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Children and Global Citizenship
This AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award studentship is the final part of a programme of three studentships in collaboration with the V&A Museum of Childhood. The title of the whole programme is ‘The Child in the World’ and the title of my PhD is ‘Children and Global Citizenship’. As the museum is my research partner, there is potential for some of the outcomes of this project to be exhibited. The study will also produce an education resource for the museum.
Notions of ‘global citizenship’ are increasingly important in schools. These ideas locate children in the contemporary world in terms of their rights and responsibilities in relation to global issues such as sustainable development, social justice, cultural difference, interdependence, conflict and human rights. However, it is also through the on-going interaction between formal education and the spaces of everyday-life that children learn about the world, understand their place within it, and develop a sense of ethics towards other people in other places. For children in contemporary London ‘global citizenship’ is as much a matter of negotiating the complex processes of living in a multicultural city, as it is of work in the classroom.
Working with two classes from schools east London, the study will use visual methodologies, material culture and participatory research techniques to interrogate the relationship between children’s global citizenship within the formal school curriculum and children’s global citizenship as shaped by other sources (eg. via extra-curricular interactions such as family connections, museum visits, tourism or media).
Working research questions
- What understanding do children in contemporary East London have of the rest of the world? How have they gained this understanding?
- What are the geographies of children’s rights and responsibilities? How have they developed these ideas?
- What role do formal institutions such as global governance mechanisms, museums and school curriculums have in children’s practices of citizenship? Which other sources contribute to children’s practices of citizenship and in what way?
- Carolyn Chinn (Learning Manager)
- Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)