A collaborative research project involving the Athrofa: Centre for Education and partner schools is helping to develop understanding of global competency and citizenship across Europe.

Think Global, an Erasmus project designed to foster global competence in schools, brings together seven organisations, including schools, local authorities and universities, from Catalonia, Belgium, and Wales.

The aim is to explore pedagogies and activities to support the skills, knowledge and dispositions of global competence in the classroom, that draw on the PISA Global Competence framework and the OECD Sustainable Development Goals.

Its target audience is multi-faceted and includes aims and aspirations for all levels of our education systems.

More specifically, it is hoped that the project will support pupils to develop their understanding of global competence through short-term exchange activities; teachers will develop and spread good practices; university researchers will provide advice on professional learning; and educational authorities will enhance their policies on global competence.

To support this activity, staff from the Athrofa, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, and the University of Barcelona have supported the development of classroom resources and a theoretical framework on which to build.

The Think Global Theoretical Framework resolves that in order to support learners to become globally competent, teachers need to create safe classroom cultures where learners can express themselves, speculate, question, and debate respectfully.

In this culture, the teacher acts as a facilitator, offering challenge and support, while modelling the values of global competence, such as equality, respect, dignity, and diversity.

St Thomas Community Primary School, Swansea, and Pembroke Dock Community School, Pembrokeshire, were among schools invited to produce case studies to help model some of this work in practice.

Athrofa senior lecturer and UWTSD project lead Gail Parker said: “Through the project I have engaged with schools in Wales, Belgium and Catalonia; seeing first-hand how children are learning about global competency and developing their understanding of what is important in the world, on a local and global scale.

“The goals are the same even if the country or language is different – we are educating our children to look beyond their local community to make decisions about the world around them, valuing what is important in the global context. The project has created resources that all schools can access and in doing so brings learners together to fight for a better future.

“I look forward to seeing partners here in Wales later this year to discuss training materials and the future multiplier conference in Swansea that will celebrate global competency and the steps our children are taking to creating a brighter future.”

A transnational partner meeting is due to take place at UWTSD in October 2021, before a multiplier conference in May 2022.

The project will continue in its production of training materials until its closure in late 2022. Regular updates and newsletters will be disseminated to colleagues across Europe, in line with the aims of the project.