2Children’s Rights and Education Workshop 1Children’s Rights and Education
3WelcomePlease find materials at your table to create a name plate. Thank you for helping me to learn your names. Then take a minute to fill in the Five-Minute Reflection.
4Congratulations!Congratulations for the commitment your school has made to children’s rights and rights respecting education through your enthusiasm for the Rights Respecting Schools initiative.Let’s get learning!Welcome to the first workshop of the Rights Respecting Schools Workshop Series!You are here because your school has chosen to embark on the journey to becoming a Rights Respecting School and we want to sincerely thank you for your commitment and enthusiasm for this initiative.For the schools that take this journey, the experience is quite transformational. You will notice a number of exciting results that will impact most (if not all) members of your school community – the students, teachers and staff, parents and other members of your wider community. When you take the concept of children’s rights and you place it at the heart of everything your school does, you will start to see remarkable results. This is not to say that process happens overnight, it does require time, dedication and a collaborative whole-school approach. But the resulting impacts for each school are worth the effort!
5Impacts of Rights Respecting Education FOR STUDENTSImproved self-esteem and well-beingImproved relationships and behaviourImproved engagement in learningPositive attitudes towards diversity in societyReduction in prejudiceEnhanced moral understandingSupport for global justice“When you are talking people listen to you and they don’t interrupt. They give you the right to speak up.”Daniella, Grade 5 , Cape HornFor example, in the UK, where there are over 1600 schools that participate in a similar program to Rights Respecting Schools in Canada. Research conducted by the University of Brighton and the University of Sussex in these rights-respecting schools has demonstrated the following impacts of rights-respecting education:Improved self-esteem and well-beingImproved relationships and behaviour (reductions in bullying and exclusions and improved attendance)Improved engagement in learningPositive attitudes towards diversity in society and the reduction of prejudiceChildren and young people’s enhanced moral understandingChildren and young people’s support for global justice
6Workshop 1: Children’s Rights and Education AGENDAIntroductionsWhere are we?Five-Minute ReflectionActivity 1: Human and Children’s RightsActivity 2: Clustering RightsActivity 3: Defining Rights Respecting EducationActivity 4: The Rights Respecting Schools InitiativeUNICEF Canada is guided the by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (The Convention). Our mission here in Canada is to mobilize and empower Canadians to invest in the positive transformation of every child's future.Using the Convention as its inspiration, the Rights Respecting School model helps schools support the rights of children in school culture and in the curriculum.The RRS model is a framework for educational improvement and it will provide you with a toolkit to transform the WHOLE learning environment with a consistent, rights-based approach.
7Rights Respecting Schools Rights Respecting Schools use the Convention on the Rights of the Child as a framework for educational improvementthat aims to transformthe whole learning environment with a consistent, rights-based approach.Cape Horn Elementary SchoolCanada’s First Rights Respecting School
8Children’s rights are fulfilled and protected in Canadian schools The Ultimate OutcomeEducational policies, practices and decisions are all made in the best interest of the childChildren’s rights are fulfilled and protected in Canadian schools
9Where have we been? School makes a commitment to become an RRS Review what the school has accomplished so far:Step 1 – The school made a commitment to embark on the journey to becoming a Rights Respecting School
10Children’s Rights Team is formed Where have we been?Children’s Rights Team is formedReview what the school has accomplished so far:Step 2 – The school established the Children’s Rights Team – to lead the RRS Initiative at the school
11School conducts the Initial Rights Assessment Where have we been?School conducts the Initial Rights AssessmentAdmin SurveyStudent Focus GroupsStudent WorkshopsStaff SurveyReview what the school has accomplished so far:Step 3 – The school conducted the components of the Initial Rights Assessment (Admin Survey, Student Survey, Student Workshops, Staff Survey) to determine the current rights respecting activities, policies and practices at the school before the initiative begins. It provides a baseline against which to measure change as a result of the initiative.
