© 2015

Bringing Human Rights Education to US Classrooms

Exemplary Models from Elementary Grades to University

  • Editors
  • Susan Roberta Katz
  • Andrea McEvoy Spero

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Overview of Human Rights Education

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Susan Roberta Katz, Andrea McEvoy Spero
      Pages 15-28
  3. Pedagogical Tools

  4. Afterword: Will Human Rights Education Be Decolonizing?

  5. Back Matter
    Pages 237-251

About this book


This book offers research-based models of exemplary practice for educators at all grade levels, from primary school to university, who want to integrate human rights education into their classrooms. It includes ten examples of projects that have been effectively implemented in classrooms: two from elementary school, two from middle school, three from high school, two from community college, and one from a university. Each model discusses the scope of the project, its rationale, students' response to the content and pedagogy, challenges or controversies that arose, and their resolution. Unique in integrating theory and practice and in addressing human rights issues with special relevance for communities of color in the US, this book provides indispensable guidance for those studying and teaching human rights.


Human Rights Education Urban Education Multicultural Education Critical Pedagogy Global Education Citizenship Education Social Justice Teaching Culturally Responsive Pedagogy Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy education higher education human rights learning literacy research school university violence

About the authors

Andrea McEvoy Spero is the former Director of Education at The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University, USA. 
Susan Roberta Katz is Professor of International and Multicultural Education and Human Rights Education at the University of San Francisco, USA.  

Bibliographic information


"This volume offers a unique and powerful approach to global education in the twenty-first century, one that promotes a concern with human rights over a logic of capital accumulation and economic survival. What an important message of possibility that the mastery of content and skills take place in the context of developing intercultural understanding and advocating for equity, access and justice. When we are now asked to increase achievement and to pay more attention to social and emotional learning in our central city schools and classrooms, I can think of no better approach than to develop a generation of transformative intellectuals who connect their academic learning and their self-worth to a love and solidarity with the global human family." - Ernest Morrell, Macy Professor of Education, Columbia University, USA

"Bringing a human rights perspective into US schools and classrooms has always been an elusive challenge because we tend to think of human rights as somehow unrelated to our reality. Susan Roberta Katz and Andrea McEvoy Spero instead demonstrate that honoring and protecting human rights is everyone's business. Through the examples provided in Bringing Human Rights Education to US Classrooms, teachers and students can envision the role they can play in protecting human rights here in our country, as well as throughout the world." - Sonia Nieto, Professor Emerita of Education, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA

"The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child calls for education to achieve the development of every child 'to the fullest potential' and the 'preparation of the child for responsible life in a free society.' Bringing Human Rights Education to US Classrooms grounds that aspiration in the compelling, concrete experiences of teachers in twenty-first century schools, where human rights can provide a context for shared values, respect, and meaningful learning across classrooms divided by economics, race, culture, and religion." - Nancy Flowers, human rights consultant and co-founder of Human Rights Educators USA