The era in which we live is dominated by an incredible amount of change that is radically redefining our perception of reality and our role in the world. The recent pandemic has shaken the foundations of the 21st century, showing not only the importance of international cooperation, but also the reality of a phenomenon of planetary scale that experts are calling on us to be ready to face. The world is traversed by powerful and unprecedented migratory flows, which are redrawing the human geography of the planet and rewriting the borders between peoples. Ongoing climate change is, unfortunately, still a grim reality and a threat that humanity must eradicate with still futuristic joint efforts. Conflicts are no longer only fought on earth, but also in digital space, where powerful algorithms manipulate news and help spread disinformation. The development of increasingly refined forms of artificial intelligence poses existential questions that are still difficult to formulate.  

This scenario poses today's teachers with unprecedented and complex daily challenges, in the face of which the tools of traditional education lose much of their value and effectiveness. On the other hand, it is equally true that the challenges of contemporaneity offer teachers an extraordinary opportunity to build a new sense of 'humanity' and, through it, to make sense of the complexity of today.  

One of the areas of greatest interest for the 21st century teacher is the so-called 'global citizenship', which replaces the outdated concept of 'civilisation' to reformulate the very concept of global citizenship. This is underlined by, among other international institutions, the United Nations, which defines 'global citizenship' in these terms: "Global citizenship is the umbrella term for social, political, environmental, and economic actions of globally minded individuals and communities on a worldwide scale. The term can refer to the belief that individuals are members of multiple, diverse, local and non-local networks rather than single actors affecting isolated societies. Promoting global citizenship in sustainable development will allow individuals to embrace their social responsibility to act for the benefit of all societies, not just their own". Go to United Nations website to find out more about >>

How is it possible to teach 'global citizenship' today? What tools can we as English teachers use today?  

To formulate an answer to these questions, we must first clarify an important concept: global citizenship cannot be taught using old and anachronistic tools, employed  in times when the concept of global citizenship had not yet been formulated in its entirety.  
To promote global citizenship education in the classroom, radically new tools are needed, designed to accompany us teachers and our students on the journey to discover the very 'meaning' of being “citizens” of the 21st century.  

We need materials that summarise in their structure the kaleidoscope of voices and ideas that make up contemporaneity. We also need 'plural' materials, characterised by approaches that value multiple intelligences and cognitive diversities. Finally, we need materials that convey the complexity of reality in all its components, ranging from the key figures and role models who are helping to make the world a fairer and more equitable place to the artists who, through their thought-provoking works, are redrawing the cultural map of modernity, building a dialogue between the past, the present and the future.  

It is to fill the gap represented by the current lack of meaningful resources to teach Global Citizenship that the new Sanoma textbook Your World #bethechange was created. Your World #bethechange is a volume that opens up a new avenue in teaching civilisation by using the English language as a vehicle for global Citizenship. The book is structured as a "dictionary" containing some of the most  topical  or powerful keywords of the 21st century: each unit analyses an important contemporary concept - such as climate change, youth activism, gender equality, bullying or social-emotional well-being - from a plurality of points of view and perspectives, combining thought-provoking readings, analysis of authentic self-visual materials, meetings with change-makers and role models and analysis of the different forms of contemporary artistic language. Through the various cues that compose each unit, students gradually learn to become inquirers of our times and act as genuine "agents of change" capable of positively impacting the world.

Your World #bethechange gives students and teachers a new set of tools that help them build bridges to a future in which each student, having the tools to recognise himself/herself as an active subject of a humanity in constant change, knows how to be an agent of change and actively contributes to building a fairer and more sustainable future for all humanity. As the UN’s Global Education First Initiative states >>, “it is not enough for education to produce individuals who can read, write and count.  Education must fully assume its central role in helping people to forge more just, peaceful, tolerant and inclusive societies”. 

Referenze iconografiche: World Day / Shutterstock

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cover Your world #bethechange - civiltà Spicci e Shaw

M. Spicci, T.A. Shaw

Your World #bethechange

Una civiltà agile e flessibile che integra key words e key topics legati all’Agenda 2030, secondo una struttura che segue l’alfabeto dalla A alla Z attraverso temi attuali e globali, attività di ricerca online, video. Con una sezione Invalsi e mappe per l'Esame di Stato.

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