The role of education in a global age will be changed and need to be increasingly transformative, which can enhance international cooperation and facilitate social transformation (Kim, 2015; UNESCO, 2013a). The impact of globalization on education becomes more comprehensive (Pak, 2013). The interconnectedness and interdependence of people and places is enormously increased (Goh, 2012; Kim et al., 2014; Symeonidis, 2015; UNESCO, 2013a) and due to the interlinkage, global challenges require global solutions attained through new frameworks for education such as global citizenship education (Pak, 2013; UNESCO, 2013a).
Teachers’ role in education will need to be increasingly transformative, and reach further past the role of knowledge transmission. OECD (2005) overviewed changes in the role of schools and teachers which will affect student learning and bolster school responsibility. At the International Summit on the Teaching Profession, Schleicher proposed that “teachers’ tasks need to be expanded to include providing students with both cognitive and non-cognitive skills. These skills include ways of thinking and working, tools for working and skills related to citizenship and personal and social responsibility for succeeding in today’s societies.” (Schleicher, 2012).
Global citizenship education aims at education that will cross boundaries and accept the world as one community; cooperating, interacting, and segregation free. Currently, education in individual countries instills nationalistic loyalty, and lacks a comprehensive global citizenship education that can propose new values and unity among nations. Global citizenship education, however, has been gaining momentum (Kim et al., 2013), as the international community will seek individuals with global capacity and creativity, capable of changing the world (Altbach et al, 2010).
However, change can be difficult and uncomfortable, and the teachers’ willingness to adopt proposed changes is unclear. Yet, as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated on 26 September 2012 at the launch of the Secretary General’s Global Education First Initiative, “We must foster global citizenship. Education is about more than literacy and numeracy. It is also about citizenry. Education must fully assume its essential role in helping people to forge more just, peaceful and tolerant societies.”
The purpose of the study is to analyze the differences of teachers’ perception on global citizenship education in ASEAN countries. How the teachers understand and interpret global citizenship education will further improve learning outcomes for students which are the main goal of school education.
Interpreting with regional perspectives in the Asia-Pacific region is helpful to implement global citizenship education in the Asia-Pacific region, and due to its widely spread area and diverse cultural, ethnic, and religious differences, direct comparisons are not easy (Pak, 2013). However, within ASEAN, research and studies on ASEAN are limited; in particular, those focusing on ASEAN teachers were not readily available. A study titled “An International Comparative Study on Global Citizenship Education between ASEAN Members and Korea” compared the curriculum of 10 ASEAN countries and evaluated the student survey results to set a basis for better educational cooperation between Korea and ASEAN countries. However, the research has limitations of curriculum analysis that cannot provide details of pedagogical methods or status quo of classroom settings (Kim et al., 2013). The other research papers on ASEAN teachers and global citizenship education were found from the 32nd ASEAN Council of Teachers Convention handbook. However, the country reports within those documents have not been analyzed by any researchers yet, therefore this paper will try to review those documents.
Due to the globalization of the world, problems are all interconnected as well. It is inevitable to separate citizenship from chauvinistic nationalism in the context of global citizenship and global citizenship education (Nussbaum, 2002). Yet, more studies on global citizenship education are done from the perspective of Western values (Huh, 2004; Jeong, 2015; Kang, 2014; Kim, 2015; Kim et al., 2013; Lee et al., 2015; Seo, 2016), and it is meaningful to research by region-specific perspectives of ASEAN countries, despite its diverse cultural and ethnic differences (Pak, 2013).
This study will seek answers to the following research questions in order to find perceptions of teachers on global citizenship education in ASEAN countries focusing on the cases from Cambodia, Singapore, and Thailand:
What is the meaning of global citizenship in national curriculum in ASEAN countries especially in Cambodia, Singapore, and Thailand?
How do teachers perceive global citizenship education and the challenges to promote global citizenship educaiton in Cambodia, Singapore, and Thailand?
To obtain deeper understanding and information on teachers’ perceptions of global citizenship education, this study was designed to find the answers to the above-mentioned research questions.
II. LITERATURE REVIEW
Global citizenship education is overviewed with respect to definition and interpretation. A review of global citizenship education formed as a global agenda will explain how goals can be set for teachers to adapt to change, fostering and equipping students as global citizens.
The definition of ‘global citizenship’ is broad and ambiguous (Kim, 2015; Kim et al., 2014; UNESCO, 2013b) and educating students on such a concept is also challenging (Davies, 2006; Tawil, 2013). It is confusing if it is ‘global citizenship education‘ or ‘education for global citizenship’ (Tawil, 2013) and still the concept of global citizenship is a contested notion (UNESCO, 2013a). Even though the terminology has ambiguity in itself, it has value to critically and carefully analyze since it highly affects school practices through produced publications (Symeonidis, 2015). Traditionally ‘citizenship’ refers to individual entities with rights and responsibilities that belong to a nation state (Davies, 2006), but it does not mean the mere member of the state, and the citizen means the entity which is the subject of the society, and constitutes a community to run a worthwhile life and is responsible for his/her decision (Han et al., 2013).
Global citizenship is multidimensional with social responsibility, global competence and global civic engagement. These indicators measure and analyze global citizenship. Morais & Ogden (2011) suggest that each indicator follows the items explained below and those presented in Figure 1 (Morais & Ogden, 2011).
As Bourn and Edge (2009; cited in Symeonidis, 2015) have stated, to teach global and development issues, research is necessary to set the foundation of common grounds, so it is expected that a systematic knowledge framework will be constructed through analysis of discourses on global citizenship education. The definition and notion of global citizenship can be restated based on operational definitions of researchers (Ko, 2015) because of its contested meaning. Therefore, the researcher of this study will take the 8 different categories of Johnson (2010) to analyze ASEAN countries’ global citizenship education. The suggested different dimensions of global citizenship education - political, moral, economic, cultural-aesthetic, critical, positional, environmental, and spiritual - could help to analyze and examine different policies and also could give implications for further teaching of teachers (Symeonidis, 2015).
There have been many studies and considerable research on global citizenship education. More recently in the United Nations, global citizenship education has attracted enterprising attention since the UN Secretary General launched the Global Education First Initiative in 2012 to achieve one of the goals fostering global citizens after the launch of the UN Academic Impact in November 2010. UN Academic Impact adopted global citizenship education as one of their 10 principles to achieve. And after the establishment of divisions in the UN and organizations affiliated with the UN, many followed international conferences and meetings were planned, held, and finally the UN declared global citizenship education under the goal 4 of the UN’s declarations of Sustainable Development goals (Kim, 2015). And after the attention global citizenship education got, ASEAN teachers realized the importance of acceptance of new educational framework to their public education and organized international conference among ASEAN teachers with close cooperation from the Korean teachers’ association (KFTA & MOE of Korea, 2016). However, research on the recognition of global citizenship education in ASEAN countries was hard to find, and research on Asian cases was not easy to find either.