12Staff and parents undergo professional development training Where are we now?Staff and parents undergo professional development training-5 workshopsStep 4 – The workshop series is made up of five professional development workshops for key adult members of the school community (teachers, administrators, non-teaching staff, parent volunteers, other school community members)
13Five Professional Development Workshops: Workshop SeriesFive Professional Development Workshops:Workshop 1: Children’s Rights and EducationWorkshop 2: Building AwarenessWorkshop 3: Meaningful Student ParticipationWorkshop 4: Teaching and Learning Through a Rights LensWorkshop 5: Leadership for a Rights Respecting SchoolBriefly state the topics for each workshop:Workshop 1: Children’s Rights and EducationWorkshop 2: Building AwarenessWorkshop 3: Meaningful Student ParticipationWorkshop 4: Teaching and Learning through a Rights LensWorkshop 5: Leadership for a Rights Respecting SchoolExplain that each of the last four workshops focuses on a different RRS Building BlockAnd that the participants of each workshop examine new concepts, reflect on good practices for meeting the benchmarks, and begin work on the school’s plan for becoming a RRS – the school’s RRS Action Plan
14The Cycle of LearningExplain that each of the workshops in the RRS Workshop Series have been designed around the Cycle of Learning – a concept developed by Susan Fountain in her book: Education for Development: A Teacher’s Resource for Global Learning published by UNICEF (available for download from unicef.ca/globalclassroom). This cycle provides a good example of a learning process that keeps learners engaged and interested in repeating the cycle with other topics.Exploration phase: In the ‘explore’ phase learners collect, analyze, and synthesize information on a particular topic or issue. They develop understanding and awareness that will form a basis for the responding phase.Responding phase: In the ‘respond’ step, learners develop a personal response to the material studied and/or the situations encountered. They become familiar with its human dimension including a range of perspectives and form their own perspective or point of view.Action phase: In the action phase, learners explore practical actions that might address the issue in question. It is crucial that real opportunities for involvement are provided. This is not only a logical outcome of the learning process, but a significant means of reinforcing new knowledge, skills, and attitudes.
15Children’s Rights Team develops the RRS Action Plan Where are we headed?Children’s Rights Team develops the RRS Action PlanStep 5: Make a Plan – The process of developing the RRS Action Plan actually starts during the Workshop Series when participants examine good practices for achieving the RRS Building Blocks Benchmarks and then brainstorm ideas/actions the school could undertake.-Then in Step 5, the Children’s Rights Team takes those ideas from the Workshop Series and develops them further into the school’s RRS Action Plan-There is a template that can be used to develop the RRS Action Plan in the RRS Toolkit.
16School implements the RRS Action Plan Where are we headed?School implements the RRS Action PlanStep 6: Implement the Plan – At this point the school community works together to implement the plan.-Schools could have a kick-off week, assemblies, introductory lesson plans, letters and information sessions for parents, visual displays in the school, etc. to kick off the implementation of their RRS Action Plan
17School repeats the Admin Survey, Student Focus Groups, Staff Survey Where are we headed?School repeats the Admin Survey, Student Focus Groups, Staff SurveyStep 7: Assess and Reflect – The school conducts the Follow-Up Rights Assessment (which includes: Admin Survey, Student Survey, Staff Survey – and the RRS Action Plan Review – which is essentially a chance to reflect on which parts of the plan were implemented, how they went and which areas need to be focused on in the following school year)-The RRS Action Plan Review is just a final column of the RRS Action Plan that gets filled in
18Five-Minute Reflection INSTRUCTIONSReflect silently on the following four questions:What do I know about children’s rights?From where did I gain my understanding of children’s rights?How have aspects of my identity and position in society (locally, nationally, globally) shaped my understanding of children’s rights?How has my life experience shaped my understanding of children’s rights?Jot down any thoughts you want to remember.
19Statements about Human Rights Agree – Thumb Up Somewhat Agree – Thumb Sideways Disagree – Thumb Down Don’t Know – Closed FistUse as an alternative to the Response Cards (see Facilitator Guide).
20Statements about Human Rights Not everyone has equal rights.Every person can claim his or her rights.Some rights are more important than others.Human rights can be taken away.Every human right contributes to a person’s dignity.
