Human Rights Education Project:
A Joint Project of the Archives & Special Collections of the UConn Libraries and the Neag School of Education
About the Project
The Human Rights Education Project was initiated in early 2003 though conversations among Dr. Thomas (Tim) Weinland, Professor emeritus in Curriculum and Instruction at the Neag School of Education, Thomas Wilsted, director of the Dodd Research Center, Terri Goldich, and Valerie Love, formerly curator for the Alternative Press Collection. The project set as one of its primary goals the following:
This project seeks to use the materials of the Dodd Collections, together with talents and experiences of school and university faculty and staff to place appropriate human rights materials in the hands of teachers and students at the secondary level. Students need to see human rights in the context of both history and their own lives. They need to see human rights as the clash of issues and values, requiring comparison, analysis, and a host of thinking skills well beyond memorization. Finally, students need to see human rights in the context of personal responsibility and the realization that individuals – past and present – make a difference.
Following these initial discussions, Professor Weinland began several months of research among the Alternative Press Collection, the Dodd Papers from the Nuremburg Trials, and the Abbie Hoffman Papers. Using selections from these materials as a starting point he continued to gather other selections from newspapers and Internet resources (often the more up-to-date editions of publications which originally appeared in, and are archived in, the Alternative Press Collection.) From these materials Professor Weinland has developed several “curriculum lessons” for publication in Yankee Post – the newsletter of the Connecticut Council for Social Studies. Daniel Coughlin, a retired middle school social studies teacher, has provided important assistance in this work along with several graduate students from the Neag School of Education who have piloted some of the lessons with secondary school students.
Professor Weinland and others have presented selections from these materials at several conferences, ranging from several local programs to a regional social studies conference in Boston (NERC-2005) and the annual meeting of the National Conference for the Social Studies in Kansas City in November 2005. In addition to examining the materials, participants in these sessions have explored alternative approaches to teaching human rights questions that challenge students to consider conflicting points of view. In this way, we hope to move a student’s consideration of human rights from merely cataloguing “human wrongs” to addressing the difficult choices one must make when defining, confronting and working to alleviate those “wrongs”.
The project has enjoyed the financial support of the Treibick Family Public Outreach Endowment and the Neag School of Education. In addition it has received collaborative assistance from the Human Rights Institute.
(all are PDFs requiring Adobe Acrobat Reader)