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This website is the personal website of Gertrude Cotter, Director of Global Citizen Contact Point and PhD Candidate at the School of Education, University College Cork. I am currently the holder of the Irish Research Council, National Forum Postgraduate Scholarship for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.

This website signposts you to my academic blog, my social enterprise Global Citizen Contact Point to my radio show the Global Hub and to my current projects. You are welcome to make contact and make suggestions.

 

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Why Global Citizenship?

At least 80% of humanity lives on less than €10 a day, more than 80% of the world’s population lives in countries where income differentials are widening, the poorest 40% of the world’s population accounts for 5% of global income. The richest 20% accounts for three-quarters of world income. According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. (Global Issues, 2013). The rich of the world continue to consume resources (such as oil and metals) and produce wastes (such as plastics and greenhouse gases) at a rate of 32 units per capita while the poor consume at a rate of 1 unit per capita. We are, as Regan says, living in a “wholly unjust and unsustainable model of international ‘development’ and ‘underdevelopment’ (Regan, 2012)”.

Poverty, unfair trade practices, and the problems created by increasing globalization—all raise hard questions of responsibility, morality, and equity. Global Citizenship can be used as a powerful tool to encourage reflection and action towards achieving a more just world, one which recognises the ethical dilemmas intrinsic to building better international social and economic institutions, promoting global development efforts, and protecting individual freedoms.

 

Definitions

Sustainable Development

Sustainable Development has been defined in many ways, but the most frequently quoted definition is from Our Common Future, also known as the Brundtland Report (Brundtland Commission, 1987).

“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains within it two key concepts:

  1. the concept of needs, in particular the needs of the world’s poor, which should get hightest priority;
  2. the idea of limitations imposed by technology and social organization on the environment’s ability to meet present and future needs.”

Social Justice

Social Justice is both a goal and a process.

The goal of social justice is full and equal participation of all groups in a society that is mutually shaped to meet their needs. Social justice includes a vision of the equitable distribution of resources where social actors experience agency with and responsibility for others.

The process of reaching the goal of social justice should be democratic and participatory, inclusive and affirming of human agency and human capacities for working collaboratively to create change”.

(Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice, Adams et al 2007)

Development Education

An educational process aimed at increasing awareness and understanding of therapidly changing, interdependent and unequal world in which we live. It seeks to engage people in analysis, reflection and action for local and global citizenship and participation. It is about supporting people in understanding, and in acting to transform the social, cultural, political and economic structures which affect their lives and others at personal, community, national and international levels. (Irish Aid)

Intercultural education

“ Celebrates and recognises the normality of diversity in all areas of human life and sensitises the learner to the idea that humans have naturally developed a range of different ways of life, customs and worldviews, and that this breadth of human life enriches all of us. It promotes equality and human rights and challenges unfair discrimination.”
(National Council for Curriculum and Assessment Intercultural Education, Ireland, 2014).