the 21st century.

Alison Leonard1


Abstract: I present an overview of my doctoral research investigating how the process of School Linking affects those in Ghana, Uganda and Tanzania. Southern voices are prioritised over my Northern decentred researcher’s voice in order to question the traditional hegemony of the projects I was exploring. My qualitative interpretivist research approach and selection of cases are outlined. The sub-question, “How does the South/North Educational Linking Process (S/NELP) affect local communities in the Global South?” and the inherent risk of creating dependent relationships, are considered.  I contend that Southern voices should determine how links accommodate what might be viewed as Northern ‘largesse’. Finally recommendations and implications for the future of the S/NELP are presented.

Keywords: Critical thinking; Development Education; Effective Aid; Global Education; School Linking; Sustainable Development.


Resumo: Apresento um resumo da minha investigação de doutoramento no âmbito das consequências do processo de ligação educativa no Gana, Uganda e Tanzânia. As vozes do Sul são uma prioridade sob o meu papel de investigadora descentralizada do Norte, no sentido de questionar a tradicional hegemonia dos projetos que estudei. Descrevo também a abordagem qualitativa e interpretativista e ainda a seleção dos casos neste projeto. É ainda considerado o risco inerente de criação de uma relação de dependência, a partir da questão: “Como é que o processo de ligação-educativo entre Sul/Norte afeta as comunidades locais no Sul-Global?”. O artigo sublinha que as vozes do Sul devem determinar como as ligações podem favorecer e harmonizar aquilo que é a “generosidade” do Norte. Finalmente, são ainda apresentadas recomendações e algumas ilações futuras para o processo de ligação educativa entre Sul/Norte.

Palavras-chave: Reflexão crítica; Educação para o Desenvolvimento; Ajuda para o Desenvolvimento; Educação Global; Ligação-escolar; Desenvolvimento sustentável.


Resumen: Presento una visión global de la investigación asociada a mi tesis doctoral sobre cómo el proceso de Asociación de Escuelas afecta en Ghana, Uganda y Tanzania. Las voces del Sur son priorizadas frente a mi voz del Norte descentrada para así cuestionar la hegemonía tradicional de los proyectos que he explorado. Mi aproximación a una investigación cualitativa interpretativa está esbozada. Se considera la subpregunta “Cómo el Proceso de Asociación Educativa Sur/Norte (South/North Educational Linking Process, S/NELP) afecta a las comunidades locales en el Sur Global? así como los riesgos inherentes a la creación de relaciones de dependencia. Sostengo que las voces del Sur deben determinar como las asociaciones pueden armonizar lo que puede ser visto como la “generosidad” del Norte “generoso”. Finalmente presentamos recomendaciones y consecuencias para el futuro de los S/NELP.

Palabras-clave: Pensamiento Crítico; Educación para el Desarrollo; Ayuda Efectiva; Asociación entre Escuelas; Desarrollo Sostenible.

Título da dissertação: A competência global na aula de língua inglesa: como preparar os alunos para viver e agir no mundo atual?

Autora: Elisa Andreia Moreira de Carvalho

Natureza do estudo: Relatório de Mestrado em Ensino de Inglês e de Língua Estrangeira (Espanhol) no 3.º CEB e no Ensino Secundário

Instituição: Universidade de Aveiro

Ano: 2015

Disponível em: http://hdl.handle.net/10773/15708



Este estudo teve como principais objetivos compreender os efeitos de um projeto de educação global nos conhecimentos, capacidades e atitudes de um grupo de alunos portugueses do 11.º ano, bem como compreender as potencialidades da aula de língua inglesa no âmbito de uma educação promotora da participação ativa numa sociedade globalizada. Tratando-se de um estudo de tipo investigação-ação, ancorado no paradigma socio-crítico, foram recolhidos dados através de questionários, aplicados aos alunos antes e após o projeto de intervenção, de gravações vídeo de quatro sessões de educação global e de uma entrevista realizada à professora cooperante. Recorreu-se ainda à recolha documental de trabalhos dos alunos, bem como do Programa de Inglês (continuação) dos 10.º, 11.º e 12.º anos. A análise dos dados recolhidos, efetuada segundo diferentes métodos e instrumentos, permitiu concluir que o projeto de educação global teve efeitos mais significativos no desenvolvimento dos conhecimentos dos alunos, sobretudo relacionados com problemas globais específicos, tendo estes compreendido que o que acontece em outros locais tem relevância na vida de cada um. O estudo permitiu ainda verificar que as aulas de língua inglesa são o espaço ideal para se trabalhar a educação global, funcionando como uma porta aberta para outras línguas, culturas e mundivisões. Estes resultados sugerem que é possível e necessário promover o desenvolvimento da competência global na aula de línguas, mobilizando e incorporando saberes e recursos que valorizem capacidades de trabalho colaborativo, de comunicação e de resolução de problemas, bem como atitudes de respeito pelos Outros, imprescindíveis para o exercício da cidadania e para desafiar as injustiças e desigualdades que nos rodeiam.

