Education for a Socially Just World

Year: 2019

Author: Findlay, Yvonne

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Abstract:
At this point in the world’s history, we live in rapidly changing political, economic and cultural environments. News media present stories of terrorist activities, ever-growing numbers of displaced persons and refugees alongside environmental disasters such as volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, raging forest fires, drought and flood. In the midst of this maelstrom of change and disruption, there is a need for stability and assurance so that our children will be able to thrive and to be educated in a “Socially Just World” as identified in the theme of this conference.

This presentation builds on phase 1 of an action research study into teacher educators’ knowledge and understanding of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training (UNDHRET). The participants were a random sample of 20 teacher educators from my own school of education in a Queensland university.

The principal objectives wereto elicit the awareness levels of teacher educators of the United Nations conventions and declarations that have an impact on the educational provision of all children and young people across the globe. In particular, knowledge of the UNDHRET (2011) Article 1, 2 that states:

Human rights education and training is essential for the promotion of universal respect for and observance of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, in accordance with the principles of the universality, indivisibility and interdependence of human rights.

The UNICEF report on “Child poverty in perspective” (2007) states:

“The true measure of a nation’s standing is how well it attends to its children – their health and safety, their material security, their education and socialization, and their sense of being loved, valued, and included in the families and societies into which they are born.”

THE OVERARCHING QUESTION POSED BY THIS STATEMENT IS “ARE WE CREATING A LEARNING ENVIRONMENT IN WHICH STUDENTS ARE ABLE TO REACH THEIR FULL POTENTIAL EDUCATIONALLY, SOCIALLY AND MORALLY?” THE UNDERLYING THESIS IS THAT EDUCATION SHOULD PROVIDE AN ENVIRONMENT WITHIN WHICH CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE HAVE A SENSE OF BEING TREATED IN A SOCIALLY JUST WAY. A KNOWLEDGE OF HUMAN RIGHTS WILL HELP SCHOOL STUDENTS DEVELOP THE INTERPERSONAL AND INTRAPERSONAL SKILLS TO AMELIORATE THE CHALLENGES POSED IN BEING CREATORS OF A SOCIALLY JUST WORLD IN WHICH ALL ARE ACCEPTED AS PERSONS IN THEIR OWN RIGHT.

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