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Course 8E12: Introduction to Human Rights Education

3 October-18 December 2012
Instructor: Dr. Felisa Tibbitts

This e-learning 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 non-formal sectors. Participants will be assisted in the development of a curriculum, training, or planning document to use these skills. Participants might be expected to apply these skills within formal education settings, for staff development within their own organisations, and/or for outreach and advocacy.

The course has the following sequence. First, it will introduce human rights education and foundational human rights standards and principles. This will be followed by treatment of related pedagogical theory. Ensuing sessions will be devoted to building practical skills and knowledge relating to program and lesson development, the organization of workshops and evaluation. The course concludes with a look at national and international policies supporting human rights education.

The course involves approximately 50 hours of reading, on-line working groups, interaction among students and instructor, webinars, and assignments, and is offered over a 11-week period. 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

Week 1. Introduction to Human Rights Education
Week 2. International Human Rights Standards and Mechanisms
Week 3. Transformational Learning and Human Rights Education Methodologies
Week 4. Planning a Human Rights Education Programme
Week 5. "Open week”
Week 6. Developing and Organising Learning Activities
Week 7. Resources for Learning Human Rights in Schools and in Higher Education
Week 8. Resources for Human Rights Learning with Adult Learners
Week 9.  Organising Workshops and Trainings
Week 10. Evaluation and Assessment
Week 11. Laws and Policies Supporting Human Rights Education

About the instructor

Felisa Tibbitts is co-founder and Senior Advisor at Human Rights Education Associates (HREA). Dr. Tibbitts has worked with local educators and curriculum writers in developing national HRE programs in schooling systems in numerous countries in Central/Eastern Europe and Asia. She has facilitated HRE trainings in over 30 countries and consults with inter-governmental, governmental and non-governmental agencies worldwide about HRE programs. Dr. 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, a PhD from the University of Magdeburg and is Adjunct Lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the University for Peace, where she teaches courses on human rights education.

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$ 725; tuition for auditors is US$ 275.


The deadline for applications for this course has passed. This course will be offered next in the second half of 2014.

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