Human rights education (HRE) is a worldwide movement designed to place human rights at the center of K–university educational theory and practice, providing a critical foundation for global citizenship education, social justice and diversity education, and equity-based schooling reforms. Readers will learn how: (1) HRE content supports core values of U.S. education, including those focused on liberty, justice, and social equality for all educators and students; (2) HRE concepts and illustrative learning strategies support inclusive education and promote peace, tolerance, and cross-cultural understanding; and (3) the theoretical foundations of HRE are compatible with recognized teacher preparation standards and program goals. Pre-service educators seeking teaching licenses and practicing classroom educators desiring to expand their focus into human rights education will find this book very helpful, as will professors teaching methods courses and courses dealing with social justice, multicultural education, and diversity in education. The book blends theory and practice to help educators make human rights education a central focus of their daily practice, providing sample HRE units concerning the rights of global migrants, Indigenous peoples, and LGBTQ+ communities. Readers will not only apply what they learn but also become part of a non-partisan movement supporting human rights across the globe.
About the Editors
Gloria T. Alter, EdD, was a teacher educator for over 20 years—associate professor at Northern Illinois University (NIU), visiting associate professor at DePaul University, and assistant professor at Valparaiso University. Dr. Alter’s academic work includes numerous invited and refereed presentations at national and international conferences, and publications in journals such as, Educational Leadership, Multicultural Review, Social Education,Theory and Research in Social Education, and Urban Education. Her most recent publication, co-authored with Bill Fernekes, is “Human Rights Education and Issues-Centered Social Studies,” in the Handbook on Teaching Social Issues (2nd ed.) published by Information Age. Dr. Alter’s research primarily addresses diversity and social justice issues in social studies curriculum and instruction. She taught a wide variety of courses in elementary and secondary education with an emphasis on social studies and developed courses in citizenship and social justice education. Dr. Alter served as the Editor of Social Studies and the Young Learner, a national, refereed journal of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS). And she was the guest editor of the first special issue of Social Education to focus on LGBTQ+ topics. In addition, she was the President of the International Assembly of NCSS and Associate Editor of its Journal of International Social Studies.
William R. Fernekes, MA, EdD, is Part-time Lecturer 2 at the Rutgers Graduate School of Education and a founding member of Human Rights Educators USA. He taught social studies and Spanish from 1974-1987 at Hunterdon Central Regional HS in Flemington, New Jersey, and served as supervisor of social studies at Hunterdon Central from 1987 to his retirement in December 2010. Co-author with Beverly C. Edmonds of Children's Rights: A Reference Handbook (1996), he has published widely in the fields of Holocaust and genocide studies, human rights education, and issues-centered social studies education. His 2002 publication for Greenwood Press, The Oryx Holocaust Sourcebook (2002), was recognized as an outstanding reference book by Choice magazine. Most recently he authored two essays dealing with human rights education: “Global Citizenship Education and Human Rights Education: Are They Compatible With U. S. Civic Education?” (2016) in Journal of International Social Studies and “On the Matter or Black Lives: Studying African-American History Using a Human Rights Perspective” (2017) in Teaching Social Studies. With Gloria T. Alter, he has co-authored an essay on “Human Rights Education and Issues-Based Social Issues” for the forthcoming Handbook on Teaching Social Issues, 2nd edition. He is currently completing a biography of US senator Clifford P. Case II.
Gloria T. Alter, Katherine Covell, William R. Fernekes, Nancy Flowers, Page Hersey, R. Brian Howe, Abraham Magendzo Kolstrein, Glenn Mitoma, Adaobiagu Nnemdi Obiagu, Audrey Osler, Kristi Rudelius-Palmer, David Shiman, Sandra L. Sirota, Hugh Starkey, Felisa Tibbitts
Series Editors’ Introduction
Nilufer Guler and Mary Curran
Foreword: Human Rights Education: The Mission of the Movement
Gloria T. Alter and William R. Fernekes
Human Rights Education and Action
Human Rights Education
The Purpose and Organization of The Human Rights Imperative in Teacher Education
SECTION I. HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION AND GLOBAL TEACHER EDUCATION
1 The Human Rights Imperative in Teacher Education
Felisa Tibbitts, and Sandra Sirota
Definition of HRE
HRE in Schooling
2 The Development and Practice of Human Rights Education: Historical and Global Perspectives
Nancy Flowers and Abraham Magendzo K.
