Teaching globalization from a local perspective

Past concepts, present challenges, and future approaches





Globalization, global citizenship education, economic education, lifeworld-orientation, socio-economic education


  • Challenges such as the ‘globalisation backlash’ are rooted in lifeworld experiences.
  • These experiences are rarely addressed by global citizenship education.
  • Past concepts of economic education can help to explore these lifeworld experiences.
  • They also help to select meaningful cases for teaching globalisation.
  • Linking students’ experiences with a socio-economic analysis can prevent public deception.

Purpose: The ‘globalisation backlash’ poses a challenge to society and civic education. This article develops future approaches to teaching globalisation by drawing on past concepts of economic education.

Approach: An in-depth literature review on the contemporary challenges of globalisation is given and compared to the conventional approaches of teaching globalisation. Past concepts of economic education are introduced and examined for their applicability in this context.

Findings: Since the ‘globalisation backlash’ is rooted in subjective experiences of the local environment, approaches such as lifeworld-orientation are useful to activated students’ understandings. Socio-economic approaches can complement this with sociological, economic, and political theories that reveal the mechanisms behind personal experiences. 

Practical implications: Diagnostic teaching becomes necessary to link the students’ realm of experience and globalised reality.

Author Biographies

Julian Wollmann, Kiel University

Julian Wollmann is a research assistant of Political and Economic Education at the University of Kiel. His research focusses on teacher professionalisation, diagnostics and students’ concepts of politics and economics.

Andreas Lutter, Kiel University

Andreas Lutter, PhD, is full professor of Political and Economic Education at the University of Kiel. His research focusses on students’ concepts of politics and economics, with a special focus on students’ ability to form a judgement on economic interventions.


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