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"Global Citizenship"

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One of the major points of the IB, as I understand it, is that it aims to make everybody into something it calls a "global citizen". Although this comes across to the public as one of the more well-intentioned but ultimately scarily brain-washy aspects of the diploma programme, I personally found that it was also the emptiest part, the IB Learner Profile and the concept of global citizenship being, together, the most redundant parts of the programme.

Then again, maybe this is inevitable. After all, nobody really knows what "global citizenship" entails, or even what it is at its core. Is there such a thing? Is it desirable? Does it simply mean that we pay some sort of attention to the rest of the world (like watching the news) or does it mean more than that? More to the point, can it actually be taught or encouraged, or is it just one of those abstract ideals which can't actually be made into a reality? Given its ethereal nature and lack of mention, should it be advertised as the core ideal of the IBDP?

... And other questions, of course! What does Global Citizenship mean to you?

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Haha okay I'm finally answering this! =)

I think I'd rather it stay an abstract ideal/concept. If the government tried to implement and regulate policies, I think they'd botch it up. And it wouldn't even have to be their fault. Like Graeme said on some other thread, where people see the opportunity to take advantage, they do.

However, I think the concept of global citizenship is partially, like you said, awareness. It's also tolerance/acceptance.

We see it in education so often because that's where it starts--with dispelling ignorance. Then when you have that foundation of knowledge, some prejudices evaporate. However, some are deeply ingrained. Ones we don't even realize.

Ex. Give the older person a chance because he deserves it. Why?! Why does he deserve it? Age has made him wiser? Maybe, maybe not.

Once you overcome the culture boundaries, you realize the universality of our problems. Sure, maybe I don't have to mourn for 40 days if my husband dies. But the fundamental issues are present in the different customs we observe.

Why is IBS so useful? Take away the forum and keep the files and the Q&A service, and you'll have destroyed the dynamic. The whole 'we're in this together' thing goes a long way, in my opinion. Being a global citizen deals with having the capability to provide this support.

To answer one of your questions, yes it can be encouraged. Ideally, by parents, teachers, and other authority figures. But this encouragement can take place in one's later years. When you don't put quotas or restrictions or a checklist on it [like speak x amount of languages fluently, name the capitals of these nations, take this test, etc] you allow self-discovery and self-motivation to accept others.

Ooh one last thing... So we see the world with ourselves at the center. It's called egocentrism or something... TOK people, help me out. We think everyone else sees it as we do. However, that's incorrect. While I live in the city of ___ , I am still part of the province of ____ in the United States of America, located on planet Earth in the Milky Way galaxy. By law, I answer to the federal US govt, but my ethics tell me my actions can impact everyone in the world, so I have a responsibility to all of them.

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unfortunately, this post will seem over academic to most and it will bore you a quarter way through. But being a social science students and having slept through my share of cultural theory classes, I fear I have to share what little knowledge I gained from my lecturers monotonous voices.

Citizenship is vague, as most social concepts. What it generally entails is the active involvement in some form of a community, I tend to refer it in terms of political activity, as being a citizen is somewhat related to the idea of a nation and the active involvement in one.

What the IBO intend to promote when stating that they are producers of global citizens, is more or less awareness of the multicultural world that is at present. With various cities around the world, mostly capitals, holding members of various communities, the concept of an active citizenship is somewhat fogged. Different countries have different rules of which citizenship could be acquired. Does simply having a passport label you as being a citizen of the nation you are living in, but not necessarily stem from? or do issues of ethnicity, language, culture, religion, and nationalism also come into mind?

stating that we are global citizens is not by any means in the political sense here, as it would be impossible to appoint a global leader or ideology which could peacefully run through all the nations of the world, for which only IB students are citizens of :)

It's more an illusion of a statement the IB is using in the sense of creating people with a larger sense of the world and those in it.

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Maybe IB's idea of a "global citizen" is not as literal as you think. Their goal is probably to make the student aware of points of view outside that of his or her cultural/national/religious worldview, and therefore promote tolerance of all people across the globe. However, while IB does teach you more about the perspectives of other cultures than my AP classes, that really isn't the focus of IB classes. So we learn a bit more about development in Economics or try to look at WW1 from the Austrians' point of view; it really isn't that big of a deal. IB advertises this because of recruitment purposes or whatever; I don't know.

My definition of a global citizen is simply one who tries to look at events without a strong national bias and goes beyond the "my country is the best" mindset of most people (especially us Americans. Sigh.). For example, eastern countries like Russia and China has a stronger emphasis on social harmony than on individual rights, unlike Western countries. So the "global citizen" takes that into account when judging China on it's latest human rights violation. Even though I am Chinese American, I don't condone some of the steps the Chinese gov't takes when dealing with protests and dissent. But maybe the global citizen thinks twice before assuming that all Chinese people want democracy.

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What the IBO intend to promote when stating that they are producers of global citizens, is more or less awareness of the multicultural world that is at present.

It's more an illusion of a statement the IB is using in the sense of creating people with a larger sense of the world and those in it.

Sandwich asked if IB is actually doing this [or at least I think she asked/pointed out that it's not...]

And perhaps it's because my school does not only teach IB or because I live in the US. But other than forcing me to study another language [which I would have done anyways for college] I don't see how IB is raising awareness. I've only completed IB1, so I'm not coming from a full perspective, but I'm not learning anything that I wouldn't have anyways in terms of other cultures. Take history for example. My teacher chose route 2, history of the Americas. Perhaps we should have been forced to do route one and European schools should be forced to do route 2 or something. Perhaps there should be a component that introduces dos and don'ts of other cultures so that if I ever decide to visit Russia, I don't make a fool out of myself. I don't know--something. Anything!

