Global Citizenship Education in China

10 October 2016

After 30 years of reform and opening up, more than 20 million Chinese passengers have shown up in every corner of the world in 2011, they have contacted with the world, and expressing China at the same time. With the accelerated development of globalization and the deepening of China’s opening up, increasingly number of Chinese people became interested in international affairs, the views they held on the international affairs largely influenced the foreign policy decisions of the Chinese government. It seems undeniable that Chinese people are playing a big role in the global stage.

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In a word, in the era of globalization, the rise of China is not only requiring the Government’s implementation of international strategy and foreign policy, but also needing the public to build one kind of citizenship with a global perspective which would bring positive impact to the world. In this paper, we are going to focus on the study of the ‘global citizenship’ in China, which would give us a better understanding of the butterfly effect that Chinese citizens bring to the world and the external elements which are making the ‘initiators’ changing all the time. i. The initiation of the ‘global citizenship’ concept Before we go further, I would like to introduce the neologism of ‘global citizenship’ briefly. During the past decade higher education’s interest in internationalization has intensified, and the concept of civic education or engagement has broadened from a national focus to a more global one, thus expanding the concept that civic responsibility extends beyond national borders. Socrates claimed that: “I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world. In 1948, the UN General Assembly Adopted Resolution 217A (III), also known as “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. ” It is stated in the article one that: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. ” Article two states that: “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

In addition, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it is independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty. ” Article thirteen (2) states that “Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country. ”   As evidence in today’s modern world, events such as the trial of Saddam Hussein have proven what British jurist A. V. Dicey said in 1885, when he popularized the phrase “rule of law” in 1885.

Dicey emphasized three aspects of the rule of law: No one can be punished or made to suffer except for a breach of law proved in an ordinary court. No one is above the law and everyone is equal before the law regardless of social, economic, or political status. The rule of law includes the results of judicial decisions determining the rights of private persons. The opening of the United States Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson in 1776, states as follows: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by heir Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; As cited above, the idea of Global Citizenship is commonly known as people who consider themselves citizens on the global level; it is strongly connected with globalization and cosmopolitanism. Chapter 1: Citizenship education from Chinese perspective i.

What does it means to Chinese people? In China, citizenship education is targeting various political subjects including individual citizens, social organizations, state organs, national public servants, and international organizations with the purpose of process development and training plan. Citizenship education requires the construction of socialist democratic politics; meanwhile, it is a strong support to the socialist democratic politics, and a necessary condition for the consolidation of the socialist political system.

The core of socialist democratic politics is that people are the owners of the state, but “the people” is an abstract political concept, only when a political subject with a high civic awareness and knowledge of political rules, the people can act consciously as a ‘citizen’, thus enhancing a sense of belonging, identity and trust to its socialist political system. In short, citizenship education in China is including the following points: 1) Subject consciousness education Protection of the human rights and freedoms. 2) Rule consciousness education

The socialist market economy is a legal system, which must be adapted to the law, abide by the rules with this social environment 3) Participation consciousness education Citizen participation is not only an important result but also a measure that we can evaluate the efficiency of citizenship education. 4) Civic virtue education It is reflecting the degree of civilization of a society which is the important support to the democratic society and the socialist market economy, and also reflecting the attitude of a citizen to the others and a sense of responsibility to the society. ii. Achievement

After the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, Chinese people have committed to rebuild a new education system with increasingly realization of citizenship. From elementary school to undergraduate school, including ethic class and sociology class, a variety of ideological and moral education modes has been established. Due to the difficulties to open a specialized course for citizenship education, it has been melted into the forms of daily classes for all-round development and social activities. Over the past 20 years of openness and reform, tremendous changes in China’s society have taken place.

The radical socialism of the past, as well as the class struggle, has gone. And with the development of the economy, people began to pursue economic interests. The exchange between economies and cultures has increased concerns for international affairs, and these have become important subjects of education. iii. Obstacles on the way It is commonly believed that to pursue global citizenship education in China is still facing a lot of difficulties. I clarified the obstacles as several conflicts as following: 1) Conflicts between examination-oriented education and civic education With a base number of 1. billion of population, the competition among students is extremely fierce. Schools and teachers have to concern about the enrollment rate to colleges and universities. In addition, the pressure from the society, neighborhood, family, and even the globalization has caused a heavy burden to Chinese students and education system. Passing the exam is still the first and the last mission for them. Thus, putting time into global civic education seems risky and a waste of time. As a result, promoting global civic education in China is still in a straitened circumstance. ) Conflicts between education for jobs and civic education Similar with what we have talked above, the public schools have evolved historically as organizations serving two potentially conflicting goals: to educate citizens and to process them into roles for economic production. To accomplish the first, schools have the role of supplying students with information and with learning skills. The results can be unpredictable because children’s intellects and skills develop in ways that we cannot predetermine. For the second goal, schools process students through stratified steps leading to predictable, marketable credentials for the workplace.

The steps, and some of the outcomes, can be managed, controlled. Thus the school is organized to be in conflict with itself. 3) Conflicts between traditional culture and global civic awareness. In traditional Chinese political culture, the attitude of the people in politics must be absolutely excluded, which makes it neither involved in the political rights nor in the enthusiasm and awareness of social management. Political apathy, which has become the common thing among the people, and it is still affecting the formation of the sense of citizen participation.

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