Education for Twenty-first Century Global Capacities: A Comparative Case-study of Two Schools in Singapore and the United States

Project Number
OER 60/12 CSL

Project Duration
April 2013 - September 2016


The purpose of this study is to compare how education that aims to prepare students with critical, perceptual, and affective capacities necessary for them to participate actively and responsibly as members in a global community is imagined and enacted in two selected schools in Singapore and the United States. The study interrogates the ways schools imagine and enact such 'global education' to foster cosmopolitan-mindedness which involves a transnational orientation to the world as a whole and a sense of cosmopolitan affinity as part of being a citizen of the world. The push towards developing twenty-first century skills and competencies is inherently propelled by the need to address the fact of a more porous, interdependent globalised world. The study examines how the term ''global'' is articulated in school policies, how global and national identity conceptions are negotiated and demonstrated in school-wide systemic structures and programmes as well as how global education is enacted in actual instructional content and practices in classrooms. Through a comparative approach, the study aims to provide insights into the ways globalisation has shaped the nature of education in schools from two very different cultures and more specifically, the divergences as well as convergences and interconnections in whole-school approaches to global education in these schools. The study defines global education as education that equips students with the critical, perceptual, and affective capacities to participate actively and responsibly in the global community. Since global education has typically been studied as a singular subject or integrated into existing subjects such as Social Studies or Civics Education, the study compares two schools that have adopted a whole-school approach to global education involving the collective and intentional effort by school leaders and teachers to plan and manage the school curriculum. In particular, the study examines how global education is imagined and articulated by school leaders, school policy, and teacher accounts (the imagined curriculum) and how their collective ideas of global education are realised in practice (the enacted curriculum) via school programmes, instructional content and practices.

Research Themes
Creativity/21st CC

Funding Source

Related Links
ReEd Vol 12 (2013): Nurturing Global-ready Youths

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