Waikato Journal of Education


global citizenship education; global citizenship; parental voices

How to Cite

Beckwith, V. (2021). Parents’ perceptions of global citizenship education in rural Aotearoa New Zealand. Waikato Journal of Education, 26(2), 37–50. https://doi.org/10.15663/wje.v26i2.828


This article explores parents’ understanding of global citizenship and their contribution to global citizenship education in Aotearoa New Zealand. This qualitative instrumental case study utilised semi-structured interviews with three parents of children in Year 5 from a rural Aotearoa New Zealand school context. The discussion surrounding global citizenship, and the lack of consensus for its definition, continues but is tempered by arguing that parents demonstrate clarity when identifying the skills required to become a global citizen. The findings revealed that there was a lack of consensus among parents on what it means to be a global citizen and the skills required to be a global citizen. The research also shows that parents hold aspirations for their children to develop relational skills, intercultural awareness and awareness of local and global issues. The development of these skills is actively supported through role modelling, involvement in communities and providing opportunities to gain experience via travel, discussions and sports. The focus of parents’ perceptions of global citizenship education contributes to the emerging debates on global citizenship and global citizenship education, and strongly advocates for the inclusion of parents’ voices.


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