Today, we are faced with a range of interconnected challenges, from growing social inequalities and unacceptable economic conditions to the normalization of violence, the impact of climate change, and the deterioration of mental health and socio-emotional resilience. War and militarism remain rampant, while support of basic liberties and democratic institutions erodes. “We face an existential choice” of whether to “continue on an unsustainable path or radically change course”, to borrow the landmark report from the international commission on the Futures of Education (UNESCO 2021). In the same vein, the UN Secretary-General calls for our solidarity to carry out “our common agenda”, reminding us that we are at a critical juncture to make our choice, or fail to make, which “could result in breakdown or a breakthrough to a greener, better, safer future.” (UN 2021)

While education alone cannot bring about the deep-set changes, we seek it entails a pivotal location in the social world where individuals and communities can develop their capacities to help foment change. With this conviction in mind, advocates of Global Citizenship Education and its related education initiatives have been working tirelessly to create an education field that enables all citizens to “break through” the shared challenges. These efforts are currently positioned under the banner of “transformative education.”

Despite the spread of diverse GCED policies, there are many questions in the field of practice: How can these interconnected issues and urgent concerns be translated or converted into curricular content and pedagogical practice without overwhelming educators and learners? How can we effectively materialize the multidimensional and interdisciplinary nature of GCED? How can we shift from a technical approach to GCED ‘competences’ to a more holistic one? What kinds of tools do we need to ensure that GCED contributes to transformative learning and critical empowerment?

The 8th International Conference on GCED (8th IConGCED) will invite concerned and committed scholars, policy-makers, and practitioners in GCED to discuss and explore such issues and share experiences, lessons learnt, and good practices. In particular, it will shed renewed light on the multidimensionality and interdisciplinarity of GCED as well as issues of practicality and possibility, especially through the integration and re-articulation of GCED competences in innovative curricular content and pedagogical practices.

Key issue areas to be considered with at the conference sessions include:

Discussion of urgent issues such as war/violence and climate change/biodiversity loss in relation to GCED as an interdisciplinary field and as a cognitive, socio-emotional and action-oriented construct. It will consider diverse themes, including, for example,

  • How GCED competences contribute to transformative learning and critical empowerment;
  • Which innovative pedagogical approaches and settings are aligned with transformative learning and critical empowerment;
  • Which school and classroom GCED practices can be adapted in broadly diverse settings; and
  • Which types of advocacy, policies, and partnerships are needed to advance a culture of peace through GCED


The Conference will mainly be held in person in Seoul, Republic of Korea, with invited speakers and registered participants contributing onsite. All the segments of the Conference will also be live-streamed via YouTube.


  • To explore and discuss challenges and possibilities of interpreting, translating and converting GCED into practice, particularly attentive to its multidimensional nature and key competences
  • To contribute to emergent discourses around transformative education and GCED competences
  • To share innovative programmes, pedagogies, practices, and lessons learnt with a wide range of interested stakeholders; and
  • To strengthen levels of commitment, solidarity, and cooperation among all GCED stakeholders


More than 200 persons are expected to participate in the Conference on site, and a maximum of 1,000 for the real-time virtual conference and via live streaming are expected to participate in the 8th IConGCED:

  • Policymakers and professionals in the field of education
  • GCED experts, leaders and practitioners
  • Interested educators, youth and parents
  • International/regional/national organizations and civil society organizations
  • GCED-specialized organizations and institutes
  • Representatives from the private sector
  • Individuals interested in GCED

Working Languages

The official working languages of the Conference will be English and Korean. Simultaneous interpretation will be available between English and Korean.

Global Citizenship Education (GCED) aims to be transformative, building the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes that learners need to be able to contribute to a more inclusive, just and peaceful world.

GCED has three conceptual dimensions as follows:

  • Cognitive

    Learners acquire knowledge and understanding of local, national and global issues and the interconnectedness and interdependency of different countries and populations
    Learners develop skills for critical thinking and analysis

  • Socio-emotional

    Learners experience a sense of belonging to a common humanity, sharing values and responsibilities, based on human rights
    Learners develop attitudes of empathy, solidarity and respect for differences and diversity

  • Behavioural

    Learners act effectively and responsibly at local, national and global levels for a more peaceful and sustainable world
    Learners develop motivation and willingness to take necessary actions

It takes a multifaceted approach, employing concepts and methodologies already applied in other areas, including human rights education, peace education, education for sustainable development and education for international understanding and aims to advance their common objectives. Global citizenship education applies a lifelong learning perspective, beginning from early childhood and continuing through all levels of education and into adulthood, requiring both formal and informal approaches, curricular and extracurricular interventions, and conventional and unconventional pathways to participation.

Extracted from The ABCs of Global Citizenship Education (UNESCO, 2016)

The Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU) was established in 2000 through an agreement between UNESCO and the Government of the Republic of Korea, with the primary objective of promoting education for a Culture of Peace. APCEIU collaborates closely with UNESCO Offices, National Commissions of Member States, relevant educational institutions, and civil society organizations to advance Global Citizenship Education (GCED) within the framework of Education for International Understanding (EIU) in pursuit of a Culture of Peace.

APCEIU is dedicated to fostering a culture of peace through education, aligning with UNESCO's mission of promoting global peace and the well-being of humanity. Its activities encompass strengthening the capacities of nations and regions in international understanding education and GCED, providing support for research and development of pertinent educational curricula, and facilitating the organization of training workshops and seminars for teachers and teacher educators. Moreover, APCEIU plays a pivotal role in enhancing mutual cooperation among stakeholders by serving as a platform for relevant organizations, experts, educators, and civil society activists to engage with one another seamlessly.

For the latest news and valuable resources, you can visit the official website of APCEIU at http://www.unescoapceiu.org/ko/.

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