21Principles of Human Rights STATEMENT 1Not everyone has equal rights.Every human is born with the same rights – human beings are equal and so are rights.Everyone everywhere has human rights – human rights are universal.No one can be denied his or her rights because of factors such as age, religion, sex, ethnic background, etc. - human rights are non-discriminatory.
22Principles of Human Rights STATEMENT 2Every person can claim his or her rights.Anyone can claim her or his rights, so long as in doing so they do not infringe or restrict the rights of others.In the process of claiming their rights, all people have the right to participate in and access the information and decision-making processes that affect their lives and well- being.
23Principles of Human Rights STATEMENT 3Some rights are more important than others.Human rights are interdependent and interrelated meaning that the fulfillment of one right often depends, wholly or in part, upon the fulfillment of others.In order for all human rights to be upheld, no one right can be deemed more important than another.
24Principles of Human Rights STATEMENT 4Human rights can be taken away.All people everywhere are entitled to their rights. These rights cannot be taken away any more than a human cannot stop being human. Human rights are inalienable.
25Principles of Human Rights STATEMENT 5Every human right contributes to a person’s dignity.Each and every right has been deemed equally important for the full realization of a person’s dignity.Human rights are indivisible. No one right can be denied or compromised to uphold another.
26What are children’s rights? Children (all people under the age of 18) have the same human rights as adults.But they require special care and protection that adults do not.Children’s rights are laid out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
27The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (the Convention) Rights to survival, development (physical and mental), protection, and participationDrafted in 1978 and adopted November 1989Canada ratified in 1991Most widely ratified human rights treatyMonitored by the UN Committee on the Rights of the ChildShare the following information about the Convention on the Rights of the Child:Outlines the basic human rights for every child which includes the right to survival, the right to development of their full physical and mental potential, the right to protection from influences that are harmful to their development, and right to participate in family, cultural, and social lifeDrafted in and adopted by UN General Assembly November 1989Ratified by all but 2 countries: the United States and SomaliaCanada signed the treaty in 1990 and ratified the treaty in 1991To ratify the Convention, Canada reviewed all provincial and federal laws and concluded the rights under the Convention were provided forThere was no new legislation introducedAccording to Canada’s Constitution – international law – such as the Convention can be used by courts and other decision making bodies as an aid to interpreting legislation affecting human rights in CanadaCompliance is monitored by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and countries are expected to submit a report to the Committee every five years, which is complied by a department within Canadian heritage. The committee reads the reports and submit Concluding ObservationsHowever, there is no legal obligations on countries to implement the recommendations of the Committee.
28The Story of Children’s Rights Explain that this video The Story of Human Rights will explain what rights are and the history behind rights.The video is 9:25 min.You will need to copy the file from the Step 4 folder in the Dropbox and play it in Windows Media Player. The file is too large to embed in this ppt.
29Clustering Rights Activity Organize the articles of the Convention so that articles that are similar or have commonalities are in the same ‘cluster’Give each cluster a ‘name’
30Types of Rights Survival Rights Right to life and to have your most basic needs met (for example: shelter, nutrition, medical treatment).Development RightsRights that allow you to reach your fullest potential (for example: education, play and leisure, cultural activities).Participation RightsRights that allow you to take an active role in your community (for example: the freedom to express opinions, to join associations).Protection RightsRights that protect you from all forms of abuse, neglect and exploitation (for example: protection against involvement in armed conflict and child labour).
