There have been concerns that development education is losing its radical heritage as it becomes populated by educational material produced by non-governmental organisations (NGOs). This paper looks at two interlinked aspects of NGO material, the use of emotion to encourage social action, and the centrality of the Northern student as part of that action. Empirical research is used to illustrate how these two aspects can arise when a traditional development framework is used when teaching about global inequalities and social justice in the New Zealand context. If these interlinked aspects are embedded in the formal learning of the classroom, there are possible learning outcomes that are not intended. The paper discusses how the mix of emotion and agency is affected by the relations of power that exist in a classroom. Learning about global inequalities in the classroom has been discussed in the literature, but with little reference to student voice. This paper seeks to add to the discussion concerning the place and influence of NGO material in schools and how learning about the distant Other is affected by this.