What is Global Learning?

Global learning helps equip children and young people to live successfully and responsibly in an interconnected world. Global learning is closely related to ‘the Global Dimension in the Curriculum’ and ‘Education for Global Citizenship’. Global learning is not an ‘additional subject’ to cram into an overcrowded curriculum, but goes to the heart of what education is for:

“The global dimension explores what connects us to the rest of the world. It enables learners to engage with complex global issues and explore links between their own lives and people, places and issues throughout the world. The global dimension can relate to both developing and developed countries. It helps learners to imagine different futures and the role they can play in creating a fair and sustainable world.”
The National Curriculum

Recognition of our shared humanity across the globe and ‘interconnectedness with all life and living’ can be traced to the ancient Greeks, Confucianism and Hindu philosophy. It is an idea found in the philosophies of indigenous peoples of Africa and the Americas and is endorsed by quantum physics. It is apparent in our daily lives:

‘Before you finish eating breakfast in the morning, you’ve depended on more than half the world. This is the way our universe is structured, this is its interrelated quality.’ Martin Luther King

This key principle of our interdependence, both local to global, and past to present to future, has implications in how we relate to others. It implies that we need to have:

the courage not to fear or deny difference; but to respect and strive to understand people of different cultures, and to grow from encounters with them.’
Daisaku Ikeda

It also implies that we recognise how our lives impact others and the planet, acknowledging power relationships and inequalities:

‘The ties that bind are […] chains of cause and effect that prompt obligations of justice rather than sympathy, pity, or beneficence.’
Andrew Dobson
‘Whatever we do to the web of life, we do to ourselves.’ Chief Seattle