ERIC Number: ED320786
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Sep-17
Reference Count: N/A
Civic Education and Human Rights.
Butts, R. Freeman
In order to understand the context of the role that human rights should play in civic education in the United States, the era in which those rights were first debated (1789-1790's) must be examined, as well as contemporary political and education trends in the United States and the world. Human rights were at the heart of the democratic revolutions in the late 18th century. For a contemporary understanding of human rights education in the United States, the role that the United States has played in world affairs since the end of World War II must be examined. The organization of the United Nations and the formulation of its charter brought considerable enthusiasm for human rights to the United States. The rise of international studies as a basic component of civic education in the schools was always beset in the United States by Cold War ideology and McCarthyism. The Helsinki Final Act of 1975 and the Carter administration's focus on human rights brought concern for human rights back into the forefront of national discussion. The onset of the Reagan administration downgraded the role of human rights in U.S. foreign policy. In spite of this opposition, the California State Department of Education drew up and adopted a "Model Curriculum for Human Rights and Genocide," based on a similar program developed in Connecticut. It suggests ten human rights issues for discussion by U.S. high school students (e.g., "Privacy, Authority, and Abortion"). Two charts help delineate civic values and human rights in an educational scheme. (PPB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Sponsor: Ministry of Public Instruction, Florence (Italy).; Center for Civic Education, Calabasas, CA.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the International Conference on Constitutional Government and the Development of an Enlightened Citizenry (Los Angeles, CA, September 16-22, 1989).