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This section is concerned with planning the interaction between the educators and the learners (trainers – teachers/ teachers-students).

The success of any educational program depends on the quality of the teaching and administrative personnel and their respective abilities to energize the group. It is not an easy task to find personalities with e.g. solid educational experience and human rights advocacy skills, nor is it easy to design education programs that results in e.g. improving civil societies, creating and maintaining a “human rights culture” etc. The following questions are hoped to help in this process:

a. What human and physical resources and techniques are available locally? (This is both a question of cost-effectiveness, as well empowering local teachers and trainers to encourage a sustainable program.) How will these local trainers (and foreigners) be perceived by the learners? Are there social and cultural barriers?

b. What are the program’s conscious goals for the relationship between teachers and learners? At the sessions? After the sessions?

c. How are these goals to be reinforced in the various components of the program? It’s financing? It’s eating and sleeping arrangements? etc.

d. Given the many ways in which a group of people learn, which methods are going to be used?

e. What resources are going to be made available to the participants for use after the program?

The relationship between the educators and learners is especially critical in human rights education. The reason is that human rights ideas are closely linked with concepts of fairness, justice, equality, respect for human dignity, non-discrimination, and participation in the decisions that affects one’s life. Day to day classroom relationships convey attitudes that not only influence the learning but also the learners’ attitudes to the idea of human rights.

*Note* by Tina Maria Tina Maria , 10 Nov 2008 19:50

Once the goals and content is set, the next step is to elaborate the pedagogical structure. This includes both the sequence and methods to be used.

a. What is now the rationale for the program? (The rationale identifies the problems, ways the course addresses them, and how the course will make a difference.)

b. What are the presumed cause-effect relationships between cognitive and other activities in terms of their capacity to bring about the desired goals?

c. How do the various components tie into one another?

d. What underlying themes link the various parts of the program? How can they be reinforced?

e. How do the earlier sessions prepare for the later ones?

f. How are the main ideas reinforced throughout the program?

g. What are the principal educational media and modes of learning to be used to ensure that all the various components fit together and stimulate the participants throughout the whole program?

h. How will the structure of the program respond to the collective and individual interests, motivations and needs of the participants?

i. What are the implications of any age-, gender- culture- and religion-specific factors that need to be taken into consideration in planning the sequencing, the media, and the modes of learning?

j. How have the formats been adapted to the characteristics of the group and the actual physical facilities?

k. What local and other resources are available? How can they be used? Can they help in the planning?

l. Should HR and SD be “stand-alone” components, or to what extent should they be integrated into one another – how to go about this?

*Note* by Tina Maria Tina Maria , 10 Nov 2008 19:45

This part moves from goals to the selection of the content that seeks to attain those goals. Too often programs are defined by the availability of materials rather than the analysis of need. What is the most important content on the basis of the goal-setting analysis? The aim is to ensure that both goals and content match the motivations, interests, and needs of the learners. We may define content by answering questions such as the following (referring to both students and teachers):

a. What information on human rights standards and procedures are needed in such a situation?

b. What do the learners need to know about the social institutions affecting, adversely, or otherwise, the recognition and implementation of the rights in question?

c. Are there other initiatives taking place within the school system which will affect (positively/negatively) this project, and in terms of selecting content? How can they be complemented?

d. Are there other organizations that may be implemented at this planning stage, or at other times?

e. What are the other findings of the needs assessment process that help define the content implied in the general goals of the education and training programs?


1. What are the priority topics to be covered?
2. In terms of the rights to be dealt with?
3. In terms of the institutions to be examined?
4. In terms of the social problems to be analyzed?
5. In terms of desired outcomes? (Actions, attitudes, learning, skills etc?)

*Note* by Tina Maria Tina Maria , 10 Nov 2008 19:39
Tina Maria Tina Maria 10 Nov 2008 18:16
in discussion Program Design / Goals setting » *Note*

The previous part, the needs assessment, was meant to identify the learners, local problems, local history, local institutions, local living styles etc. The last part is also meant as a confidence-building measure between the contributors and the teachers. The more effective this dialogue is conducted, the better the goal setting.

The goals of HRE can be divided into four parts:

1. Collection of empirical data:
What happened, and what is happening? It is not enough to look at historical events related to HR (e.g. the Holocaust), one also needs to teach the importance of critical evaluation of factual data and the limitations of historical accounts of events and stories that influence the way participants perceive their problems. The dept of analysis will vary according to the level of the learners. The main goal is to help students appreciate accuracy in the use of factual data.

2. A human rights evaluation:
of the situation, events and/or circumstances to help students determine whether there is a question of a human rights violation and its relative seriousness ( as well as identifying HR success stories). Here, the evaluation criteria are based on international and domestic law.

3. Cause-effect analysis:
Why is this happening? What are the causes? (Social, political, cultural etc) This might evoke many an ideology and opinion, however, the educator’s main role is to help learners understand the social processes at work so that they can see how they can remedy the problems.

