Barbara Helm Mark Taylor Rüdiger Teutsch. school network. human. rights. Handbook for school-based projects. bm:bwk

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1 Barbara Helm Mark Taylor Rüdiger Teutsch 1 human school network rights Handbook for school-based projects bm:bwk

2 2 Editor and Publisher Austrian Ministry of Education, Science and Culture Department for International Relations (I.6)

3 Barbara Helm - Mark Taylor - Rüdiger Teutsch 3 School Network Human Rights Handbook for School-based Projects

4 4 Imprint Editor and Publisher: Bundesministerium für Bildung, Wissenschaft und Kultur, Abteilung für Internationale Beziehungen, I/6, Minoritenplatz 5, A-1014 Wien, Austria Concept: Barbara Helm, Rüdiger Teutsch, Interkulturelles Zentrum, Bacherplatz 10, A Wien, Tel , Fax , Author and compiler: Mark Taylor, Strasbourg Layout: Andrea Fiala Printed by BMBWK, Vienna, Austria, 03/2002

5 5 Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 26.

6 preface 6

7 Introduction by Interkulturelles Zentrum Students and teachers from Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia established the School Network Human Rights. 41 schools investigated their own environment in order to find out if human rights are respected - in their schools, in their homes, in their communities. Teachers from Argentina to Cameroon and Uganda, from Ireland to Russia were trained by Interkulturelles Zentrum in international seminars and monitored the school based projects. introduction 7 In recognition of its innovative nature, the project was selected as a laureate of the Worldaware Award for Global Education This publication summarises philosophy and concept of the networking project, the pedagogical process and gives an idea of the activities and results realised between April 1999 and June We want to express our thanks and gratitude to all teachers and students, to all organisations and persons who contributed to this project and made it a success. Barbara Helm, Rüdiger Teutsch Interkulturelles Zentrum Wien, January 2002

8 8

9 Contents 9 10 Chapter One The Network: Co-operation Between Partners 17 Chapter Two Concrete Examples of Activities for Working in Schools 24 Chapter Three School Network Human Rights on Tour 28 Chapter Four Resources 30 Chapter Five Setting up International School Projects Appendices 33 Partnerschaftlichkeit und Qualität in Nord-Süd Schulkooperationen 35 Checklist How to start an international school project 36 Full list of participating schools 37 Partners participating or advising on the project

10 chapter one network 10 the Chapter One The Network: Co-operation Between Partners Human rights education is a serious business and needs constant dedication and vigilance. Even a short look at the escalating crises in international relations over the last half year demonstrates that we need to look much more carefully at what we really mean by human rights and how we want to defend and protect them. Our efforts to promote human rights education globally will be needed even more in the future. Action is needed at a multitude of levels. With this project, it is possible to draw some lessons about how to link up schools from across the world in a meaningful way and make a small contribution to building a better place for everyone to live in equal dignity. Building on firm foundations For over ten years, the Interkulturelles Zentrum has been initiating, coordinating and supporting international educational projects. Of particular relevance here is the Peace Education and Conflict Resolution network which staff members coordinated from This rich well of experience, contacts and in-depth skills gave the Interkulturelles Zentrum the strength to draw on when setting up the subject of this handbook on behalf of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Culture: the International School Network Human Rights. The statistics alone are impressive; the project directly involved: 42 secondary schools from 17 different countries: Austria, Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, Colombia, India, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Palestine, Russia, Sweden, Uganda, Ukraine and Uruguay

11 119 teachers 1433 school students aged from 14 to 18 years of age It is estimated that over people have been reached by the network members the majority being teachers and students in schools, but also including NGO s, artists, parents organisations and youth workers. Under the guidance of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, a steering committee was brought together which took responsibility for the content and process of the development of the network. A carefully balanced and skilled team, the members were: Mag. Barbara Helm, Project coordinator, Austria (Interkulturelles Zentrum) Beatrice Achaleke, Sociologist, Cameroon/Austria (South-North Action Group SNAG) Mag. Gerda Grüner, Teacher, Sociologist, Austria and Mag. Katrin Wladasch, Lawyer, (Service Centre for Human Rights Education at the Boltzmann Institute for Human Rights) Mag. Pete Hämmerle, Peace Worker, Austria (International Fellowship of Reconciliation) Araba Evelyn Johnston-Arthur, Anti-racism Expert, Austria/Finland/ Ghana Dr. Rüdiger Teutsch, Educational Consultant, Austria (Interkulturelles Zentrum) chapter one What brought all of these people and institutions together? So much is talked about the negative aspects of globalisation (such as economic exploitation and cultural imperialism) that sometimes it is difficult to remember the positive opportunities especially in terms of global communication which are part of it. Networking is one crucial way of opening up channels with other parts of the world and this project planned to make full use of it. In constant dialogue with all of the partners involved, the main aims of the project were developed and agreed in late 1998 and early 1999: to contribute to world-wide activities within the framework of the Decade of Human Rights Education proclaimed by the United Nations to initiate new fields of experience for students through international exchange and co-operation network 11 the