Literature on education often expresses, “the state is the custodian of education” (Jeong, 2015), which means education policy should be managed under the control of the nation state. However, the role of teachers is more important than the control of the nation state since teachers are the main players in the classrooms. In England, 94% of teachers felt that teachers and schools should be ready to teach students to prepare for a fast-changing and globalized world (Ipsos MORI, 2009). But teachers have expressed the inconvenience of the rapidly changing teachers’ role in education (OECD, 2005). If this trend continues, teachers will be embarrassed in the meantime (Jeong, 2015) unless they accept the change and transform to adapt to the rapidly changing society and education.
Global citizenship education should break the boundaries of traditional ways of teaching as “a one-sided transmission of knowledge from teacher to student” and move to new ways of teaching that allows students to find their own learning methods through activities on global citizenship and learn from the positive experiences which can be defined as “transnational and transformational knowledge” (Koshmanova, 2009).
A teacher who teaches global citizenship education must first become a global citizen (Jeong, 2015), and active citizens of global civil society (Koshmanova, 2009). Moreover, being global citizens should be interpreted as a positive challenge to enrich and expand cultural, regional, and national identities (UNESCO, 2015). A teacher as a global citizen should pursue the transformative pedagogy that requires respect for the right to teach and learn for the growth and development of all human beings. Therefore, teachers need to have enough knowledge on transformative pedagogy beyond nationalities, religions, territories, cyber spaces, and modernism (Jeong, 2015).
Why do we need transformative pedagogy in this era? The answer is simple. Learners need transformative pedagogy to create relevant sustainable and peaceful plans for all mankind in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world with conflicts, poverty, climate change, energy security, unequal population distribution, and all forms of inequality and injustice that a country cannot solve by itself, but need collective and transnational remedies (UNESCO, 2015).
As Paulo Freire (n.d.; cited in Park et al., 2016) points out, teachers have a duty to lead in social transformation, and is encouraged to participate in social movements to achieve social justice, rather than teaching and staying in the classroom. Teachers should also aim for the development and growth of all human beings based on universal human rights (Park et al., 2016). Teachers’ professionalism may also be determined by their values, attitudes, and aspirations that teachers should embody, rather than just curriculum contents, methodical knowledge, and teaching skills. As McBer (2000) and Kim et al. (2014) suggest, being professional is identified as ‘behavior pattern deeply inward’, because professionalism currently is so heavily based on extrinsic performance and behavior, their treatment to others, images, and values which are dominantly determined by their occupational attitude and beliefs. Based on literature, professionalism may be underlined as the ability and role that teachers need.
Teachers are not ready to teach global citizenship education to students yet. The survey that Davies et al. (1999; cited in Davies, 2006) conducted found that teachers ranked their global concerns high but did not include them in the curriculum. Teachers were not confident to teach students more complex and specific issues of global concerns, while they were happy to discuss general global issues (Ipsos, 2009; Robbins et al., 2003).
Exploratory research was conducted targeting pre-service teachers and the negative results on their interests of international issues, and it was found that the level of understanding on global citizenship was even lower (Kim et al., 2010). Another experiment in Canada showed similar results that teachers were not positive on a global perspective within their subject-based discipline (McLean & Cook, 2016). And in Korea, literature illustrates that much effort and support were given to train teachers to practice Education for International Understanding (EIU); nevertheless, a lack of qualified teachers and lack of understanding block active practices of EIU (Kim, 2015). Moreover, few educational programs for multicultural education have launched.
However, teachers are often overburdened with responsibilities and are left alone to deal with the challenges of teaching new and difficult topics, such as global citizenship education. During the Forum, it was acknowledged that often there is a gap between teacher policies and practices (UNESCO, 2015).
Minding the gap between teacher policies and the real practice in classrooms on global citizenship education, teachers’ professional development can be a solution. To enable teachers to deliver global citizenship education, teacher training can enhance their capacity (UNESCO, 2013a). Ko (2015) also suggested teacher training as the method to resolve differences between the ideal and reality. A teacher interviewed for the article of APCEIU on the effectiveness of training program he experienced described his experience: “learning from lectures and workshops for three days, Mr. Choi could experience that his thoughts and paradigms towards education have changed.”
III. RESEARCH DESIGN
This study has focused on the perception on global citizenship education of ASEAN teachers. This research is designed as an explanatory study from the case of ASEAN teachers to find answers of the nature of certain status (Rajasekar et al., 2006). Also, research methods are ways to help find answers and solutions to the research questions, so it is crucial to learn the methods researchers use (Rajasekar et al., 2006). Therefore, this chapter will explain the research methods used for this study.
The main methods for data collection were document analysis, interviews, and case studies. The results from the document analysis and interviews are presented in the following pages as a form of case study.
Data for the research has been collected through document analysis and interviews. Document analysis is a way of reviewing documents that have been internally or externally collected to answer the research questions of the study (Evaluation Research Team, 2009). Advantages of analyzing documents are that they are “relatively inexpensive, good source of background information, unobtrusive, provides a behind- the-scenes look at a program that may not be directly observable, and bring up issues not noted by other means” (Evaluation Research Team, 2009).
For analyzing data, interviewing is a commonly and widely used method (Manser & Mitchell, 2012) in qualitative research (Hofisi et al., 2014). Strauss & Corbin (1990; cited in Manser & Mitchell, 2012), argued that, “Theory derived from data is more likely to resemble the ‘reality’ than is theory derived by putting together a series of concepts based on experience or solely through speculation. Grounded theories, because they are drawn from data, are likely to offer insight, enhance understanding, and provide a meaningful guide to action”.
As this study adopted a exploratory method to investigate teacher’s perception on the global citizenship education, there is no single formatted way to collect and analyze interview data, therefore the interviewer tries to ensure validity and reliability of the interview questions and its analysis (Hofisi et al., 2014). To test the validity of the interview protocols, questions to teachers were borrowed from Symeonidis (2015) and consulted from the education experts of a couple of ASEAN teachers’ associations before interviewing teachers from Cambodia, Singapore, and Thailand..
Depending on the situation and depth of knowledge, different styles of interviews would be conducted (Manser & Mitchell, 2012). However, due to restrictions of distance and time-constraints, the researcher was only able to conduct telephone and paper interviews with teachers in Cambodia, Singapore, and Thailand with the full understanding of its limitations. It is obvious that telephone and paper interviews both have strengths and weaknesses. An interviewer can save budget and time by not traveling long distances to meet interviewees yet, there are risks that can cause unanticipated issues due to anonymity when not doing face-to-face interview (Hofisi et al., 2014).
For this research, document analysis was conducted primarily through review of literature and discourse. To approach the key questions of this research, ASEAN teachers’ reports and related papers were collected, organized, and analyzed.
This research mainly reviewed documents from on-line electronic document repositories such as academic journals, information on websites and government documents, and some unpublished documents from government or international organizations were also reviewed. However, it was not easy to find first-hand data from the internet, though it was possible to have papers and power-point sources from ASEAN teachers including their country report papers on global citizenship education during the recently concluded 32nd ACT in Korea 2016.
