Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Thesis Format

Monograph

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Program

Education

Supervisor

DeCoito, Isha

Abstract

This study investigated Scouting’s contribution, as a non-formal educational movement, in educating global citizens. To address the research questions, I used a mixed-methods case study design, which necessitated the collection of both qualitative and quantitative data concurrently using varied data sources (surveys, interviews, and the senior scout curriculum document). The study explored the Egyptian scouts and scout leaders’ perspectives of global citizenship and their views on the potential of the Arab senior scout curriculum (2011) to contribute to the development of 15-17 years old scouts as global citizens. In addition, I assessed the extent to which the curriculum encompasses critical global citizenship education perspectives.

This exploration was guided by a conceptual framework of global citizenship education that incorporated three dimensions—Global Awareness, Global Competence and Character, and Global Engagement and Action. This framework was informed by conceptualizations such as Andreotti’s (2006) global citizenship education, Larsen’s (2014) critical global citizenship, and the global citizenship theoretical model developed by Morais and Ogden (2011).

The findings demonstrate that participants’ understanding of citizenship in general, and global citizenship in particular largely conforms with the soft (non-critical) approach to conceptualizing and exercising citizenship. Participants generally believe that scouts’ participation in the senior scout curriculum-related activities contributes to their development as global citizens. However, scout leaders voiced concerns about the senior scout curriculum content and related activities being insufficient, in its current state, to develop scouts as global citizens. The analysis of the curriculum document revealed a paucity of global focus in the curriculum’s educational objectives and activities and the absence of most of the critical pedagogy perspectives. The findings suggest that scouts and scout leaders in Egypt have an ambitious conception of global citizenship and they believe that Scouting is a viable vehicle to educate global citizens. Nevertheless, in reality, the scout curriculum and practices in the Egyptian Scouting context do not offer opportunities for the development of critical forms of global citizenship education.

This study advances the scholarly knowledge about the Scout Movement and informs global scout curriculum developers and policy makers of opportunities for engaging scouts as active global citizens.

Summary for Lay Audience

Globalization has substantially affected all aspects of our life. These effects have thoroughly reshaped our world. The UNESCO has called for prompt actions at all levels to address global challenges that have causes and effects beyond national boundaries and require cross-borders collaboration.

Education plays a vital role in addressing social, political, cultural, and global issues, as well as supporting peace, human rights, equity, diversity, and sustainable development. Scouting is one of the world's largest non-formal educational organizations with over 50 million members in 200 countries and territories worldwide. Scouting purposes preparing young people to be active local citizens and active global citizens. To examine these claims, I undertook a study to assess the potential of the scouting curriculum—as the core of the scout educational program in the Arab region, to contribute to educating for global citizenship in Egypt. This included exploring the participants’ perspectives of global citizenship and their experience-based opinions on the potential of the Arab senior scout curriculum (2011) to contribute to the development of the 15-17 years old scouts as global citizens. In addition, this study attempted to evaluate the extent to which the curriculum encompasses critical global citizenship education perspectives.

The study results demonstrate that the participants’ conceptualization of global citizenship focuses on socio-cultural citizenship perspectives that address the racial, ethnic, and cultural underpinnings of citizenship in a soft (non-critical) approach with less focus on critical citizenship perspectives and approaches. Participants believe that scouts’ participation in senior scout curriculum-related activities contributes to their development as global citizens, however, scout leaders voiced a lesser degree of agreement with this assumption. The analysis of the curriculum document revealed a scantiness of global focus in the curriculum’s educational objectives and activities. Furthermore, most of the critical education perspectives were found to be lacking.

This study contributes to the insufficient scholarly knowledge regarding the role of non-formal education in general and the Scout Movement in particular. Findings will make significant contributions to our understanding of Scouting as a movement aimed at developing the global citizen. Findings will be useful for national scout organizations globally to improve their educational programs.

Available for download on Thursday, October 19, 2023

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