12 chapter one network 12 students study human rights from their own perspectives and background students and teachers exchange results and experiences in an international network of schools the These aims were worked on further at the international teachers seminar held in September 1999 where 26 teachers from all the participating countries met and agreed upon the following educational principles for the project. to learn about dignity and human values to experience that cultures are different but of same value to promote solidarity to build bridges to establish personal contacts and to enjoy global co-operation to integrate theory and practice: learning by doing global learning to examine human rights in society, religion, cultural tradition to explore different aspects of Human Rights: children, family, school, living in the community to keep in mind: What do Human Rights mean here and now, for myself, for the students? to initiate long-term, sustainable learning processes Now we have seen the bases for their work, let s have a look at what the network members actually did. Project steps in the first year from April 1999 to May 2000 The start of year one was characterised by intense activity to get the network up and running using all possible channels in order to identify specific teachers in specific schools who would be both willing and allowed to participate by their respective authorities. Once on board, the teachers and school students prepared presentations of themselves and their schools to be shared across the network. Their reflections were assisted through the distribution to each teacher of an education pack of human rights materials and suggested activities. Opening up access to others not directly involved in the project was also a major goal in multiplying the results of the network s work and, here, the financial support of the European Union s 99 programme was pivotal in providing the resources necessary to establish a website devoted to the project. Providing basic information on the network and giving pointers for interested parties to go further, the site is still live on the internet at: or.at/humanrights. A series of workshops for students entitled Human rights my rights your rights here now and today was organised and facilitated by Araba Evelyn Johnston-Arthur in 14 Austrian member schools of the network. (See Chapter Two for further details).

13 chapter one network 13 the Communicating across vast distances (even with the help of and other forms of information and communication technology) is not easy and a high degree of motivation is required to sustain the effort involved. A large part of this motivation was provided by the chance given to 26 teachers to actually meet each other in the international seminar referred to above. In addition to sharing experiences about human rights education in their countries, the teachers found out about each others priorities and were then able to move on to the creation of four thematic international project groups. These groups formed the corner stone for continued work and were set up as follows: Participation. As the initial group was too large for effective communication, the teachers formed two groups of schools. Their aim was to create awareness for hidden power structures in a school and to empower students to deal with them. Racism and xenophobia (accept yourself appreciate difference). This group promoted acceptance and appreciation of differences between people, including understanding the concept of stereotypes. Complementary to this, the students were sensitised to each others cultures and value systems. Human rights violence/conflict. This group aimed to make students aware of different forms of human rights violations, examine the causes of violence and conflicts and go on to develop strategies to overcome them. Children s rights and their violations. In addition to examining the title theme of the project, this group also aimed to raise self-esteem and team spirit among students, thereby encouraging them to take responsibility

14 chapter one network 14 for others and themselves and to respect each other s rights. the Step one was always for each school to examine the local situation and step two was to share the information and opinions with the other project group members. Although methods used to realise project work differed from school to school, depending on the specific needs and social environments of schools involved, generally it was found that workshops, questionnaires, discussions, games and role plays were the most commonly used. To facilitate communication between partner schools, the partners made use of Internet, and letter writing, making videos, tapes and organising meetings. At local and community levels, activities such as readings, debates, surveys, artistic work, exhibitions and festivals were popular. This process was not all plain sailing, and many of the teachers did encounter difficulties and challenges in progressing their project work. Amongst those cited most often were: difficulties in meeting deadlines; integrating the project work into already full timetables; keeping up communications with each member school of the (relatively large) project groups; preparation for exams; and maintaining interest for the full year. Of factors contributing to the advancement of their projects, the teachers cited the following: enthusiasm of teachers and students; the experience of teamwork between teachers and students, and teachers and teachers; cooperation with the Interkulturelles Zentrum as the general co-ordinator; support from colleagues and other authorities; and the international dimension of the project. These conclusions are drawn from the interim evaluation of the whole project carried out by the Interkulturelles Zentrum with all actors in the network from May to July In recognition of its innovative nature, the net-work was selected as a laureate of the Worldaware Award for Global Education 2000 which is a partnership project of the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe, the Dutch Committee for International Cooperation and Sustainable Development (NCDO) and the Austrian Society for Communication and Development (KommEnt).

