Main Article Content
Young Canadian boys and girls aged nine to eleven were asked to consider their personal
futures, the future of their community and the future of the world. Mixed methods were
employed for data collection and analysis. Responses were compared with those given by
children in eight countries and the discussion focused on the importance prior knowledge,
in this case, prior knowledge of global issues, holds for effective teaching and learning about
global issues. Canadian children were optimistic about the future for themselves and their
community but less so for the globe. More so than other children, Canadian children were
concerned with issues of social justice, issues such as discrimination and racism, and with
improving the environment, which might be attributed to the emphasis that is placed on
these issues in their school curriculum. Assessing prior knowledge should be a priority for
those considering development and implementation of global education curricula.
Rinehart and Winston, Inc.
Barton, K. (2001). A sociocultural perspective on children's understanding of
historical change: Comparative findings from Northern Ireland and the
United States. American Educational Research Journal, 38, 881-914.
Byrnes, J. P., & Torney-Purta, J. V. (1995). Naive theories and decision-making as
part of higher order thinking in social studies. Theory and Research in Social
Education, 23(3), 260-277.
Chareka, O., & Sears, A. (2005). Discounting the political: Understanding civic
participation as private practice. Canadian and International Education,
Chareka, O., & Sears, A. (2006). Civic duty: Young people's conceptions of voting as
a means of political participation. Canadian Journal of Education, 29(2), 521-
Dean, B. (2008). Pakistani children want a better future. International Journal
Citizenship Teaching and Learning, 4(2), 43- 57.
De Corte, E. (1990). Towards powerful learning environments for the acquisition of
problem-solving skills. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 5(1), 5-
Dochy, F., Segers, M., & Buehl, M.M. (1999) The relation between assessment
practices and outcomes of studies: The case of research on prior knowledge.
Review of Educational Research, 6(2), 145-186. doi:10.2307/1170673
Driver, R., & Easley, J. (1978). Pupils and paradigms: A review of the literature
related to concept development in adolescent science. Studies in Science
Education, 5, 61-84. doi:10.1080/03057267808559857
Griffin, P., & Cole, M. (1984). Current activity for the future: The zo-ped. In B
Rogoff & J. Wertsch (Eds.), Children’s learning in the zone of proximal
development (pp. 4-64). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Hartman, H. J. (1991). Thinking about learning from the perspectives of Bruner
and Ausubel. A. Paper presented at the American Psychological Association
Convention Symposium. Mid-Winter Convention. San Antonio, February 22,
1991. Retrieved January 20, 2010, from http://eric.ed.gov:80/ERICDocs
/data/ericdocs2sql/content_storage_01/0000019b/80/38/27/6c.pdf (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED348930).
Hill, S. (1995). Early literacy and diversity. Australian Journal of Early
Childhood, 20(1), 23-27.
Holden, C. (2008). Part One Introduction Children’s concerns: an International
Study. International Journal Citizenship Teaching and Learning, 4(2), 3-5.
Holden, C., Joldoshalieva, R., & Shamtov, D. (2008). “I would like to say that
things must just get better”: Young citizens from England, Kyrgyzstan and
South Africa speak out. International Journal Citizenship Teaching and
Learning, 4(2), 6-17.
Hughes, A., & Sears, A. (2004). Situated learning and anchored instruction as
vehicles for social education. In A. Sears & I. Wright (Eds.), Challenges &
prospects for Canadian Social Studies (pp. 259-273). Vancouver, Canada:
Pacific Educational Press.
Hunt, E., & Minstrell, J. (1997). Effective instruction in science and mathematics:
Psychological principles and social constraints. Issues in Education, 2(2),
Merryfield, M. (Summer,1998). Pedagogy for global perspectives in education:
Studies of teachers' thinking and practice. Theory and Research in Social
Education, 26(3), 342-79.
Merryfield M. (May/June, 2004). Elementary students in substantive culture
learning Social Education, 68(4), p.270-275.
Merryfield, M. & Tin-yaulo, J.T., & Cho po, S. (2006). Teaching about the world:
Two case studies Research in Comparative and International Education, 1(
Merryfield M. (Nov/December, 2008).Scaffolding social studies for global
awareness. Social Education, 72(7), 363-366.
Merryfield, M. M., Tin-yaulo, J. T., Cho po, S. & Kasai, M. (2008).
Worldmindedness: Taking off the blinders. Journal of Curriculum and
Instruction, 2(1), 6-20.
Naval, C., & Reparaz, C. (2008). Spanish children’s concerns for the future.
International Journal Citizenship Teaching and Learning, 4(2), 31-42.
Newmann, F.M., Marks, H.M., & Gamoran, A. (1996). Authentic pedagogy and
student performance. American Journal of Education, 104(4), 280-312.
Nova Scotia Department of Education (1994). Learning Outcomes Framework
Grade 4. Halifax: Government of Nova Scotia.
Peck, C. (2003). Children’s understanding of ethnic diversity. Unpublished Masters
Thesis. University of New Brunswick, Fredericton.
Peck, C., & Sears, A. (2005). Uncharted territory: Mapping students' conceptions of
ethnic diversity. Canadian Ethnic Studies, 37(1), 101-120.
Peck, C., Sears, A., & Donaldson, S. (2008). Unreached and unreachable?
Curriculum standards and children's understanding of ethnic diversity in
Canada. Curriculum Inquiry. 38(1), 63-92. doi:10.1111/j.1467-873X. 2007.
Windschitl, M. (2002). Framing constructivism in practice as the negotiation of
dilemmas: An analysis of the conceptual, pedagogical, cultural and political
challenges facing teachers. Review of Educational Research, 72(2), 131-175.