The Origins and Development of Human Rights Education
Human Rights Education in Formal and Non-Formal Education
Fundamentals of Human Rights Education
Obstacles to Human Rights Education
Challenges to Human Rights Education
Institutionalized Human Rights Education vs. Transformative Human Rights Education
Suggested Resources for Further Study
3 Global Citizenship Education: Democracy, Children’s Rights, and the Role of the Teacher
Audrey Osler and Hugh Starkey
Global Citizenship Education
Changing Citizenship Education
Education for Cosmopolitan Citizenship
Children as Citizens
Teacher Education Programs for Human Rights Education
4 Applying Human Rights Education Principles in Global Teacher Education: Focusing on Decolonialization and the Global South
Adaobiagu N. Obiagu
Defining Global Teacher Education
How Human Rights Education Can Inform Global Teacher Education
The Relationship Between Global Teacher Education and Human Rights Education
Challenges in Implementing Human Rights Education
Challenges for Global Teacher Education
Human Rights as a Pathway to Revitalizing Global Teacher Education
Resources for Further Study
SECTION II. TEACHING ABOUT GLOBAL HUMAN RIGHTS: APPLYING PRINCIPLES TO PRACTICE
5 How Human Rights Can Frame the Practice of Teaching and Learning (K–12)
Katherine Covell and R. Brian Howe
Children’s Human Rights
Concerns and Criticisms about Children’s Rights Education
Learning Rights-Based Practices Through Teacher Education
Implementing Children’s Rights Education
Suggested References for Further Study
6 Teaching about LGBTQ+ Rights: The Importance of Elementary Education
Gloria T. Alter
The Increasing Population and Growing Acceptance of LGBTQ+ People
LGBTQ+ and the Consequences of Discrimination
Supporting LGBTQ+ Students’ Academic Success and Well-Being
Teaching About LGBTQ+ Human Rights
Resources for LGBTQ+ Education and Advocacy
7 Teaching Global Migration to Middle School Learners Using a Human Rights Education Perspective
Kristi Rudelius-Palmer and Page Hersey; Contributing Author: Gloria T. Alter, “Middle School Unit on Global Migration,” and “Recommended Resources”
Applications to Classroom Instruction
Middle School Unit on Global Migration: U.S.-Mexico Border Inquiry
8 The Curricular Integration of Human Rights Education in Secondary Schools
William R. Fernekes
The Status of HRE Curriculum in U.S. Public Schools
Developing the Curricular Potential of HRE and a Model Unit
Secondary School Model HRE Unit
Issues-Based HRE and Teacher Education Programs
Looking to the Future
Resources: Native American Rights
Selected Resources on Native American History and Rights Issues
Resources on Issues-Centered Curriculum and Instruction
SECTION III. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
9 The Future of Human Rights Education in Global Teacher Education
Glenn Mitoma and Sandra Sirota
Lessons from the Chapters
Implications for Teacher Education
HRE Beyond Teacher Education
10 Application Strategies and Activities for Advocacy
Gloria T. Alter; Contributing Author: William R. Fernekes
“Application Activities for Administrators and Non-Formal Human Rights Education” Teacher Implementation Goals and Guidelines
Contextualizing HRE Activities within Substantive Visions
Section I: Foundations
Section II: Methods
Section III: Conclusions and Recommendations
Application Activities for Administrators and Non-Formal Human Rights Education
Professional Development Resources
Appendix A: List of Key United Nations Human Rights Declarations and Treaties
Appendix B: United Nations: Human Rights Education Implementation Programs and Resources
Appendix C: United Nations Human Rights Treaties Monitoring Processes
Appendix D: Regional Intergovernmental Human Rights Education Documents and Organizations
Appendix E: Organizations and Educational Institutions Working in Human Rights Education
Appendix F: Selected Bibliography on Human Rights Education Theory and Practice
About the Editors and Contributors
This edited collection from Alter and Fernekes introduces and expands on the history, theory, and application of human rights education (HRE). Chapters reinforce the basic tenets of teaching about, through, and for human rights and how they are integrated internationally. Frameworks for application are demonstrated in various contexts, while challenges to HRE implementation are also addressed. The contributing authors focus on the development of current human rights educators and strategies for better training teacher candidates globally. Human rights are defined through the overarching conventions, declarations, and guidelines put forth by the UN. The contributors do not ignore problems regarding how to responsively handle these principles in localized environments. Essays also demonstrate how HRE is used to discuss issues such as LGBTQ+ rights, global migration, and Indigenous peoples' rights. Each chapter includes helpful resources for further study, and many also provide additional classroom resources and professional development suggestions. Readers will come away with a deeper knowledge of HRE and how they can incorporate human rights in their educational settings, whether in PreK–12, higher education, or informal spaces. Recommended. Advanced undergraduates through faculty; professionals.