In this study, Cambodia, Thailand. and Singapore were chosen as representing countries based on the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) from the World Economic Forum (Klaus & Xavier, 2016), to review the perception of teachers on global citizenship education by its different economic development status such as Advacned, Middle-income, and Low-income countries.
In addition, Pak (2013) categorized ASEAN countries by their characteristics. Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam, Thailand, and Myanmar are categorized for having religious education as a required subject. Philippines and Singapore are grouped for civics and citizenship education (Pak, 2013) and the rest of the Indo-China peninsula, Cambodia, and Vietnam can be categorized into a group that has similarities.
National curriculum on global citizenship education in ASEAN countries especially in Cambodia, Singapore, and Thailand, has been examined through document analysis, review of governmental papers and curriculum, and interviews with teachers of each country.
Self-reported text by ASEAN teachers describing their thoughts on global citizenship education and governmental policy is analyzed. Report papers and power point presentation materials from ASEAN countries (KFTA & MOE of Korea, 2016) are also reviewed. From the document printed for the international conference, ASEAN teachers explained comprehensively their ideas and concepts on global citizenship education, government policy, educational goal and way to adapt global citizenship education, and most documents showed there is considerable interest in global citizenship education.
The methods that governments take to train teachers so that each ASEAN countries can carry out governmental policy, curriculum, or educational practices on global citizenship education, which can give relevant information of teachers’ actual practice, will be illustrated with regard to each ASEAN country. After that, teachers’ perceptions on global citizenship education will be sorted and organized by the suggested categories of global citizenship education of Johnson (2010) as it is given in Table 1, and diverse dimensions of Morais & Ogden (2011) in Figure 1.
Source: Johnson, 2010.
Cambodia is considered as a least developed country among ASEAN countries but it is relatively a young country that 32% of the population is aged between 0-14 years and 90% are speaking in Khmer and 90% of the population are Buddhist (ASEAN Secretariat, 2014). Cambodian education is administered under the motto “Nation, Religion, King” (Yahan, 2003). And the national curriculum generally aims to “develop knowledge, skills, values, personality, work experience, life experience, and useful habits of learners so that they can take active part in national development in the spirit of national unity and liberal pluralistic democracy” (Yahan, 2003).
Governmental budget and its allocation on education can indicate governmental commitment to education, and except for Myanmar, Cambodia allocated the lowest public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP in the selected years 2007 to 2010 among ASEAN countries (UNESCO, 2013b). And when it comes to the share of education expenditures by Sub-Sector, only Cambodia allocates more than 70% of its share to pre-primary and primary education and a minimal share less than 5% is for tertiary education (UNESCO, 2013b), which indicates that Cambodia puts highest priority on basic education.
Through the Education Law of 2007, Cambodia provides a fundamental legal framework for education and determines the national criteria for establishing a comprehensive and consistent educational system (MoEYS, 2007). The National Supreme Council of Education proposes policies and develops long-term strategies, and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) develops relevant regulations and operates systems (ASEAN Secretariat, 2014). A five-year Education Strategic Plan, states that “all Cambodian children and youth have equal opportunities for access to basic education, both formal and informal, without discrimination on grounds of race, skin color, gender, languages, religion, political affiliations of parents, place of birth, or social status.” (MoEYS, 2010).
Cambodia went through educational changes after the collapse of the Khmer Rouge regime and the national school curriculum also has changed “in response to demographic, social, political, and economic situations” (Vicheanon, 2016b). In this section, the global citizenship element of the Cambodian education system will be explored by examining general aims, public school subjects, and key players, as outlined in the national curriculum framework.
The Cambodia government has carried out policies to decentralize its power to local governments (ASEAN Secretariat, 2014) and that surely worked as barriers to implementing global citizenship education into public school curriculum. Regulations have emerged to emphasize the responsibilities of local governments in the education sector, and management through traditional centralized governance became difficult (ASEAN Secretariat, 2014). Moreover, as Yahan (2003) explained, “the National Curriculum was implemented in schools while local and international NGOs promoted human rights, democracy awareness, and community improvement.” The Non-Governmental Organizations Education Partnership (NEP) and Non-Governmental Organizations took a major role as global citizenship education stakeholders in Cambodia (Vicheanon, 2016b), and have assisted in various perspectives of Cambodian global citizenship education. However, as it comes to the actual practice, a lack of strategic planning in curriculum design, management, and implementation was observed (Vicheanon, 2016b).
Global citizenship education elements were found from the review of the national curriculum plan of Cambodia; it generally aims to “have an understanding and appreciation of other people and other cultures, civilizations and histories that leads to the building of a public spirit characterized by equality and respect for others’ rights; be active citizens and be aware of social changes, understanding Cambodia’s system of government and the rule of law, and demonstrating a spirit of national pride and love of their nation, religion and king; and have an appreciation of and be able to protect and preserve their natural, social and cultural environment” (MoEYS, 2004). Yahan (2003) also identified that the National Curriculum tries to “develop learners’ knowledge, skills, values, personality, work and life experience, and ability to take part in national development in the spirit of national unity and liberal pluralistic democracy.”
In Social Studies, global citizenship education elements also were found. Key topics such as Living in Community, Good Behaviour, Relationships with Others and Human Rights are related to global citizenship education at all grade levels (MoEYS, 2004; 2010; Vicheanon, 2016a). From the social studies and moral/civics curriculum, the human rights sector attracts the most notice of global citizenship education. Beginning with grade 4, emphasizing religious education, human rights includes children’s rights, gender and human rights, and international human rights law (MoEYS 2010; Vicheanon, 2016a). Moreover, Cambodian population predominantly believe in Buddhism, human rights education often regarded as important as formal religious courses and it is usually interpreted into Khmer and moral and civic subjects with the basic understanding of religious backgrounds (ASEAN Secretariat, 2014; Yahan, 2003). This trend can be identified because Cambodian global citizenship education is deeply rooted in moral cosmopolitan global citizenship and spiritual global citizenship education from the category of Johnson (2010).
Besides the above mentioned values, Cambodia’s education curriculum also aims to encourage civic values (MoEYS, 2004) and a high emphasis on the Khmer language to keep their indigenous national characteristic (MoEYS, 2010). The Cambodian government also puts high values on health education, physical education/sports, and arts education, and arts or physical education courses can facilitate global citizenship education (MoEYS, 2010) which can be interpreted as the Cambodian government’s efforts for holistic education. The theme of global citizenship education has close linkage to many other subjects (Vicheanon, 2016a). For example, language learning, especially foreign languages, can introduce students to the diversity and shared values and literature, open chances for students to learn about different cultures, and give a variety of experiences which allow students to acquire concepts, attitudes, and behaviors of global citizenship education within the Cambodian education system (Vicheanon, 2016a).
Overall, various aspects and trials of global citizenship education of the Cambodian school curricula were found, but Cambodia still has issues to disseminate those curricula to the teachers in all areas, and the government still struggles to train teachers properly on global citizenship education (Vicheanon, 2016a).
As for the Cambodian case study, data have been collected through interviews with four current teachers, with their teaching experiences ranging from 5 years to more than 10 years. Interviews were processed through the international phone call or e-mail to understand teachers’ perceptions on global citizenship education. Teachers contacted for the research varied from primary teachers to university professors.
