Evaluating Human Rights Education : how do we know it is working?

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Larsen, Ane Krestine
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Human rights education is ascribed great potential in terms of creating citizens committed to the fundamental values of human rights and democracy. Yet, remarkably little evaluation is conducted of human rights education programmes, making the knowledge of the actual impact limited and causing a lack of deliberate improvements. Moreover, arguments for the added value of human rights education based on assumptions are less convincing than those being a result of factual research. The objective of this thesis is to provide a framework for evaluating human rights education. Such tool will contribute to the students’ learning process, the advocacy work for the implementation of human rights in national curricula and the improvement of educational initiatives. The suggested evaluation model is based on a case study of the Amnesty International programme ‘Human Rights Friendly Schools’. This is supported by a comprehensive overview of international instruments and a theoretical conceptualization of human rights education. Based on the case study I conclude that human rights education does have a positive impact on the relation among students and teachers, the learning process, and the general school environment. Finally, I provide a list of recommendations targeting the main stakeholders that are able to make human rights education a reality worldwide.
Second semester University: University of Padua
human rights education