Teaching values: Meeting our obligations under human rights agreements

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Research and Development in Higher Education: Quality Conversations Vol. 25

July, 2002, 794 pages
Published by
Tony Herrington
0 908557 54 X

International agreements (Universal Declaration of Human Rights – UDHR; United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child - CRC) make it clear that it is the responsibility of the state to ensure all citizens have educational opportunities to learn attitudes of acceptance and tolerance towards the range of differences that exist between peoples of the world (Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, 2000). This is particularly important in tertiary level courses where the function is to prepare students for employment in occupations where they will be working with people (for example teaching or community work). Individuals’ personal frameworks or understandings about diversity and difference strongly influence their ability to provide service to those clients they perceive as different. If students are to be able to deliver quality service to all, their pre-service courses must address the construction and content of their personal understandings and beliefs about difference. This paper presents a teaching and learning framework that explicitly aims at influencing students’ personal frameworks towards an inclusive human rights perspective. . Evaluation of the framework suggests that it is effective in addressing students’ beliefs and subsequent behaviour.

Keywords: Human rights, value change, diversity

Teaching values: Meeting our obligations under human rights agreements

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Sims, M.