Global and Planetary

Global Citizenship Education (GCED) has been an internationally recognized field of educational research and practice for many years. With the adoption and central positioning of the term by the UNO and UNESCO, the debates on this have experienced a further upswing. While GCED has long been a topic of discussion in the English-speaking world, the concept has only been around in German-speaking countries since the Ban Ki-moons initiative in 2013 ( and especially since the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals 2015 ( received wide attention. 

Global citizenship is an expression of the fact that the entire planet as the action space of one world domestic politics that is, a sphere of political action in which everyone's right to exist as individuals and political subjects is recognized and the inevitable conflicts between groups of people, social classes, and states are fought out in a civilized manner. In order to help this way of thinking to break through, a variety of efforts are necessary, including in the area of education and training: That is the idea of Global Citizenship Education.

The term was for a long time Global Learning/Global Education predominant and was also used by me. Now is Global Citizenship Education in the process of stepping alongside global learning. (Cf. e.g. the Dublin Declaration from 2022, The focus on citizenship refers more strongly to the political dimension of the term. Global citizenship education could thus become an “umbrella term” that also includes traditional political education. I myself prefer the double term Global and Planetary Citizenship Education, because this expresses the reference to human society (global) and to nature (planetary).

In Austria, this topic is mainly dealt with by the following institutions: 

Global Learning and Global Citizenship Education in other pedagogical fields

In the context of German didactics, overcoming a national perspective has always been an important concern for me, which is why I have advocated transcultural German didactics (cf. the publications poetics of diversity and Transcultural literature didactics). This implied dealing with world literature, multilingualism and political issues such as flight and migration (cf. the special issue Global citizenship education in German lessons the magazine ideal). The current trend towards an anti-racist and post-colonial orientation is very much in line with efforts to integrate GCED into German didactics.  

At the same time, in agreement with the work of the American peace educator Betty A. Reardon, I have always understood peace education as a task of global learning. This topic is also part of my book pedagogy of the other (1999) devoted a large chapter to Gradually, however, Global Citizenship Education has emerged as an independent field of work. This step was finally taken with the establishment of the university course Global Citizenship Education (2012).

The university course GCED

In 2012, the three-year university course (ULG) with a Master's degree in Global Citizenship Education (GCED) was founded by the Center for Peace Research and Peace Education at the Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt and KommEnt/Contact Center for Global Learning and Global Citizenship Education in cooperation with the Carinthian University of Education. It is financially supported by the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF) and the Austrian Development Agency (ADA). 

From the winter semester 2019/2020 it will be offered for the third time and with an extended curriculum, higher number of ECTS and under the direction of the UNESCO Chairholder Hans Karl Peterlini (

The course is aimed at teacher trainers, teachers and other multipliers and contributes to the formation of a network. It was awarded the "Sustainability Award" of the BM for Sustainability and Tourism and the BM for Education, Science and Research and with the GENE Award "Quality and good practice in Global Education across Europe". The course gave and continues to give many impulses to strengthen the idea of global citizenship in many directions.

Global Learning Strategy Group

The Global Learning Strategy Group came together in 2003 to implement the results of an international Council of Europe Congress on Global Learning in Maastricht, Austria. This is done through regular meetings of the working group, which is made up of science, NGOs and representatives of ministries; through the elaboration of a strategy paper (2009, updated 2019) and through annual federal conferences "Global Learning – Potential & Perspectives” (since 2012).

Cooperation with UNESCO

In cooperation with the Austrian UNESCO school network, the ULG management team not only trained teachers, but also developed new teaching materials on GCED and documented exemplary school projects.

The management team is also represented on the advisory board “Transformative Education/Global Citizenship Education” (since 2017) ( There it is on Position paper on the implementation of SDG 4 in Austria (2019) Contributed ( as well as at the biennial global UNESCO Forums on GCED took part.

Campaign Homeland Earth

The campaign Heimatland Erde (see field of work peace research) had an educational dimension and was part of my work in the field of GCED.