HEADS-UP – Rendering roles and structures visible

Aim: Participants reflect upon their project or partnership in consideration of a critical Global Citizenship Education

Duration: 90 min

Participants: up to 15
Materials: Face-to-face workshop:Laptop, projector, internet access, paper, writing utensil (pen or pencil);
Online: Technology and internet access for all, video conference program with online cooperation tool.

Procedure: The basis for reflection is the video created for the “Connect for Change“ conference by Prof. Dr. Vanessa Andreotti, Department for Educational Sciences of the University of British Columbia in Canada ( In this video, she argues in favour of an historic critical perspective regarding global (educational) partnerships which is sensitive to discrimination. In particular, the verification of one‘s own work using the HEADS UP tools has proved suitable for substantive reflection. All participants watch the video together. A printable written summary may be found here: Subsequently, the participants take their positions, either in a real environment, on an imaginary scale from one to ten on the floor, or in a virtual environment, in an online coorporation tool: How powerfully have each of the 7 HEADS UP dimensions become imprinted on our partnership? In the real environment, a sociographic listing results for each of the dimensions, one after the other. Here, the participants may be questioned regarding their perspectives, and critical points as well as any brand new ideas regarding change may be gathered. In the virtual space, the results of the coordination should visible for all and a written comments function should make it possible to submit entries.

In doing so, what is important to remember is that inequitable structures sometimes come to exist unintentionally, and that these can be difficult to penetrate. At this juncture, however, the first and most important step is to become consciously aware of such structures..

H egemonic practices (reinforcing and justifying the status quo)

E thnocentric projections (presenting one view as universal and superior)

A historical thinking (forgetting the role of historical legacies and complicities in shaping current problems)

D epoliticized orientations (disregarding the impacts of power imbalances and delegitimizing dissent)

S elf-serving motivations (invested in self-congratulatory heroism)


U n-complicated solutions (offering ‘feel-good’ quick fixes that do not address root causes of problems)

P aternalistic investments (seeking a ‘thank you’ from those who have been ‘helped’)