Palavras-chave: Educação Global; Competência Global; Globalização; Língua Inglesa; Ensino Secundário.



This study aimed at understanding the effects of a global education project in the development of knowledge, skills and attitudes of a group of Portuguese students in the 11th grade, as well as understanding the potential of the English language class in the promotion of active participation in a global society. Sustained on an action-research methodology, and anchored in the socio-critical paradigm, data were collected through questionnaires administered to students before and after the intervention project, video recordings of four global education sessions, and an interview held with the cooperating teacher. Students’ work during the sessions and the English syllabus for secondary education in Portugal were also collected and analyzed. Data analysis, performed by various methods and instruments, allowed us to conclude that the global education project had more significant effects on the development of students’ knowledge, particularly related to specific global issues, helping them to understand that what happens elsewhere has relevance in their own lives. The study also showed that the English language class is the ideal place to promote global education, functioning as an open door to other languages, cultures and world views. These results suggest that it is possible and necessary to promote the development of global competence in the language classroom, mobilizing and incorporating knowledge and resources that enhance collaborative work, communication and problem solving skills, as well as respectful attitudes towards Others, which are key to the exercise of citizenship and to challenge the injustices and inequalities that surround us.

Keywords: Global Education; Global Competence; Globalization; English Language; Secondary Education.


Título da dissertação: Educação para a paz no jardim de infância: uma educação livre de conflitos

Autora: Tânia Vanessa Serrano Dias

Natureza do estudo: Relatório de Mestrado em Educação Pré-Escolar e Ensino do 1.º Ciclo do Ensino Básico

Instituição: Universidade de Aveiro

Ano: 2016 

Disponível em: http://hdl.handle.net/10773/21396



Este estudo teve como principais objetivos avaliar e compreender os efeitos de um projeto de Sensibilização à Diversidade Linguística e Cultural (SDLC) nos conhecimentos, atitudes e capacidades de um grupo de crianças em idade pré-escolar, e ainda, compreender como podemos promover uma educação para a paz através da SDLC no jardim de infância. Para tal, concebeu-se e colocou-se em prática um projeto no âmbito da educação para a paz através da abordagem SDLC, com um grupo de 25 crianças em idade pré-escolar. Realizaram-se diversas atividades, nomeadamente o conto de histórias, conversas de grupo, trabalhos de expressão plástica e musical, de forma a sensibilizar as crianças à temática da educação para a paz através de atividades do seu interesse. Tratando-se de um estudo do tipo investigação-ação, foram recolhidos dados através da observação direta e de gravações vídeo das quatro sessões realizadas. Estas gravações vídeo foram, posteriormente, transcritas e submetidas a uma análise de conteúdo, tendo em conta três categorias: conhecimentos, capacidades, atitudes e valores. Procedeu-se ainda à avaliação da implicação das crianças nas tarefas, de forma a obtermos um indicador das suas aprendizagens. A análise dos dados permitiu concluir que é durante a idade pré-escolar que devemos começar a sensibilizar as crianças para as diferenças linguísticas e culturais, de forma a que estas adquiram conhecimentos sobre o mundo das línguas e das culturas e desenvolvam atitudes positivas face ao outro. Concluiu-se também que projetos de educação global permitem que as crianças desenvolvam atitudes de tolerância e respeito, através da promoção da paz, e compreendam a importância de aprender outras línguas para mais facilmente se poderem relacionar e comunicar com os outros rumo a um mundo mais pacífico e sustentável.