Teachers were asked to define ‘global citizen’ and their initial thoughts when they hear the term ‘global citizen’. Most interviewee teachers answered that global citizens are those who have open minds for different cultures and understand other cultures with the awareness of diversity. Those who have lived outside of their origin country or often traveled abroad have been exposed to different cultures and environments. However, most teachers had no experience to teach about ‘global citizen’ or on ‘global citizenship education’ in their classroom and do not have any plan to teach it in the near future. But they responded that some of their contents are related and those subjects can be integrated for global citizenship education within the broader sense.
Also, teachers understood global citizenship education of the value such as ‘empathy, respect, appreciation, gratitude, understanding, and responsibility’ which emphasizes moral values and it was not surprising that Cambodia is one of the religious countries with a high emphasis on Buddhism and human rights as has already been described in the review of curriculum. And one teacher noted that, “It is important to teach students to be ready with international mindedness, cultural awareness, global contexts, technology, English language competency, and community service.” It is in the same context of social studies and civic education in Cambodia.
One teacher understood global citizen in the sense of eco-centric values with the view of environmental global citizenship. Now we live in an interconnected and interrelated globe and environments are all connected so the teacher thinks curriculum on sustainable development needs to get highlighted more.
Most teachers were not able to answer how to guide or teach their students on global issues but one teacher answered that she tries to teach global issues in her classroom;
Teachers answered that they participate in social activities organized by their school, community or neighborhood and they answered confidently, “absolutely, hundred percent I do, and I did join, etc.” As Jeong (2015) argued in his article, teachers need to be good global citizens first, to pursue transformative pedagogy. Teachers must be active agents of the society and even for global citizenship education. Moreover, teachers all encouraged their students to join actively and voluntarily in such activities and the answers also were very confident.
However, teachers are facing many challenges ahead to teach global issues and global citizenship education due to the lack of relevant teaching materials or sources. Teachers barely found useful materials for their teaching from the on-line sources, newspaper, TV news or other teachers. Not any disseminated pedagogical instruction or curriculum was given to teachers regarding global citizenship education based on the interviews with teachers. Yet this can be biased due to the limited number of interviewee teachers, and the research therefore has limitations in its generalizability.
A university professor mentioned that students are struggling for their financial problems so they cannot focus on their learning at school. Also, from primary to secondary level, students and teachers struggle with the high demand of their regular curriculum.
Teachers think students and curricula are not yet ready for global citizenship education in Cambodia, but family at home and teachers at schools can encourage and ready students to be active, socially-engaged global citizens.
This section has been added to give better understanding how Cambodia Education Curriculum is related to the Global Citizenship Education and who the stakeholders are in regards to the Global Citizenship Education in Cambodia and more in-depth analysis of Global Citizenship Education concepts in social studies of Cambodia basic education curriculum through an academic collaboration with Mr. Khieu Vicheanon, the national researcher from the Ministry.
Stakeholders, especially non-governmental organizations in education, are clearly defined in the Non-governmental Organizations Education Partnership (NEP) and they are undertaking their assignments in promoting education). The non-governmental organizations and others for the delivery of learning outcomes defined in the national curriculum framework and detailed curriculum guides and relevance of curriculum. The relevant departments of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport comes from the reason that this ministry started a strategic reform of teacher training system and curriculum management.
Curriculum Development Department (CDD), The international changes and regional and international inter-connectedness greatly influence the needs for quality education and this requires relevant curriculum and quality teachers. By the Sub-decree on the establishment and functioning of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, the Department of Curriculum Development is mandated to develop 1) the national policy on curriculum development, 2) the national curriculum framework 3) detailed curriculum guides and 4) instructional materials including textbooks and teachers’ manuals (2018).
Department of Teacher Training (TTD), The Department of Teacher Training is mandated to supply quality teachers to all public schools from kindergarten to upper secondary levels (Royal Government of Cambodia, 2009). In administratively and politically responding to this mandate, the Department is put in charge of annually recruiting 5,000 intakes into 1 Phnom Penh Pre-school teacher training center, 18 provincial and 6 regional teacher training centers and the National Institute of Education (Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, 2016) and managing the curriculum for teacher training of all teacher training centers.
National Institute of Education (NIE), The National Institute of Education (NIE) is classified as a higher education institution and mandated to provide one year training programs to bachelor graduates to be specialized subject teachers for upper secondary schools in Cambodia and short-term training programs for leaders of educational entities and educational evaluators or educational inspectors. Given the new curriculum framework 2015 is to be translated into detailed curriculum guides by the end of 2016 and into instructional materials to be implemented at schools in 2018, the new intakes of the NIE must be well prepared to meet the new competencies, learning outcomes and topics of learning in the new instructional materials. Thus, the curriculum for teacher training program at NIE needs to be revisited in response to the newly defined competencies and learning outcomes in the new curriculum framework 2015 and the detailed curriculum guides to be finalized by the end of 2016.
NGO Education Partnership (NEP), NEP is a membership organization that promotes active collaboration between NGOs working in education and advocates on behalf of its member organizations in policy meetings and discussions with all levels of entities of the Ministry of Education Youth and Sports (MoEYS) in Cambodia. NEP is envisioned to contribute to achieving equal and timely access to high quality education for all Cambodians and missioned to coordinate dialogues and cooperation among key stakeholders to improve the quality of and access to education in Cambodia.
Education Sector Working Group (ESWG), ESWG is one of the most effective platforms to be in partnership among representatives of development partners and policy makers and planners of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. ESWG has membership of representatives from non-governmental organizations and donors and Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. The platform is to better coordinate their activities to ensure aid effectiveness in education and influence policy dialogues and changes.
School curriculum for primary, lower and upper secondary schools which are being used throughout the country are found integrated population issues, human rights, gender and reproductive health issues, especially HIV/AIDS over the periods between 1996 and 2009.
Primary school curriculum guides or syllabus for social studies for primary schools defined learning outcomes related to global citizenship education and have direct links with the learning objectives of the Global Citizenship Education framework as follow: Demonstrate the values and diversity of skills and abilities of individuals, Demonstrate some samples of life goals and approaches to addressing life obstacles, Describe some responses to the call for use of drugs and gambling, Explain and demonstrate the approaches to safety during the use of public roads, Describe child rights and obligations and different types of child abuses.
Secondary school curriculum explains the Global Citizenship Education concepts as follows: Explain the stereotypes of gender and its implications, Identify and explain creative solutions to violent conflicts, Describe political and social situation and safety, Explain the rule of law and good governance, Describe Khmer family structures and the changes of family structures, Categorize types of household work and discuss the its benefits, Explain the diversity of responsibilities as a family member, Appreciate and demonstrate positive thinking and attitudes, Describe the implications of population growth, Describe the livelihood of farmers during the 19 century and its changes, Describe the situation of WWI and its implications, Explain the situation of migrants and immigrants, Identify and describe environmental issues, Demonstrate creative thinking, decision making and problem solving, Demonstrate the state of patience and tolerance, Develop and apply the values of living together.
