Globalisation and Global Learning Through the opportunities for global learning we offer children, adolescents, pedagogues and disseminators a possibility to gradually grasp the worldwide dimensions in the age of globalisation, to live within them and to co-design them some day in the future.
Education and knowledge are preconditions in order to perceive global changes not only as a risk, but also as an opportunity. The 15th Shell Study on Youth asks, for the first time representatively for Germany, to what extent adolescents between the ages of 15 and 25 years are generally familiar with the debate on globalisation. The basic trend is that three quarters of the adolescents have heard of globalisation before. From their point of view adolescents associate mainly two positive effects with globalisation: mobility (to travel and study abroad) and the experience of cultural diversity. For more than half of the adolescents interviewed globalisation leads to four negative influences: an increase of unemployment, crime, environmental destruction and underdevelopment. Neither climate change and poverty nor hunger and civil wars are grievances we have to live with. There are possibilities to counteract.
We would like to point out that the lifestyles of all inhabitants of the earth have a global impact. We are dealing with these impacts in order to collectively develop measures towards a sustainable and future-oriented way of living.
In today’s society adolescents have by the time they turn 18 seen an average of 200.000 commercials, and this trend is rising. This implies that they are day-to-day confronted with a consumer and throwaway society, which is extensively edited by the media and promises a (supposedly) great lifestyle through consume, especially of branded goods. With an average of 55 € per month, which children and adolescents between the ages of 6 and 19 years have at their free disposal, they represent a considerable purchasing power on the market. Most of this money is spent on sweets.
Under these preconditions a natural awareness of sustainability does not automatically occur.
Not to mention that the knowledge on the working and living conditions of the people producing our consumer goods barely appears in our living environment.
Who is aware nowadays, where the items come from that we use every day. It is not only the children who don’t know the answer to many basic questions anymore, e.g. where the milk comes from – from the supermarket. Many children in big cities picture the cow purple. Adults are likewise surprised, when they find out that their honey comes from Mexico, their carpet was knotted by child slaves, the Mother’s Day flowers were imported from Kenya and their garden furniture is made of tropical wood.
The direct connection between producer and consumer has long been capped. The direct confrontation with the production conditions would spoil any taste for consumption. Due to internet auctions and markets, which are common in most business areas, there is barely a direct connection between producers and distributors, so that a variety of goods magically lands under our Christmas tree at “dreamlike favorable prices” à la “trousers down” and “stinginess is cool”.
Sustainable development can only be achieved, if we look behind the scenes and do not allow ourselves to be dazzled by advertisement and the business lobby, if we re-establish the connections between people in the North and in the South and if a genuine exchange takes place. But since we do not all have the possibility to travel to Africa, Latin America or Asia, the national activities in terms of development policy as well as global learning play an important part for us.
Particularly the introduction of interdisciplinary class subjects where schools deal with socially relevant topics, such as globalisation, peacekeeping, environment or democracy, is very progressive and effectively stimulates a holistic and complex confrontation with the important and essential questions of our time. The standard, however, is quite high and has not yet been implemented extensively. Often the schools are lacking time, materials and further training in order to qualify their teachers for these thematic areas. We would like to offer our support in this.
- materials for global learning with an emphasis on Tanzania/Zanzibar
- advanced training for teachers
- support throughout the development of projects on development policy issues
- mediation, support and advisory services throughout the organisation of South-North school partnerships
- youth exchanges in Tanzania (Zanzibar)
- common German-Tanzanian thematic training for teachers