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Constructions of global citizenship: an Albertan case study Open Access


Other title
social justice
global citizenship
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Hillyard, Alexis Kearney
Supervisor and department
Lynette Shultz (Educational Policy Studies)
Examining committee member and department
Ingrid Johnston (Secondary Education)
Ali Abdi (Educational Policy Studies)
Department of Educational Policy Studies

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Education
Degree level
Global citizenship education in Alberta represents multiple, conflicting frameworks. Thus, there is a great need to understand how global citizenship is constructed in real school contexts in order to attend to how global citizenship might work towards socially just aims versus promote colonially-tainted, Eurocentric understandings of the world. This qualitative case study centered on students and teachers from The Relations Program, a global citizenship initiative housed in a large urban high school in Alberta. A social justice theoretical lens was used to highlight the relational and constructed nature of global citizenship and to shed light on furthering socially just global citizenship. The findings suggest discourses present within the global citizenship initiative represent a condition of ‘binariality’ in which Western-centric knowledge is promoted. Also, they suggest students’ and teachers’ agency is impacted by their reified understandings of globalization and global structures. Based on the case study findings, interpreted through the lens of social justice theory, it is suggested that an Outward In model be considered for global citizenship education, which includes an understanding of the local and the global as dialectically intertwined as opposed to separate. An interrogation of worldview, along with the realization of political responsibility, is suggested to enhance socially just global citizenship education.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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