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Cultural Literacy and Social Justice: Enabling Human Rights in and Beyond the Classroom

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In this paper human rights education is contextualised in relation to secondary and higher education in Australia. After developing a theoretical background for understanding how curriculum and human rights interact, the paper explores how human rights education is linked to questions of social justice in the classroom and the experience of the student’s encounter with real social environments in which human rights is discussed, practiced and reported. The final section of the paper is an exploration of a specific, innovative event, which was designed and developed by high school students together with their teachers and with a local regional university. This human rights and social justice case study demonstrates how human rights education can be practiced in ways that go beyond the normal strictures of curriculum. This approach to human rights education is centred on the life world of a student and therefore enlivens school life into something that is related to broader and deeper issues of what it means to be a citizen in the nation, community and world.
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Keywords: cultural literacy; human rights education; pedagogy; social justice

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-01-01

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  • Learning and Teaching is a bi-annual, refereed, international journal providing a forum for discussion and analysis of the latest educational research on innovative approaches to classroom pedagogy and learning in the global culture. Articles are chosen for their originality, readability, and accessibility to wide audience of educational researchers, classroom-teachers, educational administrators and curriculum coordinators.
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