ESL etc.

Global Issues and Activism in English Language Teaching

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Sargent, T. (2004) Advocacy-oriented global education in TLT special issues. The Language Teacher, 28(2), 9-13.

August 20th, 2007 by Dave · No Comments

Apparently, many educators simply do not know enough about global education before they try to teach it—often with adverse outcomes.

…many of the people who are attracted to global education have an activist orientation—many also lacking sufficient information and preparation to teach global education.

Advocacy-oriented approaches on the other hand, can be identified by the way they value some perspectives much more than others, and in the name of “global education” elevate and advocate these more valued, or “right” perspectives over other, less valued perspectives. The promotion of this “right” perspective is often carried out with little regard for developmental learning goals for students.

According to the academic approach, there is a fundamental contradiction in the advocacy approach which openly takes sides on issues and entities, adopting them as the “correct” view, with the unfortunate and misleading implication that this is how one goes about developing a global perspective. Another problem from the academic standpoint is that promoting only one side of an issue does a disservice to students who are left ill-equipped to make informed choices because they have been ill-informed on the issues in the first place.

And this necessarily works against meeting academic global education goals related to encouraging greater pluralism, balance and the academic weighing of evidence among students.

Global education in the hands of advocacy-oriented “Global Citizen/Educators” attempting to make “Global Citizens” of their students in their own particular image by promoting their own worldview, represents a significant danger to students—something that should be obvious by now.

Retrieved from on August 20, 2007

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