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Theories of human rights in relation to understandings of human rights education: the relevance to diversity

Valen-Sendstad, Adne (2010)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This study explores theories of human rights in order to assess how these are reflected in human rights education (HRE). It uses and develops Dembour‟s (2006) four way categorisation of human rights schools, that is, the natural law, deliberative, protest and discourse schools. The thesis is text-based and uses a hermeneutic methodology. HRE is examined mainly at a higher level such as teacher education, using academic texts as sources rather than manuals for schools. A particular question for the research is how the issue of diversity is addressed both in the human rights theories and in the writing on HRE, in the context of the need to envision HRE for a pluralist society. The findings of the study are that the perspective of the protest school is the one most deployed in HRE, but that the other schools have potential for deepening how human rights and HRE might be approached at teacher education level. The study proposes a model for HRE that combines three perspectives: (a) overlapping consensus and normative dialogue, (b) empowerment and (c) double responsibility. These are argued to enable teachers to address complex issues of rights as they relate to diversity and difference.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Davies, Lynn
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:School of Education
Subjects:LB Theory and practice of education
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1145
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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