University of Oulu

Parental conceptions of global mindedness

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Author: Conolly, Joffy1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.7 MB)
Pages: 109
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : J. Conolly, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-08-26
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Lehtomäki, Elina
Reviewer: Räsänen, Rauni
Alanko, Anu
Lehtomäki, Elina


An important question in education is how to respond to the challenges created by an increasingly globalized world. Learners need to understand the realities of the world and to have the appropriate skills, attitudes and behaviour to deal with it — in other words, be globally minded. As a result, there is significant interest in developing global mindedness through global education, yet defining these terms remains complex and contested and there are a variety of theoretical approaches. Surprisingly, despite the importance and influence of parents in education, to date there is little evidence that their views on global mindedness have been examined. The research hopes to fill this gap, using parents’ views to inform the debate on what being globally minded means and what the role of schools should be in promoting this mind-set.

In the thesis I follow a social constructivist paradigm, using phenomenography to map the variety of ways in which 8 parents of children at an international school in Finland understand the concept of global mindedness. The research reviews theories of ideological approaches to global education as well as Andreotti, Biesta and Ahenakew (2012)’s Global Minded Dispositions Instrument and draws on these to inform the construction of an outcome space. The findings show that parents understand global mindedness in three different ways. Two of these match existing theoretical models, which see global mindedness as either reflecting a set of ideological beliefs or expressing a relationship towards otherness. A third, under-theorized approach views being globally-minded as an expression of one’s identity in the world. It emphasizes the importance of creating a sense of agency and place, and views focusing on personal development and wellbeing as important aspects of effective global education.

The thesis provides an opening to explore alternative conceptualisations of global education and suggests that it could be bolder in in pushing for more critical and reflexive approaches. By exploring the views of parents, the thesis also hopes to encourage their voices to be heard more clearly in discussions on how best to educate for a globalized world.

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Copyright information: © Joffy Conolly, 2019. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.