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Open Access International human rights, citizenship education, and critical realism

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Citizenship education invokes dilemmas even for the most committed teachers and students, researchers, and innovators. How can citizenship education advance equity and equal rights within highly unequal schools and societies? How can it support young people to feel they have the competence, confidence, and right to vote and to challenge injustice? How can we be sure international human rights are realities, not merely passing ideologies? This paper argues that rights really exist as expressions of visceral embodied human needs and moral desires that are integral to human relationships. Rights also serve as powerful legal structures that can help to prevent and remedy wrongs, and they work as enduring high standards and aspirations. The paper suggests how critical realism can help educators to resolve dilemmas in theoretical education about rights as knowledge, principles, and mechanisms, and in practical education that enables students to enjoy and exercise their rights and respect those of other people.
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Keywords: CHILDREN'S RIGHTS; CRITICAL REALISM; EMBODIED RIGHTS; ETHICS; POLITICS; UNIVERSAL RIGHTS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 November 2016

More about this publication?
  • Founded in 2003 by the UCL Institute of Education, the journal reflects the Institute's broad interests in all types of education in all contexts - local, national, global - and its commitment to analysis across disciplines using a variety of methodologies. It shares the Institute's aspiration to interrogate links between research, policy and practice, and its principled concern for social justice.

    Drawing on these strengths, LRE is a wide-ranging and engaging journal that features rigorous analysis and significant research across key themes in education, including: public goals and policies; pedagogy; curriculum; organization; resources and technology; and institutional effectiveness. Articles and book reviews are written by experts in education, psychology, sociology, policy studies, philosophy and other disciplines contributing to education research, and by experienced researcher-practitioners working in the field. The highest quality of reporting and presentation are ensured through an independent, anonymised peer-review process. As an entirely web-based open access journal, LRE has been able to offer innovative features and formats including: epistolary conversation; colour photos and illustrations; illustrative video clips.

    LRE welcomes relevant articles and book reviews. Please email them to [email protected]

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