The Longings and Limits of Global Citizenship Education: The Moral Pedagogy of Schooling in a Cosmopolitan Age, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Longings and Limits of Global Citizenship Education

The Moral Pedagogy of Schooling in a Cosmopolitan Age, 1st Edition

By Jeffrey S. Dill


186 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

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As the world seemingly gets smaller and smaller, schools around the globe are focusing their attention on expanding the consciousness and competencies of their students to prepare them for the conditions of globalization. Global citizenship education is rapidly growing in popularity because it captures the longings of so many—to help make a world of prosperity, universal benevolence, and human rights in the midst of globalization’s varied processes of change.

This book offers an empirical account from the perspective of teachers and classrooms, based on a qualitative study of ten secondary schools in the United States and Asia that explicitly focus on making global citizens. Global citizenship in these schools has two main elements, both global competencies (economic skills) and global consciousness (ethical orientations) that proponents hope will bring global prosperity and peace. However, many of the moral assumptions of global citizenship education are more complex and contradict these goals, and are just as likely to have the unintended consequence of reinforcing a more particular Western individualism. While not arguing against global citizenship education per se, the book argues that in its current forms it has significant limits that proponents have not yet acknowledged, which may very well undermine it in the long run.


"Educators around the world consider how to prepare young people for a globalizing world. Jeffrey Dill studies the resolutions in some special schools that have made major efforts on this front. They try to prepare students both for productive lives, and for responsible citizenship, in the world society. This leaves open the moral nature of the global social order within which the students are to be both successful and good citizens. National identities won't do at all, but neither will religious ones. In practice, what evolves in the schools is an expanded individualism of a distinctly Western sort: the student should learn to be tolerant of everything except intolerance. Dill's analysis of the issue will be of great interest to those interested in the educational effects of globalization, and specifically to those interested in the contemporary meaning of civic education."

- John Meyer, Department of Sociology, Stanford University

"The book is refreshingly clear and accessible and makes a very powerful contribution to the field. It is well-considered and argued and is of direct relevance and a must-read for anyone interested in citizenship education. The text has a political resonance that will have an impact. Highly recommended."

- James Arthur, British Journal of Educational Studies

Table of Contents

Introduction Part I: Origins 1. Why Global Citizenship? 2. Educating Citizens: The Long View Part II: Features 3. Global Citizenship as Global Consciousness 4. Global Citizenship as Global Competencies Part III: Problems 5. The Problem of Conformity 6. The Problem of Particularity 7. Liberal Individualism and the Limits of Global Citizenship Education Part IV: Possibilities 8. Alternative Possibilities, Alternative Realities. Conclusion. Appendix A: Data and Method. Appendix B: Education as Formation: Theoretical Framework.

About the Author

Jeffrey S. Dill is Research Assistant Professor of Social Thought in the Templeton Honors College at Eastern University in St. Davids, PA.

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Sociology

This series presents cutting-edge developments and debates within the field of sociology. It provides a broad range of case studies and the latest theoretical perspectives, while covering a variety of topics, theories and issues from around the world. It is not confined to any particular school of thought.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Philosophy & Social Aspects
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Civics & Citizenship
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General