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A curriculum model of a foundation for educating the global citizens of the future

Richard Zinser (Associate Professor at the Career and Technical Education Department, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA)

On the Horizon

ISSN: 1074-8121

Article publication date: 27 January 2012



The purpose of this paper is to introduce a model for preparing young people to live in a global society.


This paper discusses the need for a new approach to education that transcends subject disciplines and institutional boundaries by taking a global perspective; it provides a background of previous curriculum ideas, presents a multi‐dimensional model of educating for the future, and opens a dialogue on the implications for educators and policy makers.


The curriculum model for educating future citizens starts with a foundation of academics (contextual math and science), vocational skills and technological literacy, and process skills, which include system thinking and problem solving. The second level of the model consists of the study of world history and geography, and the language and culture of other countries. The third layer of the curriculum is altruism for people, the planet, and the future. The rationale for each component and specific teaching strategies are also presented.


As civilization makes the transition from the industrial era to one of sustainability, educational leaders around the globe ought to implement a learning system that prepares its young people for life in a unified society. This paper provides a starting point to explore what skills and concepts students should be studying to lead the future. The curriculum model provides an explicit outline of some of the competencies that will likely be required for whatever world scenario emerges.



Zinser, R. (2012), "A curriculum model of a foundation for educating the global citizens of the future", On the Horizon, Vol. 20 No. 1, pp. 64-73.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited