Christel Adick

Global Citizenship Education under construction: Curriculum and didactics relating the bottom and the top


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Global Citizenship Education (GCE) from an allegedly bottom-up approach – as presented in the vignettes in this issue – is viewed in this commentary through the lens of what these texts tell researchers about the transmission of (G)CE at the bottom, i.e. in the classroom, which is at the core of the German language tradition of Didaktik. My comments strive to show, firstly, that GCE by necessity comes ‘under construction’ as a result of any curriculum planning and didactics, including the co-constructive agency of teacher and students. While this may sound rather trivial (even though seldom empirically researched), it is suggested in this context that the ‘didactics discourse’ spans various global and local levels; it is enacted over different macro-, meso- and micro-steps each containing some relative autonomy, starting from the top world level to the bottom of each singular classroom. Secondly, it is posited that the (auto-)ethnographic vignettes not only contain the anticipated observations and narratives of GCE practices at the bottom, but also include what I have termed ‘upward reasoning from bottom to top’. There are numerous traces of such upward reasoning in the vignettes, some of which will be highlighted as illustrations. They show how each individual and very specific classroom teaching is connected to many intentions before, above and beyond the mere practice. It is this which makes the vignettes attractive for further research and at the same time relevant for teacher education.