15 Project steps in the second year from June 2000 to June 2001 As we will see much more information about this year in later chapters, here we concentrate only on the outline of the planned developments in the network. During the interim evaluation, most of the participating schools committed themselves to continue and deepen their work in the network. Building on the experiences and results of the first project year the focus was placed on: the active and responsible role of students in the project groups; the development of a joint students charter for human rights (see Chapter Two for more details); developing human rights initiative groups in schools; and - undoubtedly a highlight of the project - the Human Rights in One World tour through Austrian schools by student s representatives and teachers from Latin America and Africa in November 2000, (see Chapter Three for more details). Workshops for the participating Austrian schools were organised (see Chapter Two for a sample outline of the workshops and examples of the activities). These workshops focused on specific human rights topics chosen by the schools and included work on participation, violence & conflict resolution, children s rights, women s rights and racism. A very important moment was chapter one network 15 the second international Seminar for teachers in April 2001, which brought together participants from 11 countries involved in the network. Here they were able to evaluate jointly their experiences so far. This evaluation took place on different levels: personal; project work in the schools; the co-operation within the international project group as defined during the first seminar in September 1999; and the overall implementation of the project. During this seminar the teachers agreed upon future networking and diversifying their co-operation through such methods as student exchanges, ICT based co-operation and teacher exchanges. Many more ideas were expressed, and those wanting to find out more can receive the seminar report from the Interkulturelles Zentrum. And finally, this handbook is the most visible sign of the overall evaluation which was carried out by the Steering Committee at the end of the project during the summer of the Some conclusions drawn from the life of the network Clearly, the project has local, national and international effects. The project was designed as a pilot to be used as a model for project work in schools and international school cooperation for schools in Austria and the other participating countries. The integration of national educational

16 chapter one network 16 authorities (in Austria), schools and NGO s provides a sound concept for this pilot project. A communication strategy has been designed to share the experiences gained with a broader public. the Participating schools have raised awareness of human rights and their violations among the target group and the public. The network has disseminated the project idea in schools (in project partner schools and other schools), where it is possible to see developing integration of human rights education and global education in the school s curricula. Importantly, the network has been the springboard for many initiatives in teacher training with seminars and workshops on human rights education and international co-operation being organised for schools in Cameroon, Russia and other participating countries. Chapter Five goes further into the conclusions drawn about good practice in designing international school projects Future developments As a result of this project which has been involving partners from many parts of the world, including teachers, students and NGOs in Africa, Latin America and Asia, Interkulturelles Zentrum is putting a special focus on the aspect of Global Education through the co-organisation of the annual Global Education Week in Austria, an initiative by the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe; a follow-up project International School Network Global Citizenship further information can be obtained at Interkulturelles Zentrum.

17 Some things to think about It cannot be said too often: you don t have to be a lawyer to work on human rights education! Human rights belong to everyone and teachers are ideally placed to introduce the concepts and the practice to the young people with whom they work. Progress is being made in many countries in integrating human rights education within the curriculum often as a result of initiatives linked to the United Nations Decade of Human Rights Education. Introducing human rights topics into the classroom is rarely something teachers can do on their own: they will need permission from the relevant authorities (usually the school s director); they will need to talk with their students and they will sometimes need to cooperate with other teaching colleagues. So it is always wise to consult widely before starting. Long experience has demonstrated that human rights education needs a three-dimensional approach to be effective: 1. It is knowledge-based (about human rights) Content consists of information and chapter two Chapter Two Concrete Examples of Activities for Working in Schools examples of understanding about: types of rights; the history of rights; international legal instruments; how democracy functions. 2. It is skills-based (for human rights) Personal and social skills: self-knowledge and self-awareness; assessing and understanding your own motives with regard to others; realising your own prejudices. Interactive skills: listening; resisting group pressure; expressing opinions. Problem-solving skills: locating information; making decisions; using judgement; conflict resolution. 3. & it is environment-based (in or through human rights) Creating a learning environment where the structures, methods and relationships operating in the teaching and learning situation (environment) reflect the values of human rights and its learning objectives; creating a whole-school policy ; democratic working methods which demonstrate mutual respect between teacher and student. In summary, human rights education facilitates students learning what human rights are and how to live in a spirit of human rights. This chapter is designed to give some ideas about activities 17

18 chapter two examples of activities 18 ways to start such processes, you will find references to further publications in Chapter Four. A human rights workshop In October and November of 1999, Araba Evelyn Johnston-Arthur ran workshops in 14 of the participating Austrian schools for students and she called the workshops: Human rights my rights your rights here now and today. (A full report of the workshops is available from the Interkulturelles Zentrum). This part of the report gives you a taste of what can be achieved. The aims of the workshops were: to awaken interest of human rights in young people to give students space to articulate themselves, give voice to their own views, perspectives, experiences and interests to create an environment in which their own contribution and opinion is highly appreciated and taken seriously to provide a practical approach which aims to integrate human rights in the reality of young people to provide an approach which offers a sense of identification, that is human rights as self-empowerment: my rights, your rights to motivate and mobilise young people for the cause of human rights: here now and today The workshops varied in length and content depending on the time available and on agreements with the teachers and students with whom Araba was working. Still, the basic outline for a four hour workshop went as follows: a) Icebreaking: personal introduction, introduction of the workshop, students presentations of themselves and their expectations for the workshop. b) Human rights a basic introduction: what are rights and what are they for? different concepts of rights. c) My rights, your rights, our responsibility: students set up their own charter for students rights. d) Struggles for human rights: the gap between declarations and their implementation; struggles of various personalities from around the world in the past and the present. e) Human rights in Austria theory and practice: topics included antisemitism, discrimination against people with disabilities, homophobia, racism, sexism, religious freedom, children refugees. f) Actions for human rights: Austrian examples; speaking out experiences of racism; presentation of a self-empowerment project against racism by PAMOJA (Movement of the young African Diaspora in Austria); action groups.

19 Here are two of the activities used by Araba; the first is called Planting a human rights tree you need: markers a large piece of paper (at least 1m x 1m) place the paper in the middle of the circle sticky tape time: a few minutes The time may vary extensively according to size of class/group and level of involvement, since every class reacts differently to this activity. process: 1. Ask the group what a tree needs to grow? (for instance water, minerals and so on) chapter two 2. Find out who likes drawing in class Ask this student to draw a very big tree on the paper, concentrating on the roots and to write human rights on the trunk. 3. Now explain to the group that this is the human rights tree they are planting. Ask them what this human rights tree needs to grow? 4. Write the answers next to the roots of the tree, representing the ground on which the human rights tree grows and by which it is nourished (examples, for instance, could be: respect, peace and so on) 5. To complete the exercise draw the group s attention to the human rights tree and read the answers out loud. 6. You could go on to ask them to compare the roots to the situation in their own country. The second activity is called The Action Teams examples of activities 19 aim: to motivate young people for the action for human rights and to foster the creativity and the development of skills in the promotion of human rights. time: min. you need: the initial starting point is a very inspiring as well as practical input from your side, reflecting on possible actions to promote human rights within a classroom

20 chapter two examples of activities 20 process: 1. Students choose the issues they would like to involve themselves in 2. Students split into teams according to the chosen topics 5.each action team presents their action to the class A human rights timeline - Putting human rights in their historical context. Every country has its own human rights history: in Hungary, for instance, there was a history of uprisings by slaves (1514/1710), culminating in 1848 in a law which outlawed serfdom and introduced freedom of the press. Going even further back in time to 1215 in England, the Magna Carta signed between the English barons and King John used constitutional means to limit his tyrannical use of power. From more recently, there are numerous examples throughout Europe of movements campaigning for freedom and human rights. 3. You refer to your input on actions for human rights and now ask the students to think of the strategies that have been used, and which of them or which strategies in general they find most effective to promote their issue to the class. Some suggestions: sketch, poster, speech and so on 4.Now you give the action teams about 10 min. time to discuss amongst each other (you can advise the action teams to think of an expressive name for their team) Working in groups, allocate the students research tasks to look at people, publications, the arts, events and movements which contributed to

21 chapter two examples of activities 21 the development of human rights in your country. One or more groups can be asked to look at human rights influences from other countries. The results can be used in a wide variety of ways: Each group presents its results to the rest of the class. If a group has found songs which are related to human rights, learn to sing them. Individuals can write essays based on an aspect of their group research. Organise a display of human rights and our country for other classes to visit. Human Rights starting points for teachers. See Chapter Four for further details.) Students Charter on Human Rights During the second year of the network, it was decided to intensify the cooperation between all schools and, in particular, the students. One way was to introduce the idea of a Students Charter on Human Rights. Agreement was reached on the form, the content and the timescale. (This activity is taken from the recent Council of Europe publication Die Europäische Menschenrechtskonvention Einstiegshilfen für den Unterricht / the European Convention on

22 chapter two examples of activities 22 School Network Human Rights Students Charter on Human Rights This is an activity for all participants in School Network Human Rights With this proposal we invite you to continue and deepen your work in the field of Human Rights education in your school. We also want to stimulate international exchange and discussion among the different partner schools in the project. The task: 1. Develop your students own charter of Rights January/February This activity allows to build on the previous HR education work you have done together with your students. It also allows newcomers to join in and to start getting involved with the topic: to think of Human Rights and their importance. Please focus on the theme of your international project group (participation/ children s rights/racism & xenophobia/violence/women s rights). It is up to you to decide upon the appropriate methods, the duration and intensity of this activity. What we want you to do is to summarise the outcome and to come up with a list of 5-10 rights, which are, from your students point of view and for their local environment and lives the most important, the most relevant ones. 2. Share your results Deadline: End of February send the list to your partner schools in the network AND send the list to me (If you want I can forward it to the others for you - but let me know!) 3. Compare your results with the lists of the partner schools the Universal Declaration of Human Rights February/March/April

23 What are the similarities? What are the differences? Are the rights which are important to us included in the Universal Declaration of HR? Are they included in any other international HR document? Are the rights which are important to us respected? In our lives, countries? What about the situation in our partner countries? What can we do to defend Human Rights? chapter two examples of activities Give feedback to your partner schools March/April Summarise your discussion and findings. Inform your partner schools about what you have found out. Please do not forget to put the Project coordinator on your mailing list. Thank you! You may also want to ask them further questions. Do it! In case of any questions, comments - please contact me! Good luck! Barbara Helm We hope this chapter has whetted your appetite for more. As Araba says, it needs passion to be engaged in human rights. Again, please check Chapter Four for further sources useful for human rights education activities.

24 chapter three tour 24 on Chapter Three School Network Human Rights on Tour We have learned about their culture, the educational system, some of those human rights problems, which they think, they don t have, but which they have. We have learnt, that we are all different, but yet we are all the same. Project coordinator from Cameroon For the students it was a very interesting experience to see that the guests were very well informed about what is going on in the world. They found it difficult to ask more personal questions for example the feelings of living in a country, where a civil war is going on. To establish a closer contact is not always easy and depends very much on the person and the experience in these kinds of intercultural exchanges. Teacher and two students from Austria I think Austrian students and teachers learned about the political and social situation, about violation of human rights in Colombia and Cameroon. About drugs, guerrilla, paramilitary. They learned about how people from southern countries think, and how they see the world and about our project of the schools of peace. Student from Colombia Taking advantage of important dates in the calendar is one method of increasing relevance of your activities. And so it was with the Global Education Week, November 2000: a highlight of the second year of the project was the invitation to students and teachers from Cameroon, Argentina and Colombia to participate in the Human Rights in One World tour. The main aims of the tour were: to initiate a long-term, sustainable learning process, Intercultural Learning to establish personal contacts between students & teachers in partner schools, confrontation of

25 own values and those of the other cultures to motivate all partners involved, to strengthen international co-operation to ensure active participation of at least 5 Austrian project schools to evaluate project activities and development of strategies for project continuation On arrival in Austria, the guest delegations had an orientation seminar which allowed them to get to know each other personally and to be briefed on the general situation in the country. A total of 11 schools from all over Austria offered to host the visitors, which meant that two groups had to be formed one travelling West from Vienna and the other going South. The tour proved to be a great motivation for the guest delegations and the Austrian schools to develop their contacts, organise exchanges and, in one case, to donate computers for use in joint research projects. The tour and human rights education some reflections Human rights education is a very sensitive subject and needs a global and intensive pedagogical concept, which means it is not enough only to teach it at a rational level. The idea is to enable students to develop competences, abilities such as forming chapter three tour 25 opinions, analysing, reflecting, handling crisis and conflict resolution - empowering education. In the learning process teachers have to pay attention to the needs of students, their personal history, ambivalence in their school careers and daily school life. on The Human Rights in One World tour was initiated as a measure to enlarge personal experiences for students. Looking at the personal background of students was used as a starting point to go into the topics and animate students to be critical, to get a feeling for injustice in their personal environment and their own society. This is not an easy task. Successful human rights education needs a long term concept and every measure is one little part of a puzzle. Perhaps this puzzle cannot be finished in a school career. What is essential is to know about the importance of starting and continuing this process. Basically, the tour was seen as a motivating factor, to give credit to the work already done and to create interest in human rights issues. At a stage when young people have to find their place in the society, reflecting the norms of society and

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