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Learning from the global teacher project:
How to introduce a global dimension into ITET provision

During the Global Teacher Project, we worked with Faculties or Schools of Education in higher education institutions (HEIs) over 6 years, all of whom were trying to introduce a global dimension to their initial teacher and education training (ITET) provision. What was learned and what guidance can be offered to other HEIs attempting to do the same?

Common Characteristics

We have identified here some of the common characteristics of the work in the participating HEIs and have posed key questions arising from the project’s experience.

1) All HEIs had a member of staff responsible for the global dimension who brought issues to the attention of senior management and secured some form of commitment to take things forward in the faculty or school.

Key Questions

For example, in Leeds Metropolitan University there is a Global Perspectives Network, and at St. Martin’s College, Lancaster there is a Social Justice Forum.

  • Is there support for the global dimension from senior management in ITET in the form of formal recognition, time and/or funding?

2) Where HEIs did have commitment from key staff and senior management, all undertook some kind of initial awareness-raising work with staff.

Key Questions

  • Do the staffs know about the global dimension?
  • Are they aware of the relevance of the global dimension to the context of their work?
  • Are they aware of potential support for the global dimension available to the HEI from external organisations?

3) Those HEIs which needed to carry out awareness-raising did so in a number of different ways:

4) Following the awareness-raising process, all HEIs involved in the Global Teacher Projects instigated an audit to find out what was already happening.

Key Questions

  • In what ways is the global dimension already present in ITET provision within the School or Faculty?
One HEI circulated an audit document to all course programme leaders who then delegated responsibility for the audit to be completed to a member of the course team.
  • Is the global dimension hardly present at all, present in depth in one small section of provision, present at a shallow level across many sections of provision, and so on?

Note that the way that staff members define the global dimension being present is a further indication of the extent of their understanding of what the global dimension could be.

5) Following audits, all the HEIs then undertook some kind of action:

Key Questions

  • How are staff supported in planning and taking action?
One HEI planned a faculty away-day and invited the GTP to provide a workshop to stimulate staff thinking about changes required.
Following training for the whole staff, another HEI delegated responsibility to staff in subject areas to demonstrate how they would improve the quality of provision for the global dimension in their programmes of study.
  • Is there a steering group or committee who can coordinate action planning?
One HEI decided to put the global dimension as an item for discussion at all primary programme team meetings.

6) Once action plans had been put in place, it is important to monitor and review.

Key Questions

  • What is the impact of the global dimension on student provision?
One HEI produced documentary analysis, subject by subject, of how each of the key concepts and elements of the global dimension had been embedded in the ITET curriculum by staff.
One HEI built the global dimension into teaching experience tasks and collected evidence of student lesson plans and evaluations for analysis.
  • What impact has the global dimension had on the work of HEI staff?
One HEI felt it important to include all staff members - including librarians and technical support - when evaluating impact of changed provision.

How HEIs responded to the process

Three main approaches to the global dimension undertaken by HEIs can be identified:

1) Integration: the global dimension was an organising principle and was used to plan most aspects of the ITET curriculum

Key Question

  • Is it possible to embed the global dimension into all aspects of the ITET curriculum?
    This would mean that all subject areas would identify how the key concepts and elements would be mapped onto provision.
    Assessment would include tasks to ensure students were examined in their ability to embed the global dimension into their teaching.
    Teaching experience would require students to plan and teach curriculum where they identified how they had incorporated the global dimension.

2) Infusion: a limited number of curriculum subjects were infused with relevant global education content, skills or attitudes.

Key Questions

  • Are subjects such as geography and science, which are expected to include the global dimension, the only areas where such provision is in place?
  • Are staffs aware of other requirements in ITET which can be linked to the global dimension?
For example, the Race Relations Amendment Act (2001), Education for
Sustainable Development; Citizenship.
  • Does PSHE have a clearly defined global dimension?
One HEI used activities from Complementing Teachers: a practical guide to promoting Race Equality in Schools (Runnymede Trust, 2003)

Another HEI used Philosophy for Children as an approach to exploring controversial issues to develop student skills in higher order questioning and critical thinking and analysis.

3) One-off events: either a one-off lecture on the global dimension for all students or a specialist module where selected students had exposure to a specific experience.

Key Question

What kind of event would be the most productive?

One HEI had a week of events all linked to the global dimension. Every subject area focused on the global dimension through lectures, workshops and seminars.
Outside organisations were invited to provide specialist input during the week.
Some PGCE programmes were only able to offer a single lecture on the global dimension. For examples of lectures in power point format click here. www.esd.wales.co.uk

4) External support: All of the HEIs invited the GTP to support them in one or more ways. Although the project is now over, a number of other organisations are able to offer similar support and guidance.

Key Questions

Where can global dimension resources be found?
For information about resources click here.

Where are there models of lesson planning?

Where can ideas for evaluating the teaching practice of students in global dimension be found?
Global Perspectives and Teachers in Training (Development Education Association 2003)
Supporting the Standards (World Studies Trust 2005)

How can HEIs network with other HEIs and supporting agencies? Are there conferences and events related to the global dimension in ITET?
Resource Centres and Regional networks in UK