Teaching Human Rights in Primary Schools : Overcoming the Barriers to Effective Practice book cover
1st Edition

Teaching Human Rights in Primary Schools
Overcoming the Barriers to Effective Practice

ISBN 9781032085432
Published June 30, 2021 by Routledge
244 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Teaching Human Rights in Primary Schools delves into the important issue of Human Rights Education (HRE) implementation, exploring the nature and extent of HRE in education policy and practice in English primary schooling, and seeking to understand the reasons for deficiencies in practice in this area. HRE enables people not only to identify rights violations in their own lives, but also equips them with the knowledge, values and skills required to accept, defend and promote human rights more broadly. An awareness of human rights is therefore crucial, no matter what a person’s age, and as such it is vital that information about human rights is included within formal education.

Beginning with an overview of the relevant international obligations and agreements related to HRE, Struthers then demonstrates that these are ostensibly not currently being met in either policy or practice in England. The book then draws upon current literature and empirical research with teachers to explore and analyse the barriers to HRE implementation. While the book uses the specific context of English primary education, it makes broad interdisciplinary recommendations concerning how the provision of HRE could be improved, which will be relevant to other countries instituting programmes of HRE or values and citizenship education.

Interdisciplinary in nature and addressing HRE at both the international and domestic levels, this book will be of great interest to scholars, researchers and postgraduate students in both education and law. It will be of particular interest to those engaged in the study of human rights, children’s rights and education law, as well as those interested in curriculum policy and development, teaching methodologies and the sociology of education. It should also be essential reading for teacher educators, teachers and policymakers.

Table of Contents



1 Introduction: The Importance and Challenges of HRE

2 Global HRE Obligations Relevant to Primary Education

3 From the Global to the Local: HRE in Primary Education Policy in England

4 Education About Human Rights: The Controversial Nature of Human Rights in the Classroom

5 Education Through Human Rights: Practice within Boundaries

6 Education For Human Rights: Inadequacies in Truly Effective Learner Empowerment

7 Conclusion: Overcoming the Barriers to Educating About, Through and For Human Rights in Primary Schools




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Alison E. C. Struthers is an Assistant Professor in the School of Law at the University of Warwick, UK.