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ERIC Number: ED178185
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Sep
Pages: 17
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Children's Concepts of Human Rights and Social Cognition.
Torney, Judith V.; Brice, Patrick J.
Recent literature on children's conceptions of social institutions is reviewed, and the results of a pilot study on children's concepts of human rights are described. A series of interview questions was developed based on rights specified in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Questions in Part I of the interview concerned a presumed violation of each right ("If in another country it was decided that it was all right to buy and sell people like slaves, so that the country had no rules or laws saying that was wrong, would that be right?"). Follow-up questions were asked to assess the child's reasoning. Additional questions were included to determine whether children of different ages made a distinction between transgressions of human rights and of social conventions. In Part II of the interview students were asked about their understanding of the term "human rights," and about their knowledge of rights in other countries and of means to enhance human rights. Two different forms of the interview were used, the first with 30 students from grades 4, 6, and 8, and the second with five students from grade 8 and four students from grade 4. In general, the majority of the children at all three ages said that various violations would be wrong even when there were no laws prohibiting the violations. However, when asked if these violations would be wrong if there was a law which allowed them, many of the children gave reasons to justify the situations. Examples of children's reasoning from both parts of the interview are cited in detail. (Author/SS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Commission for UNESCO (Dept. of State), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Chicago. Chicago Circle Campus.
Identifiers: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (87th, New York, NY, September 1-5, 1979) ; Best copy available