Important facts on Global Learning
Emso and Pipit already gave you a first insight and impressions of the new EMS children's programme YOU+ME: FRIENDS AROUND THE WORLD. Today I would like to amplify the basic principles on Global Learning which were important by developing this programme. These principles are still important to me in everyday work in the field of Global Learning and also in the context of our international EMS community.
We, the coordinators of YOU+ME:FRIENDS AROUND THE WORLD, take the six principles on Global Learning written by Prof. Dr. Rudolf Schmitt as basis for the children's programme. Rudolf Schmitt is an educationalist and expert for primary schools and also a development psychologist at the University of Bremen, Germany.
We - by the way - that is my colleague Annette Schumm and me, Anna Kallenberger.
When it comes to Global Learning with children, we are faced with questions such as: Isn't it too early to confront small children with some of the complex topics and problems of the world? To talk with them about justice and injustice? Isn't that all too complex, too sad, too political? Experiences show how important and appropriate it is to let the children see further than the end of one's nose. A lot of children take dedicatedly part and develop an astounding understanding for occasions and realities that go beyond their own everyday life.
The principle of social proximity
Today I would like to introduce three of the six principles of Global Learning with children to you. The first guideline we refer to is the "principle of social proximity". Social proximity is fundamental for the development educational work with children. Social proximity means to start off by finding out and showing the tremendous similarities of children worldwide. Children in Asia, Africa or Europe have so many things in common. Children are initially children of the world. Children feel comfortable when their family and beloved ones are happy. Topics like playing, living, sport, religion, food, family life etc. are easily expanded into the apparently different world; so children can connect this with their very own daily lives.
Children do not live in a carefree environment
It is important to talk about social problems and injustice and to be aware of the fact, that children do not grow up in a carefree environment. That is our second principle. In order to reach solidarity, empathy and the ability to be critical, it is indispensable to deal with the real social problems on earth. Children all over the world do not live in a carefree environment. Family life, life in school or in a group can often be tensed. Only seeing through this reality and coping with these facts can help children's resilience.
Development educational work often turns into clichés and stereotypes without having the intention to do so. How can we avoid stereotypes? The far and foreign world should not overly differ from the familiar imagination and the sensory spectrum of children, that is what the third guideline is about. Within all our pedagogical workbooks and publications we are geared to that principle.
So far so good. As you can see: Global Learning with children is fun and at the same time it is also a challenge.
With best wishes,