'Rights in Deed' - a textbook for HRE and English language development



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.




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