In recent years, we have seen young learners taking action to influence local, national or global communities on a range of issues, from gun violence in school to climate change. At the same time, other young learners have expressed a wish to contribute to transformative processes but expressed their lack of knowledge and know-how to do so. This situation underlines the urgency of understanding different forms of transformative engagement undertaken by young learners, especially in relation to the role of education.
Building on Target 4.7 of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 on Education, UNESCO supports Member States in taking forward Global Citizenship Education (GCED) and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), to empower learners to assume active, responsible and effective roles to tackle challenges at local, national and global levels.
While there is a large body of literature on citizenship and civic education, there is less clarity about the meaning of ‘responsible transformative engagement’ for young learners in relation to GCED and ESD – notably, the types of transformative engagement and the meaning of ‘responsible’. Understanding better the connection between learners’ engagement and education can clarify the knowledge, skills and competencies that schools may provide, as well as how the role of education can vary depending on context. In this light, this paper explores the meaning of ‘responsible transformative engagement’ with a view to clarifying the role of education in ways that may be reflected by UNESCO and other education stakeholders.
This document was produced with inputs from the rich discussions among participants at the Experts’ Meeting on ‘Teaching and learning responsible transformative engagement’ organised by UNESCO in partnership with the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens and the Asia-Pacific Center of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU), held on 16-17 February 2019 in Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Read more: Teaching Learning Transformative Engagement