, Volume 47, Issue 1–2, pp 31–40 | Cite as

Dilemmas and hopes for human rights education: Curriculum and learning in international contexts

  • Felisa Tibbitts
  • Susan Roberta Katz
Open File


Human rights education (HRE), like the wider international human rights project, is a bold attempt to influence laws and state policies, while at the same time inspiring people to connect human rights to their everyday lives. In terms of incorporating HRE within the formal education sector, HRE is dependent upon the good will of state actors. To what extent are state actors deeply committed to HRE? As HRE is institutionalized within school and curriculum policies, is it able to retain its core emancipatory nature? As we examine the actual practice of HRE, we often see a gap between the theorists’ calling (back) for the emancipatory roots of HRE and the lived educational policies and practices of states and schools. This special issue explores this gap with examples from the Global South and Global North, reviewing recent theories, challenges, and solutions for enabling a transformative approach to HRE through and against the lens of state power.


Human rights education Critical pedagogy State power Curriculum policies 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of International and Transcultural StudiesTeachers College of Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of International and Multicultural EducationUniversity of San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA

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