Educating for Human Dignity: Learning about Rights and Responsibilities

Educating for Human Dignity: Learning about Rights and Responsibilities

Educating for Human Dignity: Learning about Rights and Responsibilities

Educating for Human Dignity: Learning about Rights and Responsibilities

Synopsis

Issues of universal human rights are critically important topics in education today. Educators, scholars, and activists urge schools to promote awareness and understanding of human rights in their curricula from the earliest levels.

Written by by Betty A. Reardon, one of the foremost scholars on human rights education for the primary and secondary levels, Educating for Human Dignity is designed for both teachers and teacher educators. It is the first resource offering both guidance and support materials for human rights education programs from kindergarten through high school. It opens possibilities for an holistic approach to human rights education that directly confronts the values issues raised by human rights problems in a context of global interrelationships.

Excerpt

The field of education, like all sectors of society, is presently being profoundly challenged by the rapidly changing global social system. the curricula of schools and teacher education institutions had hardly begun to develop a response to the often repeated litany of global problems when the system in which they evolved began to restructure itself drastically. This situation revealed the limits of the problem centered approach to understanding and teaching global social issues.

The new challenge calls for an approach more readily adaptable to a world experiencing drastic changes, one grounded in a set of fundamental principles by which human affairs can be assessed in a variety of situations. This book proposes one such approach. It is values based and conceptual rather than issue- or problem- centered. It assumes that our social problems at all levels, local through global, are as much a matter of ethics as they are of structures; as personal and social as they are political and economic. It further contends that the subject of human rights most readily lends itself to the curricular requirements of the challenge. Indeed, it can be argued that most of the problems faced by the global system both in the Cold War period and now in its aftermath can be viewed as issues of human rights. This argument is central to the positions and programs of the People's Decade for Human Rights Education and to this curriculum sampler and resource guide designed to implement its purposes.

The underlying intention is that this book will lead to more extensive and detailed human rights curricula. It has been published in the hope that its users will contribute to the further development of human rights education by adaptations of these materials and inventive use of the other resources listed here, and especially by developing their own materials. the Decade for Human Rights Education would be most interested in receiving samples, syllabi, and other resources developed by the users of Educating for Human Dignity.

This volume offers a curriculum framework and rationale, resource listings, and sample lesson materials to facilitate human rights education in elementary and secondary schools and teacher education institutions. It is intended to be suggestive rather than definitive. It demonstrates some possibilities for an holistic approach to human rights education that is comprehensive, conceptual, and developmental, that . . .

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