globalDAS: Global Citizenship at German Schools Abroad

Global citizenship education (GCE) has been one of the key current topics in international education. As part of the "Textbooks Put to the Test: Global Citizenship Education in International Perspective" project funded by the German Foreign Office, globalDAS centred on two previously under-researched aspects of GCE: the role of German Schools Abroad (Deutsche Auslandsschulen, DAS) and the significance of print and digital educational media in enacting global citizenship in international schools. The project aimed to both contribute to academic debate on critical global citizenship and to identify ways forward for policy and practice. The uniquely transnational character of the DAS appeard promising for research on GCE, given the German language focus, the traditional importance of critical thinking, and since DAS was the only types of school to bring together local, regional and international contexts with curricula, textbooks and digital educational media produced specifically for use in Germany.

Short tweets/stories from the field were regularly posted on the globalDAS project website.

Key Research Questions

The overarching question driving this research on global citizenship education at DAS was: How do Deutsche Auslandsschulen in different parts of the world creatively appropriate global citizenship in their daily practices? We were interested in, for instance, how pupils’ use of print and digital educational media in the classroom shape their understandings of global communities; how the diversity of DAS is linked to understandings of cultural and religious values; how pupils, individually and/or collectively, become engaged and take action through their media practices.

Methods

Three-week periods of observation at seven DAS in Asia, Africa, North and South America, Europe and the Middle East, including:

  • Lesson observations
  • Interviews with teachers and other staff
  • Pupil focus groups
  • Analysis of documents and media (curricula, education policy documents, textbooks, apps and other digital media)