Human rights education through and for children and young people in curricula
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
12:00 to 13:30
Place: Building 24 Room S402
In the current geo-political context the world is facing many crises. Human rights abuses are on the increase particularly in relation to women, refugees and the enslavement of peoples.
Regrettably, the reaction by many citizens in the developed world has been to implore their governments to turn inwards, to focus on more nationalist agendas and retract from their responsibility of finding global solutions to these crises.
Australia is a signatory to United Nations legislation that requires state parties to educate children and young people about human rights, through human rights and for human rights. As teachers and academics we need to ask the question “How can we enable students of all ages understand the importance of developing a culture of rights in a community so that individuals understand what it means to have respect for rights?”
In this presentation, Nina and Louise argue that education for and through human rights is one way forward. This is because it is conducted through a framework of promoting critical thinking and an education for a just and inclusive society that underpins the responsibilities of being an ethical citizen living in a global world.
Research outlining how schools can focus on educating students about human rights will be discussed. Nina will highlight research on gender and education in Afghanistan as an example of how improving young people’s understanding of global issues for the aim, in Martha Nussbaum’s (2009) terms ‘… of producing decent world citizens who can understand ...global problems ….and who have the practical competence and the motivational incentives to do something about these problems’.
Louise will share key insights from curricula analysis of the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia and the Australian Curriculum (foundation to year ten), as to how Australian curricula addresses human rights education. Propositions for how continuity in education about, through and for human rights could be sustained from the early years to throughout schooling are explored.
Nina Burridge is Associate Professor in the School of Education in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia. Her main research interests are underpinned by a rights framework encompassing principles of social justice and social inclusion and centre on issues such as cultural diversity, women’s empowerment, Indigenous education and human rights education in the context of a globalised world. She has recently lead a team of researchers in completing a project on the teaching of human rights education in Australian schools.