Palavras-chave: Educação Global; Sensibilização à Diversidade Linguística e Cultural; Educação para a Paz; Educação Pré-escolar.



This study aimed to evaluate and understand the effects of an Awakening to Languages (AtL) project in the development of knowledge, attitudes and skills of a group of pre-primary children, and also to understand how to promote an education for peace through the AtL approach in pre-primary contexts. To this end, a peace education project, sustained on the AtL approach, was conceived and put into practice with a group of 25 pre-primary children. There were various activities, including storytelling, group discussions, visual arts and musical work, in order to sensitize children to the theme of peace education through activities of their interest. Considering that this was an action-research-type project, data were collected through direct observation and video recordings of four sessions. These video recordings were later transcribed and submitted to content analysis, taking into account three categories: knowledge, skills, attitudes and values. The children’s involvement in the tasks was also assessed, as an indicator of their learning achievements. Data analysis led to the conclusion that pre-primary is the correct time to start making children aware of linguistic and cultural differences, so that they acquire knowledge about the world of languages and cultures and develop positive attitudes towards the Other. We also concluded that global education projects allow children to develop attitudes of tolerance and respect, through the promotion of peace, and to understand the importance of learning other languages to relate and communicate with others towards a more peaceful and sustainable world.

Keywords: Global Education; Awakening to Languages; Peace Education; Pre-primary Education.

Título da dissertação: Educação global no jardim de infância: um projeto sobre os valores

Autora: Ana Rita da Costa Vaz

Natureza do estudo: Relatório de Mestrado em Educação Pré-Escolar e Ensino do 1.º Ciclo do Ensino Básico

Instituição: Universidade de Aveiro

Ano: 2017

Disponível em: https://ria.ua.pt/handle/10773/23598



O presente relatório de estágio resulta de todo um trabalho desenvolvido na área da sensibilização à diversidade linguística e cultural numa sala de jardim-de-infância. Neste sentido pretendemos analisar que conhecimentos e capacidades desenvolvem as crianças com um projeto, com caraterísticas de investigação-ação, centrado nos valores no âmbito de uma educação global. Assim, estabelecemos como principais objetivos compreender como promover uma educação global nos primeiros anos de escolaridade, identificar diferentes representações das crianças sobre valores e observar como as crianças integram os valores (amizade e respeito pelo outro) no seu quotidiano. Este projeto contou com quatro sessões de atividades desenvolvidas com as crianças. No decorrer das atividades, abordámos os valores, a cultura e os modos de vida de quatro países (Gronelândia, Zâmbia, Peru e China). Privilegiámos como principal recurso a literatura infantil, pois já existem várias obras em português que poderão servir de ponto de partida para abordar outras culturas e sensibilizar para os valores. Os dados foram recolhidos através da observação, transcrições das gravações vídeo das sessões, e os registos individuais das crianças (desenhos).  Através da análise dos dados concluímos que as crianças se envolveram no projeto e que revelam indícios de atitudes de amizade e de respeito pelo outro, manifestados na história coletiva construída no final do projeto.

Palavras-chave: Educação Global; Diversidade Linguística e Cultural; Literatura Infantil; Formação Pessoal e Social; Valores.



This study is the result of a work carried out in the area of awakening to languages in a kindergarten context. In this study, it was our intention to evaluate which knowledge and capacities the children were able to develop in a project with some characteristics of action research, centred on values within a global education perspective. Therefore, we set as our main goals to understand how to promote a global education in the first years of schooling, identify different representations of children about values and observe how children integrate those values (friendship and respect for others) in their daily lives and activities. This project included four sessions of activities with the children. In the course of our activities, we addressed the values, culture and ways of life of four countries (Greenland, Zambia, Peru and China). We privileged children’s literature as the main resource, as there are already several books in Portuguese which can be used as a starting point to present other cultures and raise awareness of values. The data was collected through observation, transcriptions of sessions’ videotapes and individual children’s work (drawings). Through the analysis of the data we concluded that the children got deeply involved in the project and showed signs of friendship and respect for the others, manifested in the story written in group at the end of the project.

Keywords: Global Education; Cultural and Linguistic Diversity; Children’s Literature; Social and Personal Education; Values.