31Simplify for Young Children Survival Rights – Be HealthyDevelopment Rights – Be YourselfParticipation Rights – Be HeardProtection Rights – Be Safe
33Why teach children about rights? It is their right to know their rights – Article 42We have a responsibility as educators to teach children about their rightsTo further the values of children’s rightsWhen children learn about their rights they become more aware of the importance of respect, cooperation, inclusion and responsibilityChildren’s rights values provide a consistent frameworkThe consistent values framework of children’s rights helps children choose appropriate behaviourChildren become more involvedChildren look outside themselves to othersExplain that as someone with influence and daily contact with children, you are an important part of ensuring that children not only enjoy their rights, but also know about, respect and defend them, and understand the responsibilities that come with them.Here are some of the reasons why it is important for children to know about rights:It Is Their RightIn the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (the Convention), Article 42 states that all children have the right to know their rights. Adults and duty-bearers have the responsibility to ensure that children are informed of their rights and are able to exercise them.To Further the Values of Human RightsThe first step in promoting greater respect for the rights of children is ensuring that children know and understand their rights. Where children know their rights, there are generally fewer rights abuses, and social interactions are generally more respectful. Human rights education encourages children to reflect on how they interact with others and how they can change their behaviour to be more in line with the values and attitudes associated with human rights. Children who know their rights are more aware of the importance of respect, cooperation, inclusion and responsibility.Human Rights Values Provide a Consistent FrameworkHuman rights can be a frame of reference for our relationships with others. Adults who work with children rely daily on their own personal experiences and values in order to demonstrate appropriate behaviour to children. The values and attitudes associated with human rights are universally recognized and can provide a clear and consistent framework for evaluating which behaviours are acceptable and which are not.Children Become More InvolvedChildren who are informed of human rights are better able to integrate the values associated with human rights into their daily lives. Once children become aware of their rights, they recognize that what they think and feel has value. They understand the value of their contributions to the community around them. The result is that they become more actively involved in their family, school and community.Source: Why Children Should Know About Rights was adapted from Why is it important to educate children about human rights? in the Equitas Play it Fair Toolkit (2008), available at equitas.org/toolkit.
34Why in Canadian Schools? Legal ObligationArticle 42Promote and protect children’s rightsProtecting the Vulnerable and MarginalizedCanada ranks 11.8/21 on Child Well-BeingInequityEmpowering a Generation of Active Global CitizensRights and responsibilitiesGlobal ConnectionsMaterials:An overview of child well-being in rich countriesCanadian Supplement to THE STATE OF THE WORLD’S CHILDREN 2009Living in an affluent country like Canada, some might feel the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (the Convention) does not apply to Canada’s children and youth. There are some who believe the rights addressed in the Convention are already fully provided for and promoted by Canadian government and society. A common belief is that the Convention is for developing countries or places where democracy is repressed and human rights regularly violated. However, by integrating children’s rights into the classroom of industrialized countries, teachers are not only fulfilling their legal and professional responsibilities towards the rights of the child, but they are also actively promoting the protection of children’s rights domestically – in particular those of the vulnerable and marginalized – while empowering a generation of citizens who are concerned about and connected to global and social justice issues.The best interests of children are too infrequently considered or prioritized in decisions that profoundly affect them. Governments and institutions in Canada such as schools have, in the Convention, a responsibility to continuously strive to apply the principles of the Convention – to prioritize the child’s best interests in all decisions, to create equitable and inclusive schools and to create conditions where children can develop to their fullest potential and meaningfully participate in these efforts. They have the responsibility to know and help realize the rights of every child to optimal development, protection and participation and to address the parts of school life that are inconsistent with these rights.The articles of the Convention, which form a comprehensive and holistic view of the child and a global consensus on the minimum standards for good childhoods, serve as inspirational benchmarks for all children. In Canada, not all children up to age 18 (the benchmark defined in article 1 of the Convention) are yet fully protected or provided for under certain provincial and federal laws. There is considerable inequity in children’s enjoyment of their rights from region to region and between groups of children. These inequities are influenced by ethnicity, poverty and Aboriginal status. Canada ranks an average of 11.8 out of 21 industrialized nations in a ranking on the six dimensions of child well-being. These six dimensions are: material well-being, health and safety, educational well-being, family and peer relationships, behaviour and risks, and subjective well-being. Of most concern are family and peer relationships, behaviours and risks, and subjective well-being. Increasing the awareness of children’s rights both amongst adults and children is a first step in improving children’s well-being.Teachers in Canada have the capacity to lead the way in ensuring that Canada’s youth become citizens that understand, abide by and promote the protection of human rights and civic responsibilities in their communities and around the world. Achieving this vision starts with increasing the awareness of children of their rights and responsibilities in the classroom. Students, teachers and schools share a unique opportunity to put into practice a vision for inclusive and accountable classrooms for all youth. Teachers need to provide children with opportunities to witness and experience their rights and responsibilities, and create opportunities for students to develop and practice their capacities to respect human rights and act upon their responsibilities.
