Dear All, Please find below a presentation of Rights in Deed, the human rights textbook written as part of a British Council Romania Human Rights Education project. The textbook is considered innovative in many ways. If you would like to find out more details please do not hesitate to contact me. Ruxandra Popovici EL Projects Manager British Council Romania Calea Dorobantilor 14, 71132 Bucharest Romania Tel.40-1-2100314, 3104140 Fax.40-1-2100310, 2105337 www.britishcouncil.ro -------------- PROJECT TITLE: HUMAN RIGHTS TEXTBOOK - for Romanian secondary schools THE PROJECT IS CONSIDERED INNOVATIVE ON THE FOLLOWING GROUNDS: (1) INTEGRATION OF BRITISH COUNCIL FIELDS OF ACTIVITY: * ELT * EDUCATION * GOVERNANCE (2) IT REFLECTS THE INCREASING IMPORTANCE OF HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION (HRE) IN STRENGTHENING DEMOCRATIC SYSTEMS AND PRACTICES * Improvements are needed in the area of human rights as part of Romania's transition to a fully functioning democracy and a just civic society. * Awareness needs to be raised of the individual's rights and freedoms both as Romanian and European citizens * HRE leads to the development of the confidence and the skills to assert these rights and to participate actively in the development of the community. * Human rights as a school subject can be a framework for the students' understanding of fundamental human rights and of democracy, of rights in action in their own lives and the lives of others. (3) THE HUMAN RIGHTS SYLLABUS IS A DEVELOPMENTAL AND CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK OF CONCEPTS, VALUES, SKILLS, APTITUDES AND KNOWLEDGE * HRE implies a participative learning process: group work, debates, role-play, project work. * HRE enables the development of cognitive skills: analysis, identification of cause and effect, clarification of fact and opinion, the skill of co-operation, communication strategies, critical thinking, negotiation, consensus building et al. * HRE leads to development of values which are inclusive and open-minded: respect for diversity, for truth, fairness, justice, human dignity and freedom of expression. * HRE helps create a sense of inter-connectedness between the students' own communities and communities in the wider world. (4) THE HUMAN RIGHTS TEXTBOOK ENHANCES THE INTEREST FOR EDUCATION IN ENGLISH. RIGHTS IN DEED IS A FIRST ATTEMPT TO INTEGRATE HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION WITH ENGLISH LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT. * Students in English classes are used to interactive methodologies and to expressing themselves openly. * Teachers of English consider it a challenge to use their teaching skills in new areas also making use of their ELT ability. * EFL curricula already include topics which are specific to human rights and citizenship education. * Students doing Human Rights in English are double motivated by the benefit of approaching issues that are part of their lives and of crucial importance for humankind alongside improving their English language skills. (5) THE OBJECTIVES OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS TEXTBOOK PROJECT ARE ON TARGET * to produce a student's book of Human Rights Education for use in bilingual and intensive English classes. The textbook title is RIGHTS IN DEED. It is currently written by a group of teachers as part of a current British Council project in Romania. The book was published in October 2002. * to produce a teacher's book to accompany the student's book. * to train teachers of human rights to use the materials effectively in their classrooms (6) RIGHTS IN DEED is the first human rights textbook in Romania and Central and Eastern Europe that is based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child and links articles in these two documents with everyday life. (7) THE TEAM OF AUTHORS IS MADE UP OF TEACHERS OF ENGLISH AND TEACHERS OF SOCIAL SCIENCES (8) MATERIALS HAVE BEEN PILOTED EXTENSIVELY BY TEACHERS AND STUDENTS IN 16 DIFFERENT AREAS OF ROMANIA. (9) A SURVEY ON HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES has been conducted as part of the project among teenagers in several countries around the world such as: Croatia, Hungary, Morocco, Romania, Russia, UK and USA. (10) The human rights textbook project is an example of SUCCESSFUL TRANSFER OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING (ELT) SKILLS TO OTHER SUBJECT AREAS: social studies, general education, citizenship and human rights and cross-curricular co-operation between social sciences and ELT areas. (11) THE RIGHTS IN DEED MATERIALS (STUDENT'S BOOK AND TEACHER'S BOOK) INCLUDE ISSUES THAT ARE RELEVANT TO STUDENTS' KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING OF THE WORLD WE LIVE IN: Identity, ethnicity, diversity, stereotypes, equality and discrimination, human dignity, challenging poverty, child labour, conflict and peace, power, European union, European court of human rights, environment, genetically modified crops, children's rights, taking action, disability, choice + responsibility, dangerous habits: cigarettes, alcohol and drugs, education and understanding and respect for different religions. (12) TRAINING TEACHERS IN HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION IS PART OF THE PROJECT Some of the teacher training modules are: * Teaching Controversial issues * Teaching Solving interpersonal conflicts * Teaching Mediation and peace making strategies * Teaching Taking action for human rights strategies * Human Rights education syllabus and English Language Syllabus (13) COMMENTS FROM ROMANIAN STUDENTS (AGE: 16/ 17): - I think all classes should be this way in which you are able to say whatever you think. - Morals and values worldwide are going down. Studying human rights and other new topics in school could be the beginning of some change for the better. - Now I know about important things happening around me- that I hadn't known before. - This topic shouldn't be discussed only during English classes, but also during Romanian and History ones, because it concerns us all; there should be special Human Rights classes. It would be a pity if things stopped here. - These lessons made me understand how many prejudices I have although I consider myself to be open-minded. The authors didn't try to protect us. They're telling the truth. I really think it is like that. - I appreciated the fact that we were asked our opinion and we debated issues of general interest that we are all confronted with. - We are taught about these things too late - I am already 16. - It is easy to learn and talk about human rights, but who does anything when it comes to practice? You are no less bystanders than I have been all my life. - The Human Rights classes made me less selfish. - As a result of this unit I decided to change my attitude towards disabled people. - After this unit the rest of the class stopped calling me gypsy, they call me Roma but it doesn't really mean things have changed. - Learning about HR makes us feel more responsible about things. - To my way of thinking, this was the most relaxing class I have had. - It also gave us the opportunity to know each other better. - My parents are happy that school finally teaches us about life. - My parents are glad because they don't have to explain to me things like homosexuality and violence and conflicts. - My parents probably wouldn't care, because you need a certain social level to start thinking about others. - My parents appreciate my learning English, no matter in what form. - I don't think they will have any objection about it as long as I won't use this knowledge against them. So they'll be furious. ======== Global Human Rights Education listserv ======== Send mail intended for the list to <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Archives of the list can be found at: http://www.hrea.org/lists/hr-education/markup/maillist.php If you have problems (un)subscribing, contact <email@example.com>. **You are welcome to reprint, copy, archive, quote or re-post this item, but please retain the original and listserv source.
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