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Global identity is at the heart of global citizenship and promoting global justice.

Global identity strengthens young people’s awareness of who they are in the world, their participation within it, and their contribution to it.

Hand with an outline of New Zealand against a grey background of a world map

We need to know who we are and how we connect globally

© Centres of Asia-Pacific Excellence

What is global identity?

Developing a sense of belonging within local, national and global communities is an important part of global identity. This strong and positive sense of self prepares young people to respond collaboratively to global challenges and identify better outcomes for our shared humanity. 

This tohu (icon) represents global identity.

Global identity. Designed by Nikki Kennedy, Taputapu.

© Centres of Asia-Pacific Excellence

The two white triangles represent maunga (mountains). These maunga are examples of stability and connection to identity and whenua. The blue triangle represents the individual (rangatahi or young person), who is firmly connected to their identity and sits confidently underneath the shelter of their maunga.

How do young people develop global identity?

Global identity begins with developing a strong awareness of self within one’s local community. While identity development is complex and multifaceted, young people’s sense of self is strengthened through positive associations with relationships, social environments, culture, and language within their immediate local world.  Schools and teachers play an important role in supporting young people to develop a strong and positive sense of themselves by affirming who they are within the context of others, and developing their sense of locatedness within the wider world. 

In this clip, tauira from Ngā Taiātea Wharekura share what global identity means to them. They reflect on the way that building a global identity has strengthened their own sense of self and their own sense of belonging.

When we develop our global identity, we develop our own sense of who we are

© Centres of Asia-Pacific Excellence

From a te ao Māori perspective, turangawaewae connects young people to whenua (land) and whakapapa (genealogy). This ‘place of standing’ embraces geographical, genealogical, and cultural roots, and connects young people’s sense of self to a much deeper, holistic and interconnected place of belonging. It invites a deep exploration of the histories of local places, and encourages young people to consider how the outcomes of these histories are experienced within their world today.

Global identity also invites learners to consider their identity within the wider world.  Drawing on our unique geographical, historical, and cultural place of standing within Aotearoa New Zealand, global identity encourages young people to reflect on who they are within our global community.

Useful links

Visit the Ministry of Education’s Pūtātara website for ideas to  incorporate global citizenship and sustainability through the curriculum in Aotearoa New Zealand.

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