Education for human rights: Opportunities and challenges arising from Australian curriculum reform

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Curriculum Perspectives, 2016, 36 (2), pp. 41 - 51
Issue Date:
2016-09-01
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© Australian Curriculum Studies Association Incorporated 2016. This paper examines the place of human rights education in Australian schools in the light of the National Curriculum’s implementation and unprecedented educational and social/geopolitical change. It also draws on, as part of its literature base, the first nationwide initiative to assess the Australian community’s views on human rights issues by the National Human Rights Consultation Committee (NHRCC, 2009), undertaken by the authors. With global events and technologies challenging previously accepted norms of behaviour, it is vital to consider how school educators can play a more effective role in enabling students to learn about human rights. To support a discussion about the opportunities and challenges facing teachers and students, the paper provides background on the development of a human rights education agenda in Australia. It draws on recent studies that analyse legislation, education policy, curriculum documents, and a set of roundtable consultations. In response to difficult political and community contexts, it is our aim to raise the profile of human rights education and prompt discussion on how to progress it in schools.
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