Research student insight
Chloe is researching a PhD on global citizenship education, which focuses on teaching and learning about the wider world and our place within it.
In recent years, the government and non-governmental organisations (such as Oxfam and Action Aid) have encouraged schools to make the curriculum more global with the aim of nurturing global citizens who are able to contribute to a more just and sustainable world. However, contrary to these aims, evidence suggests that global citizenship education may actually reproduce stereotypes, assumptions and inequalities surrounding globalisation and development.
“My research is an ethnographic study of global citizenship education at one UK secondary school and aims to explore how knowledge about global and development issues is constructed. In doing so, I hope to explore the potential for a critical global citizenship education within state schools.”
Chloe is being supervised by Dr Harriet Marshall and Dr Kelly Teamey in the Department of Education, but due to the interdisciplinary nature of her research, she has also worked with staff from the Department of Social & Policy Sciences.
Developing the research project
“I’ve always felt uncomfortable about the huge disparities that exist across the world today, in terms of wealth, power, and access to/use of resources.”
Chloe studied at the University of Oxford before joining the University of Bath to study the MSc Wellbeing and Human Development.
“After studying for my Masters I was convinced that many of the challenges we face today – poverty, conflict, and climate change – are rooted in the economic arrangements, political processes and consumption practices that benefit many of us in the West today.”
Rather than continuing to study international development issues abroad, Chloe wanted to explore how global and development issues are represented, taught and learnt in the UK in order to better understand how young people come to see the world and their place and responsibilities within it.
“Defining my research questions and narrowing down the scope of my study has been one the biggest challenges for me. Global citizenship education is interdisciplinary and I have had to explore many overlapping fields including development studies, postcolonial studies, human geography, sociology and anthropology.”
Studying at the University of Bath
Chloe has found her supervisors to be extremely supportive and approachable, and they have encouraged her to think critically and pursue her research interests.
“Given the interdisciplinary nature of my project, I welcome having the flexibility to maintain links across departments and really appreciate the support I have received from staff and students in Social and Policy Sciences, as well as in Education.”
She has taken some of the Postgraduate Skills Training sessions at the University, including critical reading and writing skills and NVivo and EndNote software courses.
“Last year, our Director of Studies ran a series of seminars where we had the chance to discuss tricky issues in a small group, which I found really helpful.”
Chloe has also co-organised a research student conference - Research Journeys – that brought together students from across the South West to discuss the process and experience of doing research.
“Being part of the conference organising committee was a great experience. I learnt a lot about all kinds of things, from writing funding proposals to event organisation! I also enjoyed meeting others and sharing experiences on the day itself.”
Chloe has enjoyed her research so far and hopes that it will improve the way in which global and development issues are taught in UK schools.
“I’ve enjoyed having the freedom to explore a topic which really interests me.”
Chloe is planning to finish her PhD on time and then continue to work in the field of global citizenship education.
If you would like to find out more about Chloe’s research then you can contact her by email: email@example.com