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Human Rights and Service Learning

Service Learning and Human Rights (Amnesty-USA and HREA)HREA and Amnesty International-USA just published a manual on human rights and service learning. Service learning is a method whereby learners learn and develop through active participation in a service that is conducted in their communities. Usually it is coordinated with an elementary school, secondary school, institution of higher education, or community service programme and the community. Service learning fosters civic responsibility and is integrated into and enhances the academic curriculum of the learners.

The manual contains lessons and service-learning projects. The lesson plans are divided into five human rights topic areas: environment, poverty, discrimination, children's rights to education and health, and law and justice.

 This manual aims to:

  • engage educators currently utilizing service-learning in the practice of human rights education;
  • enable human rights educators and trainers to teach through service-learning; and
  • provide the tools and building blocks for educators to promote human rights education and service-learning far beyond the scope of the activities included in this manual.

    These lesson plans are meant to act as tools for educators to experiment with and to develop human rights service-learning projects that are most relevant and appropriate for each group of participants.

    Section A, 'A Guide to the Lesson Plans,' provides a detailed description of how the lesson plans are organized and tips on how to implement them.

    Section B contains a grid that lists human rights and service-learning activities. The grid provides you with examples of how you can combine different human rights lessons and service-learning activities.

    Section C, 'Lesson Plans,' is the heart of the manual and contains the lessons and service-learning projects. The lesson plans are divided into five human rights topic areas: Environment, Poverty, Discrimination, Children's Rights to Education and Health, and Law and Justice.

    Title: Human Rights and Service-Learning: Lesson Plans and Projects
    Author(s): Kristine Belisle and Elizabeth Sullivan
    Publisher: Amnesty International-USA and Human Rights Education Associates (HREA)
    Place of publication: New York and Cambridge, MA
    Year of publication: 2007
    ISBN/ISSN: -
    Language(s): English
    Keywords: lesson plan(s), manual, community leaders, teachers, formal education, higher education, informal education, secondary school, social studies, discrimination, environment, extreme poverty, human rights education, juvenile justice, non-discrimination, right to health

    Full text of the manual in PDF format PDF file


    Background

    Service-learning ties learning objectives to service objectives with the intent that the participant will acquire greater skills, values, and knowledge while the recipient benefits from the service provided.

    The most referenced definition of service-learning comes from the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993. According to this act, service-learning:

  • is a method whereby learners learn and develop through active participation in thoughtfully organized service that is conducted in and meets the needs of communities;
  • is coordinated with an elementary school, secondary school, institution of higher education, or community service program and the community;
  • helps foster civic responsibility;
  • is integrated into and enhances the academic curriculum of the learners, or the education components of the community service program in which the participants are enrolled; and
  • provides structured time for learners or participants to reflect on the service experience.

    Service-learning can be school-based or community-based. School-based service-learning is tied to curriculum objectives, with both the learning and service taking place in the school system. Projects such as school mentoring programs or school landscaping fall within this category. Community-based service-learning is also tied to learning objectives, but the service occurs outside the school within the community. Enriching partnerships occur when the service and learning are shared between the school and a community-based organization.


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    HREA and Amnesty International offer workshop on service learning and human rights (28 September 2005)
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