25 SES 06, Teaching and Children’s Rights
This communication presents some findings of the fieldwork of my doctoral thesis “Human Rights Education as a Tool for Social Cohesion”. This research is conducted within the Consolidated Research Group, ESBRINA “Contemporary Subjectivities and educational environments.” (2009SGR 00503). University of Barcelona.
The current social situation where it seems that immigration is still perceived as a pending subject, despite being a multicultural society and having a substantial track record in inclusive education and diversity. And the generalized crisis situation that uncovers nationalist and racist speeches that seemed to be more mitigated. Both considerations lead me to wonder if it is possible to strengthen the discourse of tolerance, openness, coexistence.
The main research question that arises is: Can Human Rights Education be the departure point to work from, with and for the cultural diversity that characterizes our societies?
Human Rights Education has been introduced in our social politics and among them in educational policies which have a relevant role on the consecution of a cohesive society. Education, as a social right that has to be guarantee, facilitates the social change and the promotion of values and attitudes that favor cohesion.
The efforts to boost Human Rights Education have taken us forward to a new instrument such as the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training by resolution 66/137, 19 December 2011.
The work of several organizations like United Nations, The Council of Europe or Amnesty international have develop a wide variety of materials regarding human rights education at schools, guides and manuals for teachers, courses, development of competences and compendium of activities.
The questions that arise are:
- How are these policies translated into the school reality?
- How do we teach and how do we learn human rights?
- Which methodologies, materials and activities do we use for teaching human rights?
In order to obtain some answers I went into the fieldwork accessing the classrooms of a Secondary Education School in Catalonia, characterized by its intercultural community. Students come from different origins, mostly Pakistan, some from South America: Ecuador, Colombia and Bolivia. Other minorities are Filipinas, Brazil, Bangladesh, India, and Dominican Republic. The natives are historical gypsies of the neighbourhood and some non gypsies.
- Amnesty International. (2012). Becoming a Human Rights Friendly School. A guide for schools around the world. London. - Human Rights Education in the School Systems of Europe, Central Asia and North America: A Compendium of Good Practice (2009). Human Rights Education Associates, HREA; The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE/ODIHR); the Council of Europe; the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). - Osler, A. y Starkey, H.(2005). Changing citizenships. Democracy and Inclusion in Education. Berkshire. Open University Press. McGraw Hill Education. - Tibbitts, F. (2008) "Human Rights Education", in: Bajaj, M. (ed.), Encyclopedia of Peace Education (Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing) - United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training by resolution (2011). 66/137, 19 December. - VVAA. (2012). COMPASS. Manual for Human Rights Education with Young People. Council of Europe. -VVAA. (2012). Teacher Compendium for Human Rights Education. Institute for the Development of Gifted Education. Morgridge College of Education. University of Denver. -VVAA. (2009). How all teachers can support citizenship and human rights education: a framework for the development of competences. Council of Europe. Belgium.
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