The following article comes from sixth form teacher Joseph Griffiths, who shares his thoughts on globalisation in education.

Globalisation, from my perspective, is a contemporary notion – if I were to ask my father or mother, I would conjecture the notion of internationalism to be preferred than that of globalisation – that has had multiple changes in my social, cultural, political and economic viability. I am a current teacher at a Sixth Form College in Newham, East London. Newham is the most deprived borough in England, with roughly 50% of the children adjudged to live in poverty. My role as an educator during the coronavirus pandemic has led me to observe a clear division between those children and young people who have access to technology, and those who do not.

The COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to the challenges associated with online learning, inequality and technology has made clear the problems associated with globalisation, in particular the vaccine race, in diverse contexts. Moreover, decentralisation of school systems has received support from USAID and the World Bank, thereby increasing the possibility that local educational authorities, including a focus on indigenous knowledge, might be put into practice. However, local communities too poor to raise the required funding were left out of projects. The implications of globalisation in the context of development education and global learning, albeit in context, are shared with others around the world.

Education is deeply rooted in Britain’s political landscape, affected by the accelerating dynamics of globalisation. Education aims are constantly being reshaped in relation to emerging themes in globalisation. A handful of political trends that children and young people in the UK have witnessed since the 2010s include a coalition government; Brexit; Scottish independence; labour leadership; UKIP; and the coronavirus pandemic.

Teaching children to be global citizens confronts the reality that education in the UK has a first and foremost national orientation and therefore, continues to produce citizens who reflect national identities. Perhaps, the notion of ‘global’ inevitably should have a local context to be effective.

In a globalised world, as technology becomes a vehicle for knowledge, the most powerful nations, for example, the United Kingdom, holds several monopolies; technology; global financial markets; access to natural resources; media and communications; and weapons of mass destruction.

My previous and current studies, in addition to my role as an educator, has empowered me to consider the following question ‘can education help change these monopolies?’.

As persons, we must remind ourselves that we are responsible for multiple societies. Learning in a globalisation context is not necessarily about becoming more ‘clever’, but rather becoming more ‘human’. Global North and South development education networks must encourage a dialogical approach to learning and shared construction of conflicting themes from a particular context by means of communication. Education has and continues to play an important role in globalisation.


Joseph Griffiths

Joseph is a teacher at a Sixth Form College in East London.

He is also studying his MA in Development Education and Global Learning at UCL.

His research focuses on the role of transformative learning to challenge preconceptions and take steps to reshape social, cultural, political and economic unfairness.

Follow Daniel on Twitter – @MrJRGriffiths.

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