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In my opinion, it doesn't mean a god damn thing. My school constantly preaches the need for us to be "global citizens". They never properly define it; all they tell us to do, really, is to watch the news and donate more money. Raise awareness. Whatever. How does that make us global? We have no definition to adhere to.

So personally, I think it's just something to put on your profile to make yourself sound good. Being well-informed, especially about stuff that's happening around the world, is always fashionable.

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I'll admit it's a strange concept being called a 'Global Citizen' - but if you consider the actual meaning of the title, it means someone who belongs to the world. Of course you could go into a long TOK discussion of the implications of belonging to the world and if there are any responsibilities placed upon us and blah blah blah ... But I think it means someone who is an active member of our society that is working to improve and develop our world. But you don't need to be an IB graduate to achieve that, do you? From what I've experiences (i've only just finished IB1) the IB program works on making us aware of the global picture and situation, but it's not as if if you didn't go through the IB system you don't 'less belong' to the world.

I guess it's just a different way of calling us the future leaders of tomorrow, which IS true. I think that what they're trying to imply is that we're the EDUCATED and INFORMED leaders of tomorrow, meaning that we're hopefully more likely to make smarter and better decisions.

I suppose it also makes us feel as though we're all going through the program together, which (if I remember correctly from Psychology class) should improve our own behaviour towards one another. If we're all going through something, then we relate to each other on a different level - just like the purpose of this forum, for us all to talk and help each other out, which makes us realise I guess that we need to rely on others sometimes to make it through to the other end!

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Global citizenship?

What's it mean?

When I saw this my first thoughts were focused on how old this idea is? How long has it been "discussed" by our world leaders. After those faded from my mind, I began to grow fond of the idea. How wonderful, perhaps-maybe, it would be for every individual in the world to once again be on semi-equal turf. I saw once again because wasnt the world like that once? Where every individual in the world, on the planet, was free to travel as they pleased, to be able to move about to provide the best possible life for their family and future offspring. And itsn't that the most important thing to strive for? A better life.

Now I'm not saying that this "global citizenship" will necessarily work, it might not, in fact it probably wont. Not trying to be harsh or anything, just being realistic. The fact that this ideal is actually swirling about the world community could be a way to test the waters by the world leaders. To see how different cultures, religions, regions, countries, etc. feel about it. To see whether its a good idea or not.

With the way the world is at present, I'm not sure we are ready for it, to be frank. There is so much hurt, pain, despair and destruction filtering about the complex networks of the world. There is to much war, to much threat of another world war. Need we add more wood to the flames? That is probably what will happen in the end, that this whole scenerio will lead to more problems in the world.

Is that what we need? No.

When I think about it the idea seems like a far away ideal, unreachable but so wanted. I wonder what exact good could come from it, and I almost always come up relatively blank. I cant really fathom it actually happening, no matter how much some singular part of me longs for it.

If it happens Im not sure what exactly it would to do the worlds fragile infrastructure.

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It means awareness, tolerance, respect and appreciation of other nations, cultures etc. It means a desire to cooperate. It means a certain adaptibility and flexibility that is helpful in new situations. It means breadth and depth in knowledge. It means demonstrating every characteristic in the IB learner profile.

How do we achieve it? By nurturing our strengths and talents and acknowledging and defeating our weaknesses. By being active and involved and contributing to our communities. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

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I think global citizenship has to do with simply knowing more about the world around us rather than being in our own little bubble. I mean, if you think about "citizenship" it usually means you're associated with a certain country, such as Canadian citizenship means you are associated with Canada. Global citizenship means you are associated with the world, and that you have more knowledge of the world. I dont think it necessarily means being more accepting, as citizenship doesn't imply that you accept everything about the country you are associated with, but it does imply that you have the right to be associated with that country.

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I think it relates a lot with the group 2 subject. we have to learn a second language other than our native language so that makes us "global". and if you notice the one of the Language B assessment criteria is cultural aspect or something.. and then in A1 we have to learn World Literature. there is also some cultural aspect in the marking criteria.

and in CAS there is this learning outcome about some global stuff which I can't remember (hehe)

so I think it makes sense to have this Global Citizenship thing in the IB learner profile. it's about being global (from local, national to international).

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Haha, I'm bumping this back up :P

Like some of the previous posters, I think being a global citizen means that you're aware of your surroundings of all scales, and by this I mean locally, provincially, nationally, and internationally. I also agree with some of the people there when they say being a global citizen is to respect the traditions and principles of other nations, and I think it also has to do with seeing ideas and thoughts from not just your own perspective and your own country's perspective, but also the viewpoints of others as well.

It helps make you a less biased person. :)

Given the time span between the original post and mine, I guess IB has developed a bit. But it still encourages us to expand our borders; IB sets the grounds for the candidate to develop to be global citizens. Through social science courses such as history, philosophy and economics we are able to understand how not only our own country works, thinks, and has worked, we are offered the views of other nations as well. WL and translation texts give us a broader view of -as the name is- World Literature, and we are given a sense of the writing styles of different cultures and countries. ToK, methinks also broadens our mind to this approach, which teaches us to question knowledge, and hopefully, look at ideas in more than one light (our own), which sort of gives lead to global citizenship. Even CAS now, with ManageBac and all that other fun stuff requires the candidates to do some activity involving considering activities global importance and ethical implications, which is a mandatory learning outcome that So I don't think being a global citizen isn't explicitly being taught, but the with material and course work that we experience though IB, global citizenship is growing on to us rather implicitly.

argh. Hope that made sense.

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