People, Pope and Planet: A hermeneutic and spectacle analysis of Laudato Si’ for Global Citizenship Educators


  • William Gaudelli Teachers College, Columbia University


hermeneutic theory, spectacle, global citizenship education, global warming/climate change


Global citizenship education presents a number of challenges for educators, including the wide variety of texts available to be studied. I explore Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’ 2015 statement on global warming and human development. Laudato Si’ includes contents that are broad, connective and significant/relevant making it a strong candidate for inclusion in global citizenship education. I examine the text via two theoretical inquiries—hermeneutics and spectacle—to recommend instructional practices appropriate to this text and many similar ones. The pedagogical recommendations focus on supporting teachers engaged in global citizenship education.  

Author Biography

William Gaudelli, Teachers College, Columbia University

William Gaudelli is Associate Professor of Social Studies and Chair of the Department of Arts and Humanities at Teachers College, Columbia University.  His research areas include global citizenship education and teacher education/development. Gaudelli has published over 50 scholarly pieces in journals, including Teachers College Record, Teaching Education, Theory and Research in Social Education, The Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, The Journal of Aesthetic Education and Teaching and Teacher Education along with two books. His third book, Global Citizenship Education: Everyday Transcendence, which offers an analysis of global citizenship education in various locales globally, will be published in April, 2016. He is a co-founder of the Global Competence Certificate Program, which provides blended professional development for educators. Gaudelli is a frequent keynoter at international conferences and guest lecturer at various universities, having previously served as an executive board member of the John Dewey Society and College and University Faculty Assembly for the National Council for the Social Studies. Gaudelli was a member of the South Orange-Maplewood (NJ) Board of Education, 2011-2014. He was named a Rutgers 250 Revolutionary Fellow in 2016.