Martha Nussbaum and World Citizenship in the Modern Curriculum

World citizenship is defined as a view or concept wherein an individual looks at himself not only through the prism of his own customs and beliefs but that of belonging to the world as whole with all its intricacies ...

... when it comes to culture and other aspects.

Education for world for world citizenship needs to be multicultural, holds Martha Nussbaum. This means that various groups’ fundamentals need to be discussed including sexual, racial, ethnic and social minorities and major cultural and religious orientations. Respect for diverse classes begins with awareness or knowledge of cultural differences.

World citizens will attend to their local sphere and history more since this is where they will function. The kind of education Nussbaum envisions is one where local know-how is of the essence. It would be baseless to engage students in knowledge of all cultures and histories without letting them their own sphere first.

World citizenship education should begin early. Children should be shown differences in culture, traditions, beliefs and the like as soon as they can participate in storytelling. They must be taught to understand and respect the commonality and differences, common rights and unique history, problems and aspirations of various groups. In the tertiary level, they should already be able to deal with subjects which center on themes that are outside their own culture or sphere of influence.

Sympathetic understanding must be developed by the world citizen and apply this to religious, racial and ethnic minorities as well as distant cultures. The world citizen should also have and understand of the various ideas of humanity on gender as well as sexuality and history.

Controversial matters are decided upon by citizen. To be able to function well, one must weigh in on both side of the matter. An education which studies such issues is thus fundamental for this exercise. Education for world citizenship should train students to be sensitive and informed interpreters of issues and questions.


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