In 2015, Natoinal Curriculum Framework adopted and rephrased the Global Citizenship Education concepts were found in all level. By the end of pre-primary level, learners are expected to gain knowledge, skills, attitudes and values corresponding to Global Citizenship Education learning objectives framework: Give reasons for their own actions, Use appropriate words and gestures with friends, family, and others, Recognize wrongness and rightness, Know how to share and collaborate, Value a clean environment, Value self, family, friends, teachers and others.
In regards to the primary school curriculum, the Global Citizenship Education related concepts are described as following: Apply basic skills in critical thinking and problem solving in the learning process and society, Apply skills in prevention and primary health care, Differentiate wrongness and rightness, Know and value generosity and compassion for family, friends, and others, Know, value, preserve, and protect national, regional, and international cultures, traditions and arts, Value the environment, science, and technology, Appreciate clean bodies, schools, homes, and public places, Construct habits and practices of healthy life styles through work and sport, Be responsible for their actions in study and daily life.
Lower secondary school curriculum also has Global Citizenship Education concepts as following: Apply basic skills in critical thinking and problem solving in the learning process and society, Apply skills in prevention and primary health care, Differentiate wrongness and rightness, Know and value generosity and compassion for family, friends, and others, Know, value, preserve, and protect national, regional, and international cultures, traditions and arts, Appreciate clean bodies, schools, homes, and public places, Value the environment, science, and technology, Construct habits and practices of healthy life styles through work and sport, Be responsible for their actions in study and daily life.
Lastly, the Global Citizenship Education cocepts in upper secondary school are found as following: Apply basic skills in critical thinking and problem-solving in their study and society, Acquire solid and broad skills of communication in study and society, Construct and apply skills in health prevention and primary health care, Develop and make use of knowledge, skills and ethics to protect and enhance good deeds, Preserve and develop national, regional, and international cultures, Value the environment, science, and technology traditions, and arts, Appreciate clean bodies, schools, homes, and public places, Construct habits and practices of healthy life styles through work and sport, Be responsible for their own actions and groups in study and daily life.
Basic education in Cambodia consists of nine years, which are divided into three cycles of three years each (grades 1-3, 4-6, and 7-9). Basic education is followed by an optional upper secondary school level of three years with differing options for the final two-year phase. Pre-primary school education is available for children aged 3 to 5 and is not compulsory (ASEAN Secretariat 2014). Below the main subjects for each cycle, including the allotted hours per week in particular the hours allocated for Social Studies.
Basic education curriculum is divided into three cycles of three years each. The first cycle (grades 1-3) consists of 27-30 lessons per week lasting 40 minutes, which are allocated to the five main subjects: Khmer (13 lessons), Maths (7 lessons), Science & Social Studies including Arts (3 lessons), Physical and Health Education (2 lessons) and local life skills programme (2-5 lessons). The second cycle (grades 4-6) comprises of the same number of lessons but is slightly different: Khmer (10 for grade 4 and 8 for grades 5-6), Maths (6 for grades 4-6), Science (3 for grade 4 and 4 for grades 5-6), Social Studies including arts (4 for grade 4 and 5 for grades 5-6), Physical and Health Education (2 for grades 4-6), Local life skills programme (2-5 for grades 4-6). The third cycle (grade 7-9) consists of 32-35 lessons which are allocated to 7 major subjects:Khmer, Maths, Social Studies and Science (6 lessons respectively), Foreign languages (4 lessons), Physical & Health Education and Sports (2 lessons), Local life skills programme (2-5 lessons).
Upper Secondary Education curriculum consists of two different phases. The curriculum for the first phase (grade 10) is identical to the third cycle of primary education. The second phase (grades 11-12) has two main components: Compulsory and Electives. Compulsory involves four major subjects with different numbers of lessons allocated per week: Khmer literature (6 lessons), Physical & Health Education and Sports (2 lessons), Foreign language: English or French (must choose one, 4 lessons each), and Mathematics: Basic or Advance (must choose one, 4 or 8 lesson respectively). Electives include three major subjects covering four or five sub-subjects with four lessons allocated per week for each one (students may choose one or two or three of them): Science: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Earth and Environmental Studies, Social Studies: Moral/Civics, History, Geography, Economics, EVEP: ICT/Technology, Accounting Business Management, Local Vocational Technical Subject, Tourism and Arts Education and other subjects.
The Cambodian Social Studies curriculum includes a subject called Social Studies for grades 1-9 (the years of Basic Education) which has the following number of lessons allocated per week for each grade: Grades 1-3: 3 lessons per week (including not only Social Studies, but also Science and Art education), Grade 4: 4 lessons per week (including Art education), Grades 5-6: 5 lessons per week (including Art education), Grades 7-9: 6 lessons per week, Grade 10: 6 lessons per week (Morals), Grades 11-12: 4 lessons per week (elective courses in Morals/Civics, History, Geography, Economics).
Within the Cambodian Social Studies curriculum in grades 1-9 and the Moral/Civics courses offered in grades 10-12 numerous themes that link with the GCED IBE-UNESCO indicators, both directly and indirectly. For Social Studies grades 1-9, key topics such as Living in Community, Good Behaviour, Relationships with Others, each contained sub-themes related to values and behaviours and, at many grade levels, human rights. Themes related to good behaviour are explicitly mentioned in the Social Studies curriculum beginning with grade 3 and continue throughout the primary school level.
The Singaporean educational system is administered by the Ministry of Education (MOE); Singapore’s MOE operates most national schools (Singapore Ministry of Education, 2010). The Singapore education system aims to “provide students with a holistic and broad-based education. Given the multi-cultural and multi-racial characteristics of Singapore, the bilingual policy is a key feature of the Singapore education system. Under the bilingual policy, every student learns English which is the common working language. Students also learn their mother tongue language (Chinese, Malay or Tamil), to help them retain their ethnic identity, culture, heritage and values” (Hodge, 2007). Singapore’s national curriculum basically consists of literacy, numeracy, bilingualism, the sciences, humanities, aesthetics, physical education, civics and moral education, and national education (Singapore Ministry of Education, 2016).
In 2003 Singapore adopted compulsory education and enacted the Compulsory Education Act from the age of 6 to 15 years (Singapore Ministry of Education, 2016). The education system of Singapore is composed of 10 years of basic education, which comprises 6 years of compulsory primary education and 4 years of secondary education. After secondary school, students will choose among different options of post-secondary institutions: 2 year of Junior College or 3 years of polytechnics or 2 years of Institute of Technical Education. Beyond higher education, students will decide to go to 3 to 4 years of university by their “eligibility and choice” (Hodge, 2007).
