Center for Universal Education

Global Citizenship Education


One of the LMTF 1.0 recommendations was to globally define and track the skills and values necessary for being an effective “citizen of the world.” Similar calls in the education community have been echoed by the UN Secretary-General’s Global Education First Initiative (GEFI), which includes global citizenship education as one of its three priorities, and at the UNESCO Forum on Global Citizenship Education (December 2013, Bangkok) and the previous UNESCO technical consultation in Seoul, Korea, where global experts and youth leaders also emphasized a need to measure aspects of global citizenship education.

Within the context of youth skills, there is an opportunity to include global citizenship education in the post-2015 development agenda as part of the knowledge, skills, and competencies that learners require in the 21st century. In addition, there is a lack of consensus about what skills and values constitute global citizenship.


Through consultations coordinated by UNESCO, the following core competencies have emerged as likely outcomes of global citizenship education:

  • Knowledge and understanding of specific global issues and trends, and knowledge of and respect for key universal values (e.g., peace and human rights, diversity, justice, democracy, caring, non‐discrimination, tolerance).
  • Cognitive skills for critical, creative and innovative thinking, problem‐solving, and decision‐making.
  • Non‐cognitive skills, such as empathy, openness to experiences and other perspectives, interpersonal/communicative skills, and aptitude for networking and interacting with people of different backgrounds and origins.
  • Behavioral capacities to launch and engage in proactive actions.

The LMTF 1.0 consultations on this topic revealed a similar set of competencies with an additional emphasis on climate change, environmental awareness, leadership, and digital literacy. Using these qualities and a review of existing efforts—together with the LMTF’s recommended seven domains of learning, which include physical well-being, social and emotional, culture and the arts, literacy and communication, learning approaches and cognition, numeracy and mathematics, and science and technology—there is an opportunity to come to consensus on the core competencies of global citizenship. Without a collective effort on measurement by the actors involved in global citizenship education, the education community risks having a continued focus on learning and testing cognitive or academic skills such as reading and numeracy.

Global Citizenship Working Group

To explore these issues, the task force has launched a working group to make recommendations for measuring global citizenship. This process will include exploring the different definitions and constructs related to global citizenship; identifying ways in which these constructs are currently measured, with an emphasis on educational outcomes; building consensus on core competencies of global citizenship that are relevant in all countries; and proposing new and innovative ways of assessing learning in this area.

Three organizations are co-convening the working group until early 2015:

  • Center for Universal Education (CUE) at the Brookings Institution
  • The GEFI Youth Advocacy Group (YAG) – A group of young leaders from around the world who have been active in promoting global citizenship as part of their work to strengthen momentum and increase support for GEFI.