Talking points in Dr. Tania Ramalho’s Presentation:

Talking points in Dr. Tania Ramalho’s Presentation:
Autobiographical Exploration of Development and Global Issues Education
For the conference: Critical Thinking for Development Education. Moving from
Evaluation to Research.
Galway, Ireland, October 4, 2009
1. The question:
Would an autobiographical examination of one’s development and global issues
education provide insights that would serve the development of a research
program in the field?
2. Method: autobiographical narrative methods in educational research championed
by Connelly and Clandinin (2000; 2006) and Pinar (1994).
3. In writing my autobiographical narrative I have also resorted to developmental
psychologist Brofenbrenner’s (1979) ecological model that looks at various
systems (micro, meso, exo and macrosystem) affecting individual development
across the life span.
4. I wrote about episodes relevant in my life (I grew up in Brazil and immigrated to
the United States as an adult) to development and global issues education. I
worked through the phases: early (first understanding of the political) and late
childhood (primary school); adolescence (secondary school, scouting and student
exchange program); young (college and activism) and middle adulthood (graduate
education in Brazil and the U.S. and activism)
5. The following generalizations can be made at an instrumental-pedagogical level
of analysis:
a) Development and global issues education (DGIEd) is developmental in nature,
starting in childhood and continuing over the life span;
b) DGIEd is social, cultural and geographical context-depended; both contents
and methods of DGIEd are affected by these contexts;
c) The formal curricula at each level of education are central to DGIEd. In other
words, it is important schools include these topics in the curricula;
d) Informal curricula, in terms of extra-curricular activities such as participation
in international youth groups and movements, is also an important aspect of
e) Formal and informal curricula together strengthen the quality of DGIEd;
f) Media and channels of social communication (for example, campaigns) are
important sources of information for DGIEd;
h) Historical events—nationally and internationally affect the public and serve as
powerful environments for increased understanding of development and global
6. Each one of the above items can generate research questions as well as serve as
guide for practice.
7. My autobiography of development and global issues education can be analyzed
from other perspectives. For example, a critical examination of content of my
DGIEd reveals a Western bias (little focus on Africa, Asia, and even on other
Latin-American countries)