Quality Education

Living Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho, Anabela Marisa Azul, Luciana Brandli, Pinar Gökcin Özuyar, Tony Wall

Global Curriculum: Desirability and Feasiblity

  • Alicia ProwseEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-69902-8_63-1



Curriculum is a broad term that is commonly understood as a plan of what is learned in a course of education, including the written documentation that prescribes the detailed content and the ways of learning that a student of that course will experience (e.g., Wiles et al. 1989). However, curriculum scholars acknowledge that curriculum is difficult to define (Doll 2008; Marsh 2009; Dillon 2009; Hunkins and Ornstein 2016) and that:

Curriculum may be one of those key terms—like democracy, say—the meaning of which remains forever elusive, open, shifting, dynamic and undecidable. (Green 2017)

Considerations about how a “global” curriculum might be defined, and perhaps most importantly by whom or in relation to what criteria and purposes, are arguably even more critical and potentially complex.


Fraser and Bosanquet (2006) acknowledge the wide variety of ways that educators use and...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Akintayo T, Hämäläinen J, Rissanen S (2016) Global standards and the realities of multiculturalism in social work curricula. Int Soc Work 61(3):395–409CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Billett S (2011) Vocational education: purposes, traditions and prospects. Springer Science and Business Media, DordrechtCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Blaschke LM (2018) Self-determined learning (Heutagogy) and digital media creating integrated educational environments for developing lifelong learning skills. In: The digital turn in higher education. Springer VS, Wiesbaden, pp 129–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bourn D, Hunt F, Bamber P (2017) A review of Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship Education in Teacher Education. Background paper prepared for the 2017/8 Global Education Monitoring Report. UNESCO. Available at: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0025/002595/259566e.pdf
  5. Bovill C (2013) Students and staff co-creating curricula: An example of good practice in higher education. The student engagement handbook: Practice in higher education, 461–475Google Scholar
  6. Castillio Fernandez OO, Lopez RI, Lasso De La Vega JCAJ, Lim M, Villa-Real A (2018) Ten years of ASCO/ESMO global curriculum for training in medical oncology implementation at Instituto Oncologico Nacional in Panama City, Panama. J Clin Oncol 36(15):11010.  https://doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2018.36.15_suppl.11010CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Clifford V, Montgomery C (2014) Challenging conceptions of western higher education and promoting graduates as global citizens. High Educ Q 68(1):28–45. Special Issue: Globalisation and Higher EducationCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dillon JT (2009) The questions of curriculum. J Curric Stud 41(3):343–359.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00220270802433261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Doll WE (2008) Complexity and the culture of curriculum. Educ Philos Theory 40(1):190–212.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-5812.2007.00404.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fraser SP, Bosanquet AM (2006) The curriculum? That’s just a unit outline, isn’t it?. Studies in Higher Education 31(3):269–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Freire P (1972) Pedagogy of the oppressed 1968. (trans: Ramos MB). Herder, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  12. Fung D (2017) A connected curriculum for higher education 1–182 UCL PressGoogle Scholar
  13. Garson K, Bourassa E, Odgers T (2016) Interculturalising the curriculum: faculty professional development. Intercult Educ 27(5):457–473CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Green B (2017) Engaging curriculum: bridging the curriculum theory and English education divide. Routledge, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hansen HH, Bajorin DF, Muss HB, Purkalne G, Schrijvers D, Stahel R (2004) Recommendations for a global Core curriculum in medical oncology. ESMO/ASCO task force on global curriculum in medical oncology. Ann Oncol 15(11):1603–1612.  https://doi.org/10.1093/annonc/mdh447CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Haubrich H, Reinfried S, Schleicher Y (2008) Lucerne declaration on geographical education for sustainable development. Interaction 36(1):243–250Google Scholar
  17. Heater D (1980) World studies: education for international understanding in Britain. Harrap, LondonGoogle Scholar
  18. Hicks D (2003) Thirty years of global education: a reminder of key principles and precedents. Educ Rev 55(3):265–275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hooks B (2014) Teaching to transgress. Routledge, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hunkins FP, Ornstein AC (2016) Curriculum: foundations, principles, and issues. Pearson Education International Charter on Geographical Education 2016. http://www.igu-cge.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/IGU_2016_def.pdf