As teachers contend with a world marked by continued racialized and gendered violences, the proliferating climate crises, increasing totalitarianism, and stark, deepening wealth disparities, all amid an ongoing global pandemic, this timely volume makes the case for integrating human rights education (HRE) into teacher education. By unpacking the historical trajectories and theoretical orientations of HRE, and providing practical case studies of its application in teacher practice, this volume not only inspires but also provides the critical tools to navigate this complex world with young people across all grade levels. This book is a must-read for scholars and practitioners concerned with dignity, justice, and human rights in schools and beyond.
This book offers insightful perspectives as well as a blueprint for further integrating human rights into education in the United States and globally. This book not only informs and inspires, but is also an essential resource for teachers and teacher educators to align their work with the principles of human rights.
This pioneering book is a major contribution to the burgeoning field of human rights education around the globe. The editors have assembled a comprehensive and cutting-edge volume on human rights in relation to teacher education, bringing together prominent scholars from an impressively wide range of perspectives. This is an essential resource for teacher educators, teachers, researchers and students committed to the urgent task of human rights education.
The important contribution of this book is that it combines the argument for human rights education, the foundation and context of HRE, and curricular materials that can be immediately implemented. The distinct sections of the book provide a thorough grounding in HRE and teacher education in a global context, pedagogical considerations when bringing HRE into the schools, and practical examples of human rights-focused curriculum for different age levels in K–12 schools.
The United Nations declares education a human right, but what if human rights were themselves the complex subject matter of serious curricular and pedagogical attention in teacher education? I cannot imagine critical pedagogy for justice and planetary sustainability without such, and this volume is a major contribution to exactly this end. Needed now more than ever!
As a long-time professor of human rights education, I am thrilled to see the publication of this invaluable book that fills a critical need. The word 'imperative' in the title is strikingly resonant, since the necessity to bring human rights into teacher training everywhere is nothing less than urgent.
This indispensable book recognizes human rights education as a component part of the global movement for human rights, describes the historical and political development of that movement, and provides informative general profiles of subgroups often denied basic human rights. Editors Gloria T. Alter and William R. Fernekes have assembled an expert team of contributors comprising leading human rights educators from around the world. The contributors offer constructive suggestions and extensive resources for integrating HRE across the school curriculum, addressing organizational and political realities involved in K–12 school improvement and in teacher education. They also realistically identify obstacles and opportunities for implementing HRE. This comprehensive volume articulates thoughtful, pragmatic recommendations for advocating HRE on the policy, accreditation, pre-service, state, district, school, program, and classrooms levels. Each chapter includes provocative study questions that encourage a participatory, involved approach to exploring ways to actualize HRE. Readers will come away from Alter and Fernekes’s compelling volume with a vivid sense that there is continual work to do with HRE, a desire to be part of that work, and a knowledge of practical strategies and resources to get that work done.
What a timely book! The Human Rights Imperative in Teacher Education makes the case for human and children’s rights as essential for learning environments. The authors of this edited volume offer insights and resources for teacher educators, teachers, communities, and families so they may respect and reify the rights of young people around the globe. This offering also supports understanding of rights among youth as they learn to make sense of a world where rights are far from universal.
Access to basic human rights is not a reality for everyone, despite 2023 being the 75th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, celebrated on the 10th December. The Human Rights Imperative in Teacher Education is not just timely in nature, but is one of those books that provides food for thought in a unique format. This book brings together some of the leading experts in human rights education (HRE) in a collection of chapters to provide a wealth of knowledge alongside suggested resources and materials to support. It is an accessible compendium of CPD and uses current examples to make points and explain positions that give the reader a thorough understanding of not only what human rights are, but examples that could transform both teacher training and the practice of teaching. This book is beneficial for anyone looking to become a more inclusive practitioner and would also be of interest to those outside of teacher education, as it provides examples for applying human rights in a range of contexts, as well as extending previous discourse surrounding human rights issues. Quite simply, this book is professional development without the need to schedule a Teams call or travel any distance!