Textbooks Put to the Test: Global Citizenship Education in International Perspective

With its focus on peacebuilding, this project ties in to a central priority in contemporary German cultural policy and builds on UNESCO’s new pedagogical guidelines on ‘Global Citizenship Education’ (GCE).

Schools and educational policy are part of growing global networks. Centring on the highly pertinent topic of GCE, this project investigates the global dimensions of media-oriented educational situations and spaces. The mediality necessary for teaching and learning elicits a number of questions on the role of textbooks and other (printed and digital) educational media in shaping GCE. The UNESCO guidelines on GCE provide a framework with which researchers can observe the application of GCE in different contexts and study its effects. In particular, analysing the development, dissemination and use of school-based educational media at the local, national and international levels can generate important impulses for future policy endeavours in the area of GCE.

Conceptual Dimensions

  1. Cognitive dimension – An understanding of and critical approach to global, regional, national and local topics and issues, as well as the interconnection and mutual dependency of the global population. In this context, the GEI is investigating how GCE is represented in textbooks in different countries and how the practice of GCE plays out at German schools abroad.
  2. Socio-emotional dimension – A sense of belonging to a global humanity and the development of shared values such as solidarity, empathy and respect for cultural and religious diversity. The GEI is studying how textbook revision effects the depiction of these values and their transformation, as well as how an understanding of these values is cultivated in the classroom.
  3. Practical dimension – An active commitment to implementing GCE-related topics in local, national and global contexts. The Georg Eckert Institute is observing the ways in which textbooks, digital media and other school projects provide opportunities for pupils and students to adapt these topics to their own contexts and interests.
  4. Infrastructural dimension – A continued development of technical structures that support the international work of GCE. The GEI is undertaking measures to strengthen networks and communication among GCE stakeholders engaged in working with school-based educational media.

In each of these dimensions, this project aims to analyse local and national adaptations of certain aspects of GCE and simultaneously shed light on the (sometimes productive) tensions between a GCE of the West or Global North and a truly global or post-colonial GCE. By pinpointing these tensions and local practices, the project hopes to support future initiatives in Germany and around the world and to develop corresponding services and policy papers informed by a post-colonial perspective. The findings and products that come out of this project will provide the Federal Foreign Office and other stakeholders involved in German foreign cultural and educational policy with insights into the field of GCE, and will also serve to strengthen the GEI’s international network.

Individual Components

In addition to globalDAS: Global Citizenship at German Schools Abroad and the German-Polish History Textbook, this project also includes international conferences and workshops, research stipends and the development of technical infrastructure.


German Federal Foreign Office


January to December 2017



Anke Hertling

Representative director / Directorial Board / Library

Main Building Office E0.06
Phone: +49 531 59099-240
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Projekt leads

Branch Office B0.16
Phone: +49 531 59099-530
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Esilda Luku

Associate Professor / Knowledge in Transition

Branch Office B1.14
Phone: +49 531 59099-287
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Felicitas Macgilchrist

Head / Media | Transformation

Branch Office B0.18
Phone: +49 531 59099-283
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