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A qualitative study of human rights education: An insight from the United Kingdom and Malaysia bridging the curriculum needs of students

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This study aimed to investigate teachers’ opinions in terms of human rights education (HRE). The study was conducted in four schools including two faith schools and two secular schools in England and in Malaysia. Semi-structured interviews of eight teachers, four from England and four from Malaysia, were used as a qualitative instrument to collect data for this study to know the needs of students in terms of HRE. The data of interviews were fully transcribed and scrutinized and, for each question, the responses were categorized. A further coding process then took place to identify categories that could be grouped together. This study provided the most promising findings to develop HRE among students. The findings revealed that in England, students study human rights in relation to moral responsibility, social involvement and political literacy; in Malaysia students start their topics by knowing themselves, friends and family, school and community. The results also revealed that in England, a belief in God underpinned HRE in the faith school but not the secular, whereas in Malaysia such a belief underpinned the curriculum regardless of type of school.
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Keywords: citizenship; curriculum needs; faith school; human rights; human rights education; secular school; teacher

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Universiti Malaysia Sarawak

Publication date: September 1, 2017

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  • Citizenship Teaching and Learning is global in scope, exploring issues of social and moral responsibility, community involvement and political literacy. It advances academic and professional understandings within a broad characterisation of education, focussing on a wide range of issues including identity, diversity, equality and social justice within social, moral, political and cultural contexts.
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