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WERA IRN Human Rights Education 2021 Webinar Series 1 Session 3

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WERA IRN HRE Session 3: Human rights education’s curriculum problem Walter C. Parker, University of Washington, Seattle

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Does human rights education have a social justice mission? And if so, how much does knowledge matter in realising justice through education? In this session, Walter Parker articulates what he identifies as human rights education’s curriculum problem in schools and suggests strategies to solve it. Employing a theoretical perspective from the critical sociology of education, he suggests the main problem is HRE’s lack of an episteme—a disciplinary structure created in specialist communities—and, related to this, the flight of scholars from the field of curriculum practice, redefining it away from subject matter. Parker asserts that the HRE curriculum remains scattered, ill-defined, and too variable to be robust. HRE advocacy is important but insufficient. He argues that a more robust HRE in schools will require a curriculum that teachers can adapt to local needs, constraints, and students. Knowledge matters. In this session he identifies a key challenge for researchers and policymakers: without knowledge work of this sort, it is difficult to claim that HRE has a social justice mission. Walter Parker’s full paper can be read here

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About the organizers

The WERA IRN on Human Rights Education was established in Spring 2019 and launched in London in June that year. The coordinators are Professor Audrey Osler (USN, Norway, University of Leeds, UK ) and Professor Hugh Starkey (UCL Institute of Education, UK). The two pillars of the IRN are Human Rights Education Review and UCL’s International Conference on Education and Democratic Citizenship (ICEDC) conference.

Contact: for any questions or comments please contact Professor Hugh Starkey h.starkey@ucl.ac.uk or Professor Audrey Osler a.h.osler@leeds.ac.uk

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