The Singaporean education system can be categorized into three different focused periods: those are “survival-driven from 1959 to 1978”, “efficiency-driven from 1978 to 1997”, and “ability-driven from 1997 till present” (Singapore Ministry of Educaiton, 2016). Survival-driven education was to build a national education system after the colonial era, and finally achieved virtual universal primary education. The goal of efficiency-driven education was to raise quality education and focused more on language acquisition of students to evaluate their educational efficacy. Ability-driven education aims to develop students to their fullest potential through education under the vision of “Thinking Schools Learning Nation”. Also, Desired Outcomes of Education (DOE) were drafted by the MOE to educate young students with the government suggesting 21st century competencies such as ‘self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, responsible decision making, and relationship management’ that can encourage them to be global citizens in the globalized world (KFTA & MOE of Korea, 2016; Singapore Ministry of Education, 2010).
As its holistic approach to education, global citizenship education elements were found in the Singaporean educational plan. This section will identify key elements of global citizenship education in the Singapore curriculum by exploring the general aims, contents, and practices, as outlined in the DOE.
It was noticed that Singapore’s global citizenship curriculum has attributes of moral cosmopolitan global citizenship and cultural-aesthetic cosmopolitan global citizenship due to its emphasis on character education and moral values in the social context of diverse nationalities in a country. As it is illustrated in Figure 2, Singapore’s global citizenship curriculum puts its focus on character education, with the foundation of character centered in the figure. Goh (2012) mentioned the focus on the “moral values, such as respect, responsibility, care and appreciation toward others, to guide each of them to be a sociably responsible person.”. And Singapore’s country report at the international conference also elaborated: “It is clear to Singapore that knowledge and skills must be underpinned by values as part of character building. Values define a person’s character as they shape the thinking, beliefs and actions of our students. Hence the framework is anchored by core values in the center.” (KFTA & MOE of Korea, 2016).
And through its bilingual policy in education due to multi-cultural and multi-racial backgrounds, students are taught to understand other cultural and ethnic differences while they are taught to retain their ethnic identity, culture, heritage, and values (Goh, 2012; Hodge, 2007; Ho, 2009; Koh, 2004) As the outer ring of Figure 2 shows, civic literacy, global awareness and cross-cultural skills, critical and inventive thinking, and communication, collaboration and information skills are core skills that students need and that are reaffirmed elements of cultural-aesthetic cosmopolitan global citizenship.
This aims to educate students as socially active agents fully aware of social responsibility, which can be seen as the emphasis of Singapore education in the moral cosmopolitan and cultural-aesthetic global citizenship aspect. Moreover, MOE distributed the Character and Citizenship Education (CCE) Syllabus in schools (KFTA & MOE of Korea, 2016) that highlights the interconnectedness of the core values, social and emotional competencies, and civic literacy, global awareness and cross-cultural skills which can help to develop characters and citizenship of students (Singapore Ministry of Education, 2016). It puts high value on keeping national identity, but the curriculum put efforts to place citizenship in a broader context that can encompass the limitations of the nation-state while emphasizing the importance of global aspects.
The curriculum is structured into three different parts: CCE lessons, cohort-level CCE , and customized CCE leaning experiences. To put the curriculum into practice, guiding principles were given to teachers, and the guidelines suggest that it should be taught with a contextualised, age-appropriate, and customised content, encouraged to other-centeredness and contributing to community through discussion and collaborative student participatory methodology (Singapore Ministry of Education, 2016). It can be interpreted that global citizenship education policy and strategies in Singapore focus more on actual practice than the notion or definition, therefore DOE, 21st competencies that students need to have and CCE offer ideas on global citizenship education from the Singapore government to teachers.
From the Social Studies syllabus, issues of the ‘new diversities’ in society, economic growth, and participative citizenry were organized with the perspective of Singapore and the world, which can be interpreted as global citizenship education elements of Singapore Social Studies (Ministry of Education, Singapore, 2016). Social Studies is taught to Singapore students to make them, “understand their identity as Singaporeans with a global outlook” (Ministry of Education, Singapore, 2016). Also in Geography, global citizenship elements were found in its aims and subjects. “Geography finds a scalar dimension to every environmental, social, political and economic issue that it studies. It constructs for students different resolutions of scale from the personal and national to the global” (Ministry of Education, Singapore, 2016). The geography syllabus aims to educate students to “gain global awareness of current geographical issues and future challenges; learn the process of geographical inquiry and to use it to make sense of new knowledge”; etc. (Ministry of Education, Singapore, 2016).
Still, Singapore global citizenship education has challenges to ensure that collaborative governance is built to provide the right knowledge, skills, and passion to benefit Singapore. The core of collaborative governance is the formation of the right partnership, not the cooperation of the public private sector (KFTA & MOE of Korea, 2016). Secretary General of Singapore Teachers’ union wrote, “There should not be any definite right or wrong or battle of the egos. Instead, it is how we harness and grow our youths of today to become the global leaders of tomorrow, with the big heart to think one level higher, for Singapore and the region.” (KFTA & MOE of Korea, 2016).
Interviews were conducted with current Singaporean teachers whose teaching experiences ranged from 10 years to more than 20 years to understand better teachers’ perceptions on global citizenship education in Singapore and their teaching practices.
When Singaporean teachers were asked about the meaning of global citizens and global citizenship education, they had a tendency to focus on practical skills and competencies, and that is assumed to be because of the detailed plan of government such as DOE, CCE and 21st competences, which can guide teachers to interpret global citizenship education with specific outcomes from their students.
Teachers’ answers to the question regarding the definition or the meaning of global citizen and global citizenship were varied. The importance of attitudes to the globalized world and openness to it was more focused among Singapore teachers.
Moreover, teachers said that global citizens are people who have been exposed more to different and international cultures and that they had more chances to travel and commute to different countries for work and do not stay permanently at a particular country.
Singaporean teachers value moral and civic aspects to teach and equip their students to be global citizens. One teacher stated, “I would define it as someone is self-aware of one’s action and choices made, in relationship to communities and global stage. For example, if a student chooses the wrong values such as greed and selfishness, then his further action as a potential leader will have a negative impact on society” and his statement shows clearly his teaching with the sense of moral and civic values. Teachers believe global citizenship education can give students chances to learn more on these values and it can be found from the interview with one teacher as below:
Skills and knowledge were expressed as competencies of global citizens to live in a globalized world; being able to use the pervasive internet and communicate well in on-line communities are competencies of global citizens who feel they belong to a greater community and are responsible for shaping it need to be equipped with.
Singaporean teachers felt that their curriculum already has global citizenship education elements such as globalisation, human rights, poverty, sustainable development, and other related areas. Based on the interview answers, topics for discussion in English classes, CCE lessons, Humanities curriculum like History and Geography, Biology, and Economics have related areas on global citizenship education. Also, they use various teaching skills in classrooms to practice global citizenship education: teachers encourage students with debate, give videos or articles as stimulus for discussion, and give team projects to accomplish.
Teachers have high quality of access to the resources for teaching and teachers were using additional sources outside of school textbooks such as articles, web-articles, journals, reference books, newspapers, magazines, internet/intranet sites, and videos viewed from “Youtube, Facebook or TedTalks”. Access to the internet and IT skills seem crucial for Singaporean teachers to teach their students with better resources and materials.
