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Teaching peace and human rights around the world

Tue, April 16, 1:30 to 3:00pm, Hyatt Regency, Floor: Bay (Level 1), Bayview B

Proposal

The first International Baccalaureate (IB) Programmes began in 1968. Now 50 years old and in over 4,700 schools on every continent except Antarctica, IB programmes have created lifelong learners and global citizens through a holistic curricular program. One of the core pieces of the program is the Mission Statement, which aims to “develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect” (International Baccalaureate Organization, 2018, para. 4). As teachers deliver curriculum through the Primary Years, Middle Years, and Diploma Programmes, they also teach values and traits of the IB Learner Profile and this by extension, supports peace and human rights goals. This roundtable presentation discusses an online graduate education course largely taken by International Baccalaureate teachers focused on infusing human rights instruction in PK-12 classrooms. The course text centers on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). Additionally, the course uses other human rights documents, academic research concerning peace and human rights education, and also takes into account previous student input to inspire teachers to create lessons they can use in their classrooms to convey the ideas of poverty, identity, equality, justice, dignity, disability, the right to an education, and participation. Teachers are encouraged to think critically and connect curricula at their grade level and in their current countries and contexts. They integrate peace and human rights issues into their subject matter and into interdisciplinary formats. As students read the text and articles, watch videos, and interact in asynchronous discussions they constantly change the course but also produce assignments integrating what they are learning along the way. As a result, each iteration of the course becomes slightly different and is enriched by the students. Through a discussion of the genesis of the course and the readings/assignments, it is hoped the roundtable will allow for feedback how to expand the course beyond the IB and CRC focus as a continual issue (and a tricky one) is teaching peace and human rights through the lens of a document (and documents) that some nations do not support and/or consistently violate. Also, as the course contains students from multiple subject areas in PK-12 and the students are often not known until a few days before the course start, developing resources and compiling materials quickly can often be a challenge. Finally, the presenter will elaborate on some of the positive outcomes of the course, especially concerning interdisciplinary thinking and teacher collaboration across borders.

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