  21. Jönsson JH, Flem AL (2018) International field training in social work education: beyond colonial divides. Soc Work Educ.  https://doi.org/10.1080/02615479.2018.1461823CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Joseph S (2015) Curriculum politics in higher education: what educators need to do to survive. Int J High Educ 4 (3)Google Scholar
  23. Leat D, Thomas U (2018) Exploring the role of ‘brokers’ in developing a localised curriculum. Curric J 29(2):201–218.  https://doi.org/10.1080/09585176.2018.1445513CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lilley K, Barker M, Harris N (2016) The global citizen conceptualized: accommodating ambiguity. J Stud Int Educ 21(1):6–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Links M, Kichenadasse G (2017) Continued Evolution in a Global Curriculum in Medical Oncology-what next? Med Ed Publish 6(3):46.  https://doi.org/10.15694/mep.2017.000160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Margolis E (2002) The hidden curriculum in higher education. RoutledgeGoogle Scholar
  27. Marsh CJ (2009) Key concepts for understanding curriculum. Routledge, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Marsh CJ, Willis G (1995) Curriculum: alternative approaches, ongoing issues. Merrill, Englewood CliffsGoogle Scholar
  29. Martin K, Mirraboopa B (2003) Ways of knowing, being and doing: a theoretical framework and methods for indigenous and indigenist re-search. J Aust Stud 27(76):203–214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Meer N (ed) (2016) Multiculturalism and interculturalism: debating the dividing lines. Edinburgh University Press, EdinburghGoogle Scholar
  31. Meyer JW, Ramirez FO, Soysal YN (1992) World Expansion of Mass Education, 1870–1980. Soc Edu 65(2):128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Meyer JW, Kamens D, Benavot a (2017) School knowledge for the masses: world models and national primary curricular categories in the twentieth century. Routledge, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Nussbaum MC (1997) Cultivating humanity: a classical defense of reform in Liberal education. Harvard University Press, HarvardGoogle Scholar
  34. Nussbaum MC (2011) Creating capabilities: the human development approach. The Belknap Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Pashby K (2011) Cultivating global citizens: planting new seeds or pruning the perennials? Looking for the citizen-subject in global citizenship education theory. Glob Soc Educ 9(3–4):427–442Google Scholar
  36. Pashby K (2015) Conflations, possibilities, and foreclosures: Global citizenship education in a multicultural context. Curriculum Inquiry 45(4):345–366CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Razack N (2012) International social work. In: Gray M, Midgley J, Webb SA (eds) The SAGE handbook of social work.  https://doi.org/10.4135/9781446247648.n46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Richardson R (1976) Learning for change in world society: reflections, activities and resources. World Studies Project, LondonGoogle Scholar
  39. Sen A (1980) Equality of what? In: McMurrin S (ed) The Tanner lectures on human values. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake CityGoogle Scholar
  40. Sen A (1999) Development as freedom. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  41. Sewpaul V, Jones D (2004) Global standards for social work education and training. Soc Work Educ 23(5):493–513.  https://doi.org/10.1080/0261547042000252244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Sprenger S, Nienaber B (2018) Education for sustainable development in geography education: review and outlook from a perspective of Germany. J Geogr High Educ 42(2):157–173.  https://doi.org/10.1080/03098265.2017.1379057CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Steger M (2008) The rise of the global imaginary: political ideologies from the French revolution to the global war on terror. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  44. UNESCO (2018) Sustainable development goals. https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs
  45. Walker M (2012) Universities and a human development ethics: a capabilities approach to curriculum. Eur J Educ 47(3):448–461CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Walker M, McLean M (2013) Professional education, capabilities and the public good: the role of universities in promoting human development. Routledge, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Wenger E (1998) Communities of practice: learning as a social system. Syst Think 9(5):2–3Google Scholar
  48. Wiles J, Bondi J, Guo H (1989) Curriculum development: A guide to practice. Merrill Publishing Company, ColumbusGoogle Scholar
  49. WFME (2018) World Federation for Medical Education. http://wfme.org/ [Accessed July 2018]
  50. Young M (2013) Overcoming the crisis in curriculum theory: a knowledge-based approach. J Curric Stud 45(2):101–118.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00220272.2013.764505CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University Teaching AcademyManchester Metropolitan UniversityManchesterUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Theam Foo Ng
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Global Sustainability StudiesUniversiti Sains MalaysiaPenangMalaysia