Bijzonder hoogleraar mensenrechteneducatie Felisa Tibbitts, dit jaar aangesteld met financiële hulp van de Nederlandse Soroptimisten aan de Universiteit Utrecht, organiseerde vlak voor de zomer een conferentie over nut en noodzaak van onderwijs in mensenrechten op Nederlandse scholen.
Tijdens deze bijeenkomst werden ervaringen uitgewisseld. De aanwezigen stelden gezamenlijk vast dat stimulering door de overheid een belangrijke impuls kan betekenen om dit doel te bereiken.
Lees hieronder een kort verslag van het congres of lees hier een uitgebreider verslag.
Can human rights help schools?
Human rights offers a point of reflection and a language of engagement. This was one of the conclusions reached at the joint SIM-UGLOBE symposium “Can human rights help schools? A conversation among Practitioners and Researchers”, which took place at the Utrecht University Museum venue on 23 June. This unique, cross-sector event was organized in light of the Ministry of Education’s curriculum reform effort to elevate the status of Citizenship Education in Dutch schools, and which includes the theme of human rights.
Over a dozen researchers and practitioners involved in efforts to promote human rights and co-existence in Dutch schools shared their relevant experiences and perspectives on how to help ensure an inclusive, just and emancipatory education for Dutch students by applying the human rights framework. While researchers from the University of Utrecht, University College Roosevelt and College voor de Rechten van de Mens shared their scholarship, school-level know-how came from the Peaceable Schools Network, Amnesty International, the Anne Frank House, Critical Mass and the UNESCO and UNICEF Dutch committees. It was an exciting and illuminating interchange between presenters and the audience.
Some of the nuggets emerging from the symposium, included:
- teach about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and children’s rights but also use human rights as a framework for critical reflection and action for the whole school;
- think about diversity as a classroom pedagogy and how to foster daily justice in schools;
- use a human rights frame as a basis for common values and an analytical framework for social issues.
- help teachers to deal with practical issues, for example dealing with controversial issues and creating “safe” classroom environments; and
- foster opportunities for children to make a positive difference in their classrooms and communities.
The presenters agreed that a stronger national policy on Citizenship Education will create a wider space for the human rights framework to be applied in meaningful ways in the Dutch education system. The vision of human rights combined with practical tools and educator support will help teachers in dealing with diversity and schools in delivering an inclusive and quality education for all.
professor human rights education at Utrecht University