35Why in Canadian Schools? We have an obligation as duty-bearers – to protect and uphold children’s rights.As adults who impact so many children over the course of a career – we reach more children through schools and teachers.
36Approaches to Children’s Rights Education Children are taught the roles and responsibilities they will gain as adults which neglects to treat children as right-bearers and citizens.BGrudgingly recognizes the rights of children and makes the assumption children are not able to understand and practice these rights. Children are taught of the rights outlined in the Convention but these rights are not recognized or respected in their school.CFocuses on issues such as how fortunate children are to have the Convention’s rights and protection and does little to impact attitudes and behaviour of children.DStudents are taught about developing countries as places that abuse the rights of children and that there is a Convention to protect the rights of those children, but that it fails.EThe Convention is taken into consideration through both pedagogical approaches and content. Students are engaged in the process of democratic learning and participation. Children’s rights are not only taught but respected, recognized and modeled.Source: Covell, K., and Howe, B. Empowering Children: Children’s Rights Education as a Pathway to Citizenship, Toronto: University of Toronto Press Incorporated (2005), 13.Source: Covell, K., and Howe, B. Empowering Children: Children’s Rights Education as a Pathway to Citizenship, Toronto: University of Toronto Press Incorporated (2005), 13.
37Defining Rights Respecting Education TermsDefinitions“Not Yet”Children are taught the roles and responsibilities they will gain as adults which neglects to treat children as right-bearers and citizens.“Constrained Rights” EducationGrudgingly recognizes the rights of children and makes the assumption children are not able to understand and practice these rights. Children are taught of the rights outlined in the Convention but these rights are not recognized or respected in their school.“Limited Rights” EducationFocuses on issues such as how fortunate children are to have the Convention’s rights and protection and does little to impact attitudes and behaviour of children.“Rights Violation” EducationStudents are taught about developing countries as places that abuse the rights of children and that there is a Convention to protect the rights of those children, but that it fails.“Full-Blown” or “Rights Respecting” EducationThe Convention is taken into consideration through both pedagogical approaches and content. Students are engaged in the process of democratic learning and participation. Children’s rights are not only taught but respected, recognized and modeled.Source: Covell, K., and Howe, B. Empowering Children: Children’s Rights Education as a Pathway to Citizenship, Toronto: University of Toronto Press Incorporated (2005), 13.
38Schools Protect and Uphold Children’s Rights For this activity you only need to refer to the following14 articles:2, 3, 12, 14, 15, 16, 19, 23, 24, 28, 29, 30, 31, 42
39Rights Respecting School Building Blocks Handout the Rights Respecting Schools Building Blocks – one per participant
40RRS Action Plan Rights Respecting Schools Action Plan (Template) Roadmap school uses to build rights respecting capacities of the school communityRRS Action Plan Template designed around RRS Building Blocks / BenchmarksDevelopment started during Workshops 2-5Children’s Rights Team completes the RRS Action Plan in Step 5: Make a PlanPass out the RRS Action Plan Template examples for participants to look at in groups.
41Take-Away Resources – Staff & Parents Children’s Rights and Responsibilities: The Convention in Child-Friendly LanguageCan be used to explain rights and the Convention to childrenChildren’s Rights At Your SchoolCan be used to explain rights and the Convention to childrenActivity ideas to do at school and home to help children learn about their rightsEnsure these two resources are printed and distributed to all participants.
42Additional Resource for Teachers Creating a Rights Respecting Classroom: Engaging Activities and Tools for Grades Kindergarten to EightAvailable as PDF of activities by gradeIncludes pedagogical approaches, strategies and tipsEngaging, hands-on and teacher-testedAvailable for download from: rightsrespectingschools.caUse the password rrs123 to access under the ‘School Resources‘ section of the websiteEnsure all staff and parents fill in their contact information on the contact sheet.