Teaching and Learning
A holistic approach to teaching and learning integrates human rights education with program objectives and content, resources, methodologies, assessment and evaluation, and builds partnerships with different members of the school community. Quality human rights education requires the following:
Contents and Objectives
- Define the basic human rights skills and competencies to be acquired.
- Include human rights education in all aspects of the curriculum.
- Adapt the learning content and objectives of human rights education to the students’ age and evolving capacity.
- Give equal importance to cognitive (knowledge and skills) and social/affective (values, attitudes, behaviours) learning outcomes.
- Relate human rights teaching and learning to the daily lives and concerns of students.
Practices and Methodologies
- A teaching style that is coherent in terms of human rights, respecting the dignity of each student and providing equal opportunities for them.
- A student-friendly, trustful, secure and democratic classroom atmosphere.
- Learner-centered methods and approaches that empower students and encourage their active participation, cooperative learning, and a sense of solidarity, creativity and self-esteem.
- Methods appropriate to the students’ developmental level, abilities and learning styles.
- Experience-based learning methods through which students can learn by doing and put human rights into practice.
- Experiential teaching methods with the teacher acting as a facilitator, learning guide and advisor.
- Access good practices of relevant non-formal and informal learning activities, resources and methods available with community organizations.
Teaching and Learning Materials
- Ensure that human rights education materials stem from the human rights principles embedded in the relevant cultural contexts as well as historical and social developments.
- Encourage the collection, sharing, translation and adaptation of human rights education materials.
- Review texts and other educational materials to ensure they conform with human rights principles.
- Support the development of different educational materials and resources that conform with human rights principles.
Evaluation and Assessment
- Use evaluation and assessment methods that are appropriate for human rights education such as observation and reporting by teachers and fellow students; recording students’ experience, personal work and acquired skills and competencies (student portfolio); and student self-assessment.
- Apply human rights principles to evaluation and assessment across the curriculum, such as explaining the criteria and reasons for grading, using the same criteria for all students, and fair practices.
[Adapted from the appendix to the World Programme for Human Rights – Plan of Action for the First Phase (2005-2007) (United Nations 59th session, agenda item 105 (b))]