Cover image: Global learning and qualifications

Global learning and qualifications

Cultivating a Global Outlook for the Global Economy is published jointly by Think Global and the International Baccalaureate, with the support of the qualifications bodies AQA, Edexcel and University of Cambridge International Examinations. Qualifications such as the IB Diploma, IGCSEs and the Cambridge Pre-U put a strong emphasis on learning about global issues and the wider world. Students and teachers who take and teach these qualifications say that it is the global learning aspect that inspires and enthuses students to excel and prepares them for the global society and economy into which they will graduate. The value of global learning in the qualifications listed above is supported by evidence that highlights how learning about interdependence and sustainability can help young people to do well academically. Educators across both primary and secondary schools who have incorporated global issues into their work express strong confidence that this stimulates improved academic attainment, as shown by case studies throughout the report.
I have used international/global issues to take four schools out of special measures, improving Key Stage 2 SATS scores along the way. [I have taken my] current school from special measures to good in one go with an emphasis on creativity and internationalism. Headteacher, Primary A whole term topic on fair trade resulted in the most purposeful writing I'd ever witnessed as students penned a letter to the CEO of their favourite chocolate company... The very purpose of writing and communicating became apparent to pupils and contributed to improved writing scores in optional SATS. Classroom teacher, Primary
Because today’s students are intensely aware of and interested in addressing the world’s most challenging issues, they become more confident and enthusiastic learners when their studies are set in a global context.
Comparison between the global knowledge of pupils in my school and in another in the same area revealed that those in my school who are exposed to global learning are more aware, more outgoing, more confident while answering global questions and are more aware of their rights and responsibilities. This is very evident in their overall performance and in general discussions and debates. Director of School, 11-16 Focusing on real examples of poverty has led students to take the subject more seriously, and consequently led to them working harder. This has a positive impact on outcomes because motivation is a key to success. Trainee teacher, 11-18
  But the report also highlights that these qualifications are at present only offered to a small proportion of young people, often those who enjoy a more privileged education already. It recommends that more qualifications follow these examples by incorporating global learning as a core element. Download Cultivating a Global Outlook for the Global Economy (PDF)

What do you think?

We're interested to hear teachers' views on the report.
  • Do you think global learning should form a part of academic qualifications across the board?
  • In your experience, does global learning have a positive impact on learning and achievement overall?
Email your thoughts to info@globaldimension.org.uk.