The Global Citizen Conceptualized: Accommodating Ambiguity

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Lilley, Kathleen
Barker, Michelle
Harris, Neil
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2017
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Abstract

Universities’ aims for educating global citizens are rarely supported by a theoretical underpinning or evidence of outcomes. This study explored how international higher education experts conceptualize the global citizen or related terms representing the “ideal global graduate.” A global notion of citizenship was accepted by the majority (24/26) of participants. Four participants used other terms to describe the “ideal global graduate,” yet the knowledge, skills, and attitudes described by all participants were highly consistent and provide a close “fit” with the epistemology and ontology of moral and transformative cosmopolitanism. This evidence could suggest that terms describing the “ideal global graduate” are of less consequence than the underpinning values and mind-set they represent. This article suggests that the inevitable ambiguity surrounding the global citizen term could be tolerated. As such, future discourse and research could be directed toward organizational and pedagogical strategies that foster ethical and transformative thinking citizens and work-ready professionals.

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Journal of Studies in International Education

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21

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1

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Education

Other education not elsewhere classified

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