Taking action: locally and globally — Guiding learner action in response to crises

This resource is for teachers to support students aged 6 to 18 years, in partnership with their communities at all levels, to critically engage with personal, local and global issues and take responsible, responsive and reflective action for positive change.

Action might be personal and/or collective:     

Personal action might be small scale or even private, but it makes a difference in the life of the student and, potentially, the lives of others. 

Collective action makes a difference in the life of the student, the learning community and, potentially, beyond. Collective action calls for collaboration, reciprocity and commitment.  

Educators can guide students to take action in the following ways. 

Demonstration of action  

Learners' personal or collective action 

Participation  

Being actively involved in the learning community and showing commitment to contributing as individuals and as members of a group. 

 

 

Engage critically with multiple and diverse viewpoints through collaboration and dialogue on issues such as displacement and refugee crises, food insecurity, climate and ecological crises, natural disaster and conflict.

Identify implications of action taken by different groups and consider the immediate and lasting impacts (such as United Nations, governments, international non-governmental organizations, local charities, community groups).  

Connect online to present, share and interact with diverse perspectives and experiences (such as photo and video stories connecting community members, youth forum on global citizenship, support group on peace process, podcasts related to safeguarding culture). 

Advocacy  

Taking action individually or collectively to publicly support positive social, environmental or political change. 

 

 

 Represent class, school, and local community:  

Seek local press attention for community action on issues such as: refugee education provision to support short-term and long-term strategies, community action project to support immediate humanitarian relief, youth conference or advisory group on climate action).  

Support local or global campaigns by, for example, designing communications and messaging, collaborating with peers and youth organizations, writing letters to NGOs, INGOs or government representatives.   

Engage with various advocacy groups in order to determine, plan, carry out and reflect on action (such as using debate, opinion scales, diamond nine, consequence and question chains, issue trees/maps)  

Represent marginalized, underrepresented and/or voices of those in need:  

Listen to and share stories (such as immediate response to communities impacted, interacting with individuals affected) 

Critically analyze multimodal texts and information (such as social media, news reports, literature, stories) 

Organize/be part of events, groups, meetings that engage the public for positive change (such as solidarity commitments to support recovery, resilience building through mitigation preparation, spoken word poetry, sculpture or photo exhibitions to support peace and reconciliation) 

Social justice  

Taking action for positive change relating to human rights, equality and equity. Being concerned and engaged with the advantages and disadvantages within society, and with social well-being and justice for all. 

 

 

Challenge assumptions and generalizations by investigating root causes of global issues (such as access to education, children’s rights in war, power relations and freedom of expression, complexity).      

Reflect on the ethical consequences of potential decisions and actions (such as community impacts in famine, social and ecological justices in protecting heritage and cultural identity, contextual dimensions of global response to different crises). 

Investigate and engage in local and global strategies and mechanisms to ensure people’s basic needs are met through, for example, (local) food banks, services and resource collection, and (global) disaster response funds, and medical relief care.

 

Educators can use the following resources to further support student action in response to crises. 

Example external resources 

Description  

Example activities/learning engagements  

Non-Violent Action: A force for Change Lesson Plans 

Teaching resources to engage learners (8-14 years) in local and global issues.    

Enquiring into violence and non-violence 

Power: Understanding power 

 

Collection of teaching resources: Global Dimension 

 

Teaching resources to bring global connection, conversation, and compassion to the classroom. 

10 ways to reboot the future 

Curious 

Equality 

Social Justice  

International cooperation  

Stories, lesson plans, guides and projects: Global Oneness Project 

 

Designed for students and teachers to explore cultural, environmental and social issues: Stories, lesson plans, guides and projects.   

Learning and teaching from the heart in troubled times 

The Power of Curiosity  

The Importance of Embracing Questions 

Balancing Moral Ferocity with Self-Awareness 

Teaching for sustainable development through ethical global issues pedagogy: A resource for secondary teachers 

Teaching resource to support critical, ethical and reflexive engagements in local and global issues.   

Breaking down an issue  

Global learning teaching resources  

 

Curriculum-linked resources for developing global learning in the classroom. 

Teaching Controversial Issues: A guide for teachers 

Social Justice and Equity  

Media Stories and “Fake news”   

Philosophy for Children  

Global Citizenship in the classroom: A guide for teachers 

Why-why-why-why chain   

Interrogating photographs   

Opinion continuum  

Global thinking routines  

 

A set of global thinking routines – short, stepwise micro-interventions that can support global learning.  

Circles of action  

Step in -Step out -Step back  

Unveiling Stories 

Schools in Action: Global Citizens for Sustainable Development: A Guide for Teachers 

Le réSEAU en action: Citoyens du monde connectés pour le développement durable: guide à l'intention des enseignants 

Escuelas en acción: Ciudadanos del mundo para el desarrollo sostenible: guía para el profesorado 

Designed for teachers to support Global citizenship education: including definitions, activities and school examples.  

Moving circles: Agree/Disagree  

Opinion Scale  

Debate  

Schools in Action: Global Citizens for Sustainable Development: A Guide for Students 

Le réSEAU en action: Citoyens du monde connectés pour le développement durable: guide à l'intention des élèves 

Escuelas en acción: Ciudadanos del mundo para el desarrollo sostenible: guía para el alumnado 

Designed for students to support Global citizenship education: including definitions, activities and school examples.    

In my Local Community  

In my World  

Concentric Circles  

For further support on taking action, go to Action in times of crisis.