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The World Studies Trust

The World Studies Trust was established in 1988 to develop and support work in the formal education sector, which promotes 'the knowledge, attitudes and skills which young people need in order to practise social and environmental responsibility in a multicultural society and interdependent world'.

It emerged as a follow-up to the enormously successful 1980's curriculum development project 'World Studies 8-13' which was run by Fisher and Hicks and funded jointly by the Schools Council and the Rowntrees Trust.

World Studies is more widely known now as global education. Global Education is not a separate subject but a way of examining specific issues across the curriculum. It includes:

  • Studying cultures and countries other than one's own and the ways in which they are different from, and similar to, one's own;
  • Studying major issues which face different countries and cultures; for example those to do with peace and conflict, development, human rights and the environment;
  • Studying the ways in which everyday life and experience affect, and are affected by, the wider world;
  • Exploring the meaning of citizenship for young people today; both in their community and as part of the wider world.

Activities of the World Studies Trust :

Working with pupils, teachers and others to advance World Studies.

  • Supervising the running of national conferences on World Studies.
  • Publishing educational material.
  • Running projects to promote World Studies.
  • Networking with similar bodies and organisations.

Specifically, the Trust is currently playing a major role in promoting World Studies and its sister educational initiatives (e.g. Development Education) in the field of Initial Teacher Education.

In the late 1980's, the Trust organised a series of highly successful national conferences on World Studies for teachers.

The Trust undertook (1990-1992) a national evaluation of the effectiveness of active learning methodologies in promoting the core values and understanding of Development education (DE). This project resulted in a report, which was disseminated to the DE community, as well as a published teacher handbook, which updated World Studies processes for the National Curriculum, (Learning From Experience, M. Steiner, Trentham Books).

From 1993 to 1996, we worked with teacher trainers in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in England and Wales to promote a World Studies approach in Initial Teacher Training (ITT) so that newly qualified teachers would have access to the ideas and methodologies for introducing a global/Southern perspective into their teaching. In addition to the benefits gained by teacher training students during the project and the development of a strong relationship with teacher trainers throughout the country, the Trust produced a book based on the practice and reflections of teacher trainers and DE workers (The Global Teacher: Theory and practice in Global Education, M. Steiner, ed. Trentham Books, 1996.)

In 1997/98, the Trust worked towards the launch of a new project working with the mentoring system in Initial Teacher Training. The main vehicle for this was the Mentoring Project Pilot (started in April 1997 and funded by CAFOD, Christian Aid, Oxfam and UNICEF (UK). Four HEIs introduced a World Studies component to their B.Ed or P.G.C.E courses, which reached both student teachers and teacher mentors, based in schools. Dr Sneh Shah evaluated the pilot and resulted in a research report and a summary document, both of which are available from the Trust.

Following this pilot project, the Trust ran the Global Teacher Project between 1999 and 2005. The Project worked with Initial Teacher Education and Training (ITET) tutors throughout the UK to promote a global dimension in ITET. Information on the Project can be found elsewhere on this website.

The Trust is currently developing a new project, the details of which will be announced on this website soon.

To contact the World Studies Trust wst.co@zen.co.uk

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