Developed by Matt Bassett

Taking the human rights temperature of your school Grades 6-7

Objectives: - After surveying the human rights environment at the school, students will develop a personal action plan to improve the human rights situation within the school.

Materials: Taking the human rights temperature questionnaire (found @ http://www.hrusa.org/temperature.htm), and copies of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (found http://www.amnestyusa.org)

Procedures:

Anticipatory Set: If you could improve one thing in relationship to human rights within the school what would it be?

  1. 1. We have been studying the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Today we are going to assess the human rights temperature of our school by completing the following survey. Distribute the survey and allow students ample time to fill them out at their desks. Instruct students to leave their names off of the survey. Steps 2-5 are taken directly from this website: http://www.hrusa.org/temperature.htm

    2. Prepare for class discussion by creating a 1-4 rating scale on the chalkboard for each question. Gather the surveys and distribute them back to the class randomly. Go through the survey as a class calling out responses to each item.

    3. Discuss the findings from the survey, using the following questions to move from analysis and evaluation to the development of an action plan.

    • In which areas does your school appear to be adhering to or promoting human rights principles?
    • In which areas do there seem to be human rights problems? Which of these are of particular concern to you? Identify examples of human rights violations.
    • How do you explain the existence of such problems? Does it have to do with race, class, gender, disability, age, or sexual dimensions? Who benefits and who suffers as a result of the violations?
    • Have you contributed in any way to the contribution of such problems by acting in certain ways, not acting in certain ways, ignoring or not reporting violations?
    • Would you expect different results from a different group of people from within the school? Should these differences be of any concern to you? When determining which human rights concerns need to be addressed and how