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Course 8E05: Introduction to Human Rights Education
21 September-13 December 2005

Instructor: Felisa Tibbitts

The course will introduce the international field of human rights education (HRE), including presentations of programming approaches, teaching and learning resources, and related theory. The course is intended for educators and trainers working in both the formal and nonformal sectors. Participants will be assisted in the development of a curriculum, training, or plan to use these skills to further their organisation's advocacy efforts. Participants might be expected to apply these skills within formal education settings, for staff development within their own organisations, and for outreach and advocacy.

The course has the following sequence. First, it will introduce the human rights framework and programming approaches and teaching materials in use worldwide. This will be followed by a presentation of interactive teaching methods and related pedagogical theory. Participants will then explore discipline-based approaches to HRE, examining programming and sample materials that come from the social sciences, the humanities and the sciences. This will be complemented by an examination of "issue" oriented education and advocacy approaches to HRE, drawing examples from children's rights, women's rights and the rights of minorities. Several sessions will be devoted to building the skills of participants, by reviewing how to develop a learning experience, use the Internet for resources and integration of assessments.

The course involves approximately 60 hours of reading, on-line working groups, interaction among students and instructors, and assignments, and is offered over a 12-week period beginning on 21 September. E-mail will be the main medium for the course, although participants will need to have periodic access to the Web. This course will integrate active and participatory learning approaches within activities and assignments, with an emphasis on reflective and collaborative learning. Participants will do the required reading, prepare interim and final project assignments and participate in group discussions.

The maximum number of course participants is 25. Students who successfully complete the course will receive a Certificate of Participation. It is also possible to audit the course.

Course outline

Weeks 1-4: Introduction

Week 1. Orientation to the course
Week 2. Introduction to Human Rights
Week 3. Introduction to Human Rights Education
Week 4. Models and methods of teaching HRE

Weeks 5-7: Discipline-based Approaches to Human Rights Education

Week 5. HRE and the Social Sciences
Week 6. HRE and the Humanities
Week 7. HRE and the Sciences

Weeks 8-9: Practical Tools for HRE

Week 8. Developing Learning Activities
Week 9. Finding Resources and Integrating Use of the Internet

Weeks 10-12: Issue-Oriented Education and Advocacy Approaches

Week 10. HRE Approaches for Children's Rights
Week 11. HRE Approaches for Women's Rights
Week 12. HRE Approaches for Minority rights/non-discrimination

About the instructor

Felisa Tibbitts is co-founder and director of Human Rights Education Associates (HREA). Ms. Tibbitts has worked with local educators and curriculum writers in developing national HRE programs in schooling systems in numerous countries in Central/Eastern Europe. She has participated in HRE trainings in over a dozen countries and consults with inter-governmental, governmental and non-governmental agencies about HRE programs. Ms. Tibbitts has published numerous articles on HRE, focusing primarily on policy and applied research. She holds a BA degree and two masters degrees (Public Policy; Education) from Harvard University.

Who should apply

The course is intended for educators and trainers working in secondary schools and adult learning environments. Candidates should have a good written command of English and have high competence and comfort with computers and Internet use. HREA aims to ensure equal gender and geographical distribution across the selected participants.


The course tuition fee is US$ 525 (tuition for auditors is $200). A limited number of scholarships is available for applicants from Africa, Arab World, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe/Newly Independent States, Latin America/Caribbean.


The deadline for this course was 1 July 2005. We are no longer accepting applications. The course will be offered again in the second semester of 2007.

Inquiries about the course can be sent to



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