Human Rights Education Review – New Open Access Journal

The editors of Human Rights Education Review are delighted to announce the publication of the journal’s inaugural issueHRER is an open-access scholarly journal published by the University of South-Eastern Norway. It provides a forum for research and critical scholarship on human rights as they are practiced, taught, learned and developed in education, law, politics, and in human rights organizations. The journal is dedicated to an examination of human rights in theory, philosophy, policy, and praxis. HRER aims to be global in its reach and this is reflected in the composition of our International Editorial Board.

The first issue includes challenging articles by Walter C. Parker on HRE’s curriculum problem, and by Marta Bivand Erdal  Mette Strømsø on child rights and national belonging; plus Alicia Muñoz Ramírez’s analysis of the recent struggle to remove HRE from the Spanish school curriculum; and a discussion by Sonja Grover on how legal cases brought by children might enhance human rights advocacy among youth. You will also find reviews of several recent books. This issue will be of particular interest to policy-makers, teacher educators, and NGOs concerned with rights and social justice in schooling.

To receive notification of upcoming articles, visit the journal’s online platform and click on the ‘register’ button in the top right-hand corner.

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New Leaders Join HRE USA Advisory Group

The Advisory Group of HRE USA is composed of national and international leaders who support the network with their expertise in human rights, education, and social justice activism.  Over the past year, the following five distinguished new international advisors have joined the HRE Advisory group bringing with them a rich diversity of professional skills and personal experience.


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New Lessons and UN Recognition of HRE USA Curriculum Guide 

Two new lessons have been added to the HRE USA Curriculum Integration Guide.  Jamie Warner, a middle school social studies teacher at Orange Avenue School in Cranford NJ, created the multi-lesson project Going Global—Investigating Issues of Interest and Importance and Semira Markos, a high school social studies teacher at Hunterdon Central Regional HS in Flemington NJ, created the lesson Human Rights in National Memory  Both teachers piloted their lessons after receiving expert feedback from HRE USA educators and her students. The lessons are available in Word and PDF formats for use by educators worldwide.

The Curriculum Integration Guide project was recently contacted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, who requested permission to place 9 lessons of the 15 currently on the HRE USA website on their agency website for use by educators around the world.  This UN agency website will go live in mid-June 2018, and authors of the lessons have expressed their gratitude at having their lessons recognized by an office of the United Nations.

Phase four of the Curriculum Integration Guide project will commence this summer.  Interested educators who wish to develop lessons focusing on human rights education and who are able to have their lessons piloted with students during the 2018-19 school year, should contract Bill Fernekes for further information about details and timelines.

Teaching Black Lives

New from Rethinking Schools is Teaching for Black Lives, a classroom resource grown directly out of the movement for Black lives. Edited by Dyan Watson, Jesse Hagopian, and Wayne Au, this book provides articles and lessons that demonstrate how teachers can connect curriculum to young people’s lives. Teaching for Black Lives highlights the hope and beauty of student activism and collective action.

Opel Tometi, co-founder of #BlackLivesMatter and executive director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration states, “this book is not just for teachers in the classroom, but also for those of us who care about making Black lives matter in the community.  It should be required reading for all who care about the future of black youth.”

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Teach for Environmental Justice

At the heart of our environmental crisis is the idea that nature is a thing to be used for profit. That’s the bad news. The good news is that social movements across the world are challenging this profit-first orientation, and proposing alternatives. And educators are a part of these movements.

The Zinn Education Project (ZEP) has posted five teaching articles that grew out of a writing retreat sponsored by ZEP and This Changes Everything, the project launched by Naomi Klein’s brilliant book. These articles include role plays, stories of activism and resistance, and ideas for how to implement concepts from This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate in our classrooms.

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SPLC’s Whose Heritage? Report: A Teaching Opportunity

Schools, monuments and statues across the country pay homage to the Confederacy. Educators can use a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center to help teach the history behind these public fixtures—and how they spread throughout the South and beyond.  The report, entitled “Whose Heritage?”offers data and context that should inform and supplement any lessons on the Civil War, its legacy and the through-line of white supremacist ideology in the United States. A timeline, for example, illustrates the spike in Confederate-dedicated monuments that occurs in tandem with civil rights advancements for black people, or during moments of intense racial strife throughout recent U.S. history. An interactive map points to the geographic locations of these public homages, with monuments and schools in Union states like New York, Pennsylvania and California begging the titular question: Whose heritage is this, really? And what purpose were these symbols of the Confederacy meant to serve?

The data and brief history lessons in this report help answer these questions and counter Lost Cause myths—myths commonly held by, and passed down to, students. As calls to remove or rename symbols of the Confederacy continue to stir controversy, educators can resist the urge to avoid this topic and, instead, teach the hard history and motivation behind these monuments and public symbols. This report supplies a foundation for learning and fodder for lessons.

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Females Improve Human Rights

This article in the current issue of the Journal of Human Rights concludes that female chief executives of a country improve human rights practices to a greater degree than their male counterparts.

Written by Courtney Burns and Amanda Murdie, the article is titled Female Chief Executives and State Human Rights Practices: Self-fulfilling the Political Double bind.


What role does gender of a country’s chief executive play in human rights practices of that country? Do female leaders treat the citizens of their country better or worse than their male counterparts? We explore whether gender makes a difference in human rights practices in an effort to examine whether leader characteristics can affect human rights. Previous research has found that countries with higher levels of gender equality, measured by the percentage of women in parliament, have fewer physical integrity rights violations. However, previous research has not found an association between female chief executives and better human rights practices overall, despite clear theoretical arguments for a relationship (Melander 2005). Using updated data on female chief executives for the years 1984 to 2011, together with a robust treatment effects estimator, we find that female chief executives do improve human rights when compared to their male counterparts.

Dilemmas and Hopes for Human Rights Education

A special issue entitled “Dilemmas and Hopes for Human Rights Education” has been published by Prospects: Comparative Review of Comparative Education – UNESCO’s journal of educational policies and practices. The issue presents examples from the Global South and Global North, reviewing recent theories, challenges and solutions for enabling a transformative approach to HRE through and against the lens of state power. Drawing on examples from Chile, China, Greece, Pakistan, India, the Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland, and the US. The articles explore the gap between the emancipatory roots of HRE and the lived educational policies and practices of states and schools.

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Global Citizenship Education Through the Power of Film

With over 140 short documentaries and VR experiences there are so many imaginative ways that educators are using SIMA Classroom with their students.

To help you choose the right films for your class, SIMA has created curated film Playlists on some of the most important global education themes. Each one brings together a curated list of award-winning films and our project-based lesson plans to help you reimagine education. Dive into their latest film selections on the Sustainable Development Goals; Gender Equality; VR for Change; and more.

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Diverse Democracy Grants

Teaching Tolerance (TT) is funding projects that will help students become empowered voting advocates in their communities through their Diverse Democracy Grants.  TT will be offering awards of $500 to $10,000 to fund projects for educators helping their students to become lifelong voters and empowered voting advocates in their communities.

Available through August 31

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