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Reflective Essays

Vol. 26 No. 3

Are the International Components of Global Learning Programs Ethical and Appropriate? Some Considerations Utilizing a Fair Trade Learning Framework

April 21, 2021


Educational approaches that emphasize engagement within community-based contexts in both domestic and international settings are widely recognized as high-impact pedagogical practices. However, the international components of global learning programs are increasingly being viewed through rigorous ethical lenses as the potential and actual harms of these initiatives have become more widely recognized. Six common criticisms of international components embedded within global learning programs are highlighted in this essay, along with responses and counterpoints to each. We assert that although each of these concerns warrants significant discussion, all six can be satisfactorily addressed using proactive and ethical strategies that are already employed in best-practice community-based global learning (CBGL) work.