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ERIC Number: EJ1150373
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: EISSN-2327-3585
Human Rights Education Here and Now: U.S. Practices and International Processes
Tibbitts, Felisa
Journal of International Social Studies, v4 n2 p129-134 2014
Felisa Tibbitts has spent the better part of her professional life in the field of human rights education. She remarks here that earlier in her career, as a U.S. national, she had been steeped in the language of civic education and peace education, but had not come across the term "human rights" and didn't initially understand (beyond a reference to the United Nations in social studies classes) how these standards and the United Nations could have any bearing on curriculum and classroom practices. She has since come to understand and vigorously promote the unique place that human rights education (HRE) can play within a larger field of educational approaches that seeks to promote the human dignity of all members of the school community. Human rights are focused on the concept of justice and, by extension, the protection of those who are marginalized and abused. Human rights organizations familiar to us monitor such conditions. Teaching about human rights content alone, however, does not constitute human rights education (HRE). Given the agenda to forward capacities to protect and promote human dignity, there has to be much more than a transfer of knowledge. Based on good work carried out over the past 20 years, the United Nations has embraced a holistic definition of HRE that sets a high standard. In the Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training (Dec 2011), the UN General Assembly endorsed the view that teaching and learning processes for HRE should incorporate: (1) Education "about" human rights, which includes providing knowledge and understanding of human rights norms and principles, the values that underpin them and the mechanisms for their protection; (2) Education "through" human rights, which includes learning and teaching in a way that respects the rights of both educators and learners; and (3) Education "for" human rights, which includes empowering persons to enjoy and exercise their rights and to respect and uphold the rights of others. Examples of outcomes related to knowledge and understanding (education "about" human rights) are provided here as well as sample outcomes related to HRE-related skills, attitudes and values (education "for" human rights) are also provided. In a report submitted to both to the U.S. State Department and to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, HRE USA reported key problems and recommendations oriented towards three priorities: (1) curriculum standards; (2) teacher preparation; and (3) school environment. Since Tibbitts anticipates that many of these issues will be similar for other school systems, she also shares analyses from the report which can be found in its entirety on the HRE USA website.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A