Human Rights Education

Location

University of Dayton

Start Date

10-2-2015 10:30 AM

End Date

10-2-2015 12:00 PM

Abstract

Hundreds of thousands of people work in human rights. They work for one of the international or local non-governmental organizations, international organizations, government ministries of human rights, and even corporate divisions of human rights.

Despite this, it is not being taught as an academic discipline in the US. It is treated like an interdisciplinary subject in the few universities with degree programs. While about a dozen universities offer a BA in the US, there is not a single course common to them all. It is not clear that a student graduating from an interdisciplinary human rights program is leaving with a specific set of skills or body of knowledge.

Thus, it is time for the nascent field of human rights to be taught as an academic discipline. The subject fits all the criteria of what it means to be a discipline and there is a strong consensus on what students should know. This agreement can be discerned from the academic literature on human rights education, the content areas being taught in the US, and from the older more rigorous curricula being offered in Europe, especially in the UK.

Through research on where and how human rights is being taught throughout the world we can construct what a strong human rights curriculum should look like in the US academy. Armed with this information, pedagogy can be directed as well as research areas since there are gaps in available resources for university faculty.

Comments

This biennial conference provides a unique space for scholars, practitioners and advocates to engage in collaboration, dialogue and critical analysis of human rights advocacy — locally and globally. Learn more about the Human Rights Center at the University of Dayton >>>.

 
Oct 2nd, 10:30 AM Oct 2nd, 12:00 PM

Disciplining Human Rights (abstract)

University of Dayton

Hundreds of thousands of people work in human rights. They work for one of the international or local non-governmental organizations, international organizations, government ministries of human rights, and even corporate divisions of human rights.

Despite this, it is not being taught as an academic discipline in the US. It is treated like an interdisciplinary subject in the few universities with degree programs. While about a dozen universities offer a BA in the US, there is not a single course common to them all. It is not clear that a student graduating from an interdisciplinary human rights program is leaving with a specific set of skills or body of knowledge.

Thus, it is time for the nascent field of human rights to be taught as an academic discipline. The subject fits all the criteria of what it means to be a discipline and there is a strong consensus on what students should know. This agreement can be discerned from the academic literature on human rights education, the content areas being taught in the US, and from the older more rigorous curricula being offered in Europe, especially in the UK.

Through research on where and how human rights is being taught throughout the world we can construct what a strong human rights curriculum should look like in the US academy. Armed with this information, pedagogy can be directed as well as research areas since there are gaps in available resources for university faculty.