In order to attain sustainable development, it is essential to educate youth in all educational stages in the values of human rights as part of a critical global citizenship. Studies should be based on work on social issues and conflicts, which serve to form critical thinking and, ultimately, foster social action and social change.
SDGs 1, 5, 10 and 16 refer to social problems in the world and to our nearest reality. Our research aims to provide knowledge so that these problems can be contained in teaching, using an innovative methodology, such as socially alive questions or work based on relevant social problems. We must encourage these controversial issues to be visible and naturalize their treatment in the democratic school.
Our goal is to propose a curriculum and educational proposals that address poverty, inequalities, injustices or war conflicts. First by investigating the difficulties and possibilities of this approach, collaborating locally and international. Second, by building teaching materials to offer them in schools for their experimentation in different parts of the world. We have been working for many years on social studies and education for citizens, with projects in partnership with universities and educational centres in different countries around the world. We collaborate on a research project on Education for Global Citizenship with universities in Great Britain, Colombia, Pakistan and Spain. We also collaborate with non-governmental organizations, such as the Eirene Association or the UAB School of Peace, which work on projects to foster a culture of peace and promote human rights. We are also currently carrying out a research project with different Spanish universities on how to teach and learn to interpret contemporary problems and conflicts. Critical interpretation is an essential step for us for action and social change in relation to sustainable development. With the Eirene Association, we are working on a teaching project on “dividing and excluding walls in the world” including displaced persons and refugees, and finally, with the School of Peace, we work on a project to create an instrument for critical analysis of educational materials and social science textbooks. Our latest research focuses on three major issues:
a) the manipulation of the media in reference to the current social problems and conflicts;
b) the invisibility of people and education for a global citizenship that includes all people, groups and identities;
c) the discourses of hatred in relation to xenophobia, racism, sexism, homophobia or other forms of social exclusion, as well as the role of reason against emotions when analyzing these attitudes.