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The education of "Chauncey Gardener:" Civics for a global age

13 October 1991


Entering the 21st Century, both historical trends and educational reform are hotly debated topics. Discussion of epoch, the end of the cold war, and educational excellence put the focus on how best the social studies curriculum can be made responsive. In this discussion competing perspectives vie for limited space in the social studies. One such perspective is the emergence of a call in many quarters for global education. There are, at present, many models being proposed to answer this call. This study looks at a few of these approaches to teaching global education. One is developed through looking into current research in this area and suggests a theoretical model based on human values, global systems, global problems and global history. This model is compared with two others obtained through an observation of two history teachers in a local high school. One of these is of an "area studies" orientation; the other is augmented toward a more traditional Western civilization course. This report suggests that while the systems model is theoretically appealing it may need modification in order to adapt to the realities of the classroom. It also concludes that foremost amongst the constraints of the social studies classroom at this high school is the question of the amount of time allotted to global education.


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