Teachers face challenges in keeping up with current issues in the globalized world and do not have enough time to cope with the change. Also, linking current issues to the relevant subjects and current curriculum are challenges that teachers are facing to solve. One teacher mentioned the point in the interview as below:
In classroom, cultural demographics are diverse in Singapore and it often creates value conflicts (Goh, 2012). Therefore, it is not easy for teachers to manage their unintentional discrimination to students or at certain values. As Goh (2012) mentioned, “Cultural intelligence practitioners are mindful of the diverse socio-political, cultural and religious systems that inform the ideologies, human values, and national priorities that govern relationships between peoples, countries and regions of the world. I recognize firsthand that stereotypes, prejudice and racism exist. I also concede that even teachers with the best of intentions find long-held attitudes and behaviors hard to change”. Challenges to educate students without any prejudices and how to do so are on teachers’ hands.
The national religion of Thailand is Buddhism (ASEAN Secretariat, 2014; Lee, 2015; Prapassara, 2012) and most of its population use the Thai language (ASEAN Secretariat, 2014). Due to its strong religious, social and cultural background, Thai people can be identified with the characteristics of being “generous, gentle, respecting seniors, and grateful” (Prapassara, 2012) which can be categorized as moral cosmopolitan global citizenship, cultural-esthetic cosmopolitan global citizenship, and spiritual global citizenship (Johnson, 2010).
For children in Thailand between the ages of 6 and 15, 12 years of basic education is compulsory upon their choice since the enactment of Thailand’s Constitution in 1997 (ASEAN Secretariat, 2014; Nuffic, 2015). The school year is structured as 6 years for primary school, 3 years for lower secondary and 3 years for upper secondary schools (ASEAN Secretariat, 2014; OECD, 2016). Thailand went through several educational reforms to provide human resources and utilize education as a key power of national development (Lee et al., 2015; Nuffic, 2015). Furthermore, most noticeable changes were made after the enforcement of the National Education Act (Lee et al., 2015). Major changes of the reforms are as below (Nuffic, 2015):
The Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC) is charged in managing primary and secondary education, the Office of the Higher Education Commission (OHEC) manages public universities, private higher education institutions (universities, colleges, and institutions), and community colleges and the Office of Vocational Education Commission (OVEC) works for vocation-related schools which government aims to balance between general education and vocational education (ASEAN Secretariat, 2014; Nuffic, 2015).
In general, the quantity of Thailand education shows a dramatic expansion such as almost 100% rate of pre-primary education enrollment, significant increase in completion of secondary education, governmental efforts on upper-secondary education, and an extraordinary growth of the higher education sector in Thailand (ASEAN Secretariat, 2014). Yet, quality teacher issues and a mismatch of usage of national educational budget and financial management by the local government after the decentralization policy have not been solved (ASEAN Secretariat, 2014).
With more international impacts influencing Thailand, the portion of subjects such as foreign language and vocational education have become wider (OECD, 2016). In Thailand’s educational curriculum, foreign language is very important for students to face today’s global society (The Ministry of Education, Thailand, 2008). To acquire a foreign language could be a very good way to initiate global citizenship education since it can open chances for learners to have more knowledge of different cultures and experience diverse communities, which would be the foundation to understanding others and can also be interpreted in the cultural-aesthetic cosmopolitan global citizenship category (Johnson, 2010).
The core curriculum of Thai basic education aims to develop learners’ “desirable characteristics, enabling learners to enjoy a life of harmony among others as Thai citizens and global citizens” (Nuffic, 2015; The Ministry of Education, Thailand, 2008), consisting of: Love of nation, religion and king, Honesty and integrity, Self-discipline, Avidity for learning, Observance of principles of Sufficiency Economy Philosophy in one’s way of life, Dedication and commitment to work, Cherishing Thai-ness, and Public-mindedness.
Human capacity development not only equips learners with morality, but also allows them to acquire the capacities, skills, and basic knowledge needed in the future (Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board, 2012). The curriculum in Thailand emphasizes morality, ethics, preference for Thai-ness, and ability to live in harmony in the globalized 21st century (The Ministry of Education, Thailand, 2008). Morality is a basic value to serve the world, as was already mentioned in the desirable characteristics, and can be interpreted in the moral cosmopolitan global citizenship category (Johnson 2010).
In Thailand’s curriculum, religion, morality, and ethics have close connections that aim to achieve “knowledge and understanding of the history, importance, the masters and moral principles of Buddhism or those of one’s faith and other religions; having the right faith; adherence to and observance of moral principles for peaceful coexistence” (The Ministry of Education, Thailand, 2008). These were found in the curriculum from Grade 8, which was stated as “Analyze self-conduct in accord with moral principles of students’ own religions for appropriate behaviour amidst the tide of global change and for peaceful coexistence” which can be interpreted as global citizenship education elements in the Thai curriculum and is categorized as spiritual global citizenship.
The core objective of Grade 7 is to “Search for relevant information, analyze and explain effects of global warming, ozone holes and acid rain on living things and the environment” (The Ministry of Education, Thailand, 2008), and this also can be in the global citizenship education element that helps learners to understand our globe well. This would be categorized as environmental global citizenship by categorization (Johnson, 2010).
Moreover, human rights aspects were found from the curriculum of Grade 10, where it mentions, “Evaluate human rights situations in Thailand and propose developmental guidelines” (The Ministry of Education, Thailand, 2008). If the learning goals are set to human rights education, learners can learn with values beyond themes, and develop competencies needed in the 21st century (OECD, 2016). Also, emphasis on human rights was found from the Development Guidelines in the document reported by the Ministry of Education, which says, “Instill the value of social responsibility in the population. They should respect laws and human rights. Consumption behavior that is environmentally responsible should be emphasized. Knowledge and awareness should be created about energy conservation and adaptation to climate change and disasters.”(The Ministry of Education, Thailand, 2008).
It was not easy to find teachers in Thailand to interview on global citizenship education and there were not abundant answers from interviewed teachers to analyze. However, among the negative and insufficient answers, the researcher tried to find relevant and pertinent answers for the research questions of this study.
Teachers answered with an economic point of views that global citizen and global citizenship reminds them global development which can lead their economic developments. One teacher emphasized the importance of corporate citizenship and has proper knowledge and skills to cope with internationalized society. And these answers are in line with the middle school level students’ answers (Lee et al., 2016).
Even though curriculum related to Thailand’s religion, morality, and ethics has close connections to global citizenship education, teachers didn’t recognize it as an aspect of global citizenship education. Teachers were not able to explain who global citizens are and what global citizenship education is. Teachers mentioned their students may not be able to explain the meaning either since they don’t have those in their curriculum and Thai translation of global differs according to students’ grade levels, which misleads students on the true meaning of global citizen or global citizenship. Also, teachers added that global citizenship education can be found in their national programs. It seemed the interviewee teacher was not favorable to the idea of internationalization or globalization over Thai originality of practice, culture, and traditions. Thailand is a strong Buddhist country so the basis of the curriculum is the people’s spirit, moral, and civic values from the philosophy of Buddhism. Even though the concept is embded in the curriculum, it seems conceptual explanation of human rights and global citizenship education vague.
Teachers in Thailand listed their struggles as being an excessive workload, lack of discipline, low achievements of students, lack of learning process, and out-of-date teaching materials. Although global citizenship education aspects were found in Thailand’s curriculum, teachers are facing difficulties not to have proper guidelines and materials. Moreover, one teacher mentioned the government also struggles for its decentralization and lack of educational budget. Thailand has high spiritual, religious, and moral values already embedded deeply in their education system but it seems they need to set proper educational goals and policies to implement global citizenship education as their curriculum.
Teachers’ perceptions on global citizenship education in Cambodia, Singapore, and Thailand, and challenges they face to promote global citizenship education were examined through the data obtained from the documents and interviews.
As ASEAN Secretariat (2014) stated in its report, “Education plays a significant role in narrowing the development gap in the ASEAN region. Children in ASEAN-6 countries generally stay longer in school, and more of them are able to finish their basic education, than is the case in the CLMV countries.” The average year of public schooling of Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand is 8.1 years while schooling years in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam is approximately 3 years less (ASEAN Secretariat, 2014). Also, according to the ranks by the GCI from the World Economic Forum (Klaus & Xavier, 2016), Singapore, Thailand and Cambodia were ordered by their developmental stages. ASEAN Secretariat (2014) and Klaus & Xavier (2016) defined Cambodia as ‘one of the least developed countries’, Thailand as an ‘upper middle income’ country, and Singapore as a ‘well-developed country’.
In Cambodia, many NGOs and international organizations had great impacts on the governmental policy on global citizenship education, and recent documents from government and affiliated bodies or offices of international organizations have shown global citizenship education aspects. Yet, decentralized power from central government to local governments hinders the effective dissemination of global citizenship education in Cambodia. Teachers do not have clear ideas on the notion of global citizenship education and have few experiences with teaching it in the classroom. Furthermore, they struggle with a lack of relevant materials to use to facilitate students’ learning on global citizenship education. The concept was understood as the mixture of global and moral values in the context of Buddhism. Many global citizenship education elements already existed in the Cambodian curriculum, but teachers were not able to draw these aspects into a form of global citizenship education. Even though Cambodia is developing a global citizenship education-related curriculum at the governmental level and input from NGOs and international organizations helped them to develop a well-designed curriculum that tried to cover as many aspects of global citizenship education as possible, it seems difficult to disseminate the curriculum, and government still struggles to train qualified teachers for general education. Cambodia still has primary education problems. Building the concept of global citizenship education was almost done by external forces yet implementation still seems uncertain and a bit far.
On the other hand, Singaporean teachers perceive global citizenship education in a more practical way than other ASEAN teachers do and most teachers seemed already to have full knowledge and understanding of global citizenship education. Centralized government provided guidelines are given to teachers with detailed objectives and directions so teachers do not need to struggle for their acquisition of global citizenship education, but they only need to study deep for better practice in their classrooms. It can be interpreted that global citizenship education policy and strategies in Singapore are more focused on actual practice than the notion or definition. The goal of education was clearly set as it is titled in DOE and to achieve those outcomes, detailed targets were given to teachers from the government under the title of 21st competencies, and detailed processes to educate students of global citizenship education were given as a form of CCE from the Singapore government to teachers. Overall, global citizenship education elements were easy to find in the curriculum such as ‘globalisation, human rights, poverty, sustainable development and other related areas.’ And even the ‘topics for discussion in English classes, CCE lessons, Humanities curriculum like History and Geography, Biology, and Economics’ have global citizenship education content while moral and civic values were easily focused on in the curriculum. Therefore, the notion of global citizenship education is not dramatically new to Singaporean teachers, but is a concept that already existed in their curriculum.
Challenges for Singaporean teachers were how to keep up with current issues in globalized world and understand diverse cultural demographics in classrooms. Cultural-aesthetic cosmopolitan global citizenship gets more highlights in the discussion of Singaporean global citizenship education.
Table 2 briefly explains each ASEAN country’s governmental actions, curriculum, or educational practices on global citizenship education, which can give relevant information of teachers’ practices in the classroom. Fruthermore, the categorization was classified based on Morais & Ogden (2011)’s global citizenship conceptual model and Johnson (2010)’s categorization of global citizenship.
As was reviewed in previous chapters, each ASEAN country shows different types of global citizenship education based on their cultural, historical, geographical, and religious backgrounds as presented in Table 2. Each ASEAN country has discrepancies of interpretation and implementation of global citizenship education with a different focus, and diverse approaches and policies to equip their teachers and that concluded each ASEAN countries in varied categorization of the contents.
The study reported examines perceptions of global citizenship education, and also investigates teachers’ perceptions of global citizenship education in ASEAN countries. In addition, by reviewing materials submitted to international conferences, government policy papers, curriculum reviews, and interviews, this research could have a good grasp of ASEAN teachers’ perceptions on global citizenship education.
Global citizenship education in ASEAN countries differed by their national education policies, and that led to different types of teacher practices, challenges, and future directions. In most ASEAN countries’ curricula, global citizenship education has already been reflected in their national basic education curricula. However, it has differed whether teachers recognize elements as aspects of global citizenship education or not.
In Singapore, the government has set clear goals of DOE and also set specific guidelines and targets to achieve those goals. The central government has enough strength to control and manage the plan, and it seems teachers do not feel much difficulty in accepting and implementing global citizenship education, and educational materials and information are fully supported by the school and government appropriately. Singapore’s case could be interpreted as well-planned and well-practiced.
On the other hand, Cambodia is at the stage where the specific direction of global citizenship education is being set up through NGOs and international organizations. Cambodian education includes diverse and various global citizenship education elements in the curricula, however, it is not easy to practice and implement global citizenship education. Teachers are faced with difficulties such as lack of educational materials and indifference of students, and they are also in a situation where they do not fully understand the concept. Moreover, even if the government establishes clear government policies by implementing decentralization, there still remain problems of propagation and proliferation of global citizenship education. In addition, Cambodia lacks qualified teachers and training for them, so it feels too early to discuss global citizenship education.
In Thailand, with its strong religious background, many global citizenship education factors were found, and in the basic education curriculum, many subjects contain global citizenship education content. However, nationalism is more prevalent than globalization and the government has yet to develop a concrete plan on global citizenship education that does not hinder the implementation of global citizenship education in Thailand. Moreover, teachers do not understand the concept of global citizenship education and it still remains ambiguous in Thai translation. In addition, there seems to be no room for global citizenship education yet, due to existing problems of Thai teachers such as lack of national education budget and excessive workload of teachers.
Re-examination of country-specific surveys, conducting qualitative research (mentoring, coaching, and teacher learning activities) by finding out the success stories of individual citizen education clubs, or teachers’ individual activities in each country are recommended to design further studies. To find more creative ways for teachers to learn new knowledge such as global citizenship education and put it into practice, more research should be planned to measure teachers’ beliefs and attitudes in the balance with proper training methods (Guskey, 2000; Guskey 2002), and should put continuous effort to develop better ways to measure relative variables on global citizenship education.