30 August 2017 at 9:00 am

NZIEC challenge speaker urges educators to embrace global citizenship

Surprise NZIEC challenge speaker and Auckland Girls’ Grammar School student Scarlett Parkes urged New Zealand educators to lead, modelling good global citizenship. 


Scarlett said global citizenship is thinking more widely than just the context of your immediate community, city or country and being a person who understands the rights and responsibilities as a true citizen of the world.

Last year, Scarlett was funded by the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO to travel to Canada with other young people to write the International Youth White Paper on Global Citizenship and present it at the Third UNESCO Forum for Global Citizenship Education.

The experience made her think through more complex global issues and work with young people coming from different places and perspectives.

“I care so much about this because I believe it is the best way to make the world a better place,” Scarlett said.

While it is not simple for people to become global citizens, as there is no quick fix to complex world problems, students often feel helpless and become disengaged.

This is where educators can help by being the bridge between students and global citizenship, by teaching students to understand diversity and think critically, she said.

“Your global citizenship can’t just live through young people, you need to put it into action in your own lives."

Scarlett said not only do today’s educators need to actively engage young people from a variety of backgrounds and empower and upskill students to be prepared for the world’s complexity, educators also need to hold themselves accountable and take action on global citizenship now, to shape the future for the next generation. 

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