4. Response options and strategies:
There exist many possible responses, both for the short and long term. Options and strategies are conditioned by many factors and it is hard to predict outcomes. Freire’s study define empowerment as a major goal of HRE and argue that attaining this goal requires activities that prove to the learners that they can make a difference, namely they can reduce violations. Many HRE programs still fall in this category.

The following questions address the four goals:

a. What are the specific ways human rights violations impinge on the learners’ lives? (Empirical information and human rights evaluation)

b. Which of these violations are the most relevant and most susceptible to benefiting from an educational program? Why?

c. Are there obvious social causes for these patters of HR violations? (Cause-effect-analysis)

d. What are the principles or ways of interpreting the situations that this group of learners needs to understand in order to be able to deal actively with the problems that impinge on their lives, now and in the future?

e. What skills and resources do they need to become empowered and have an impact?

f. Given these conditions, what would be a reasonable goal or set of goals for a human rights program?

g. How can human rights goals be combined with other educational or practical felt-needs and activities such as SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, literacy, health, economic development programs etc?

*Note* by Tina Maria Tina Maria , 10 Nov 2008 18:16

In the first phase, the needs assessment dialogue is taking place here on wikidot, and it is crucial that we have among us a few Indian teachers to contribute to this brainstorming. Additionally, as mentioned on the welcome page, the feedback from the first pilot-group of teachers is of high relevance to the assessment of participants needs as well. The question then is: if we assume that trainers and teachers learn best and develops a feeling of ownership of the HRE curriculum, when participating in the planning and development of the program, how can we increase their participation?

(On another level; how prepared are the educators (both administrators and actual teachers) to listen to their students; to explain their plans and to adjust them on the basis of that dialogue? Or do the teacher’s in general know what is best for their students?)

*Note* by Tina Maria Tina Maria , 10 Nov 2008 17:47

How do their respond to e.g. to their own and others human rights problems? Do they organize, and if so, on what basis? Can this be improved somehow through the training (should we devote time for this?). What prevents them from doing more – certain skills needed?

What resources (facilities, materials etc) are already available to them?

Are some subgroups/individuals among the teachers more likely to be more responsive, and more able to disseminate their learning to others; e.g. co-workers and students?

Are there other agencies (religious, trade unions or other organizations) that will be sympathetic to the needs of the teachers, as well as students? Can they play a role before, during, and after the program? (One example is to invite HR activists, non-formal educators, university professors, representatives of NGOs to present their workings to the teachers, students – perhaps a possibility of community work with them etc)

How do their respond to their own and others human rights problems? How “should” they respond – how can the learning resources address that?

*Note* by Tina Maria Tina Maria , 10 Nov 2008 17:45


  1. What are the teacher’s needs, aspirations and interests? Can these needs etc benefit from human rights education?
  2. What are the perceived immediate needs of the teachers? Collectively, individually? (E.g. training in facilitation and management skills, empowerment as leaders, lack of materials and other resources in their individual schools)
  3. How can their motivation for participating and teaching be used, expanded etc?


  1. What are the students’ needs, aspirations and interests that would benefit from human rights education?
  2. What are the perceived immediate needs of the group? Collectively, individually? (what is the level of trust, do they fell empowered, knowledge of HR and SD content, options for actions etc)
  3. What patterns of their lives are relevant to designing a human rights education program?
  4. How can their motivation for participating be used, expanded, etc? A linked question is what interests them, in order to find content that appeals to them.
*NOTE* by Tina Maria Tina Maria , 10 Nov 2008 17:43

The following are the questions to be discussed:

What are the basic characteristics of the target group - Teachers

  • Age/educational level /degree of diversity / professional background / gender, and similar.
  • What possible perceptions may they hold of HRE; e.g. how this is changing the content of their value classes; their ideas about participating in the work-shop/training, and how they see their role(s) in the development and lives of their students – do they characterize themselves as ‘activists’ (?) for instance.
  • What are the possible human rights problems that they themselves are suffering, causing etc? And what are their perceptions of their problems (or the problems of their students) and the relevance of the proposed human rights program.

Basic characteristics of the target group – Students

  • Age / educational level – maturity – experience/ degree of diversity/ gender and similar.
  • What are the human rights problems that they are suffering, causing, experiencing, witnessing etc.
  • What are their perceptions of these problems/issues?
  • Their awareness level regarding problems/issues in their society and daily-life.
  • What is their learning capacity?
*NOTE* by Tina Maria Tina Maria , 10 Nov 2008 17:37

Dear all,

Are you familiar with or heard of any formal or non-formal education on HRE and/or SD already in place in India. If so, share information, internet links etc. This information is not only valuable for the development of content of lesson plans etc, but also for networking.
some that I have found:

Coimbatore Human Rights Forum:

National Organisation for Consumer Education and Research:

and a range of other HRE related organizations at Human Rights Education Associates website (recommended). the link to these are:

please add others if you find any,

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