I do like a sandwich… fresh bread, a variety of tasty fillings, a scattering of potato crisps and a beautiful summer’s day on cut grass for a picnic. But sandwiches come in all shapes and sizes, types and flavors, with a wide variety of ingredients and fillings, no one is perfect but all can be equally delicious.
This is Etienne in New Zealand preparing one half of a very special sandwich.
This is Angel in Spain preparing the other half of the same sandwich.
We call this an Earth sandwich where two slices of bread have been carefully placed in the exact opposite places on the exact opposite sides of our Earth.
So if Angel was able to drill directly through the centre of the Earth from Madrid in a straight line he would come out somewhere in New Zealand with Etienne, probably close to the city of Wellington. There are other places on our Earth, but not too many though, where this unique feat of creating an Earth sandwich can be achieved. You can see all the green shaded areas on the map below and their opposite locations. All the black areas would end up in the oceans or seas and therefore not be possible to make the sandwich.
Being a geographer, I love this concept of an Earth sandwich and the accurate use of latitudes and longitudes to map opposite locations. I especially like this idea of an Earth sandwich when I consider myself as being a global citizen. Myself and the Earth as the pieces of bread and the fillings being all the unique elements that make me the global citizen that I am and want to be.
These fillings are endless… and could be shaped by… our nationalities and heritage, the places we have travelled to and seen, the religions and faiths we may follow, the hobbies and interests that we have, the way we interact and communicate in person and in cyberspace, the languages we speak, and the habits we probably should give up, and the habits we should try and be better at.
They could also be shaped by the global goals for sustainable development… or even the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Even schools (should) help us everyday to become people who care for others and the world around them, that is why I am passionate about global citizenship education.
For me global citizenship is about having a go, being prepared to leave your comfort zone and trying new experiences. But this is not enough. A global citizen is always learning, they focus on the moment and make connections with the people and the environment around them. They reflect on how they were made to feel and how they made others feel, striving to learn more about themselves and other people. A global citizen always wants to learn more and is not afraid to set personal targets for self-improvement and growth.
In a school and throughout a learning community there are an abundance of opportunities for global citizenship education. These opportunities should not be perceived as separate, or an add-on, to a formal education programme, instead they should be fully integrated and encouraged to enhance the overall learning a person is able to achieve inside and outside of school. The whole truly is greater than the sum of its parts. There are many individual parts that make up a sandwich, we may not particularly enjoy the individual parts or choose to eat them by themselves, but together as a whole, lovingly prepared and reflectively put together, these many ingredients and fillings can make a truly amazing and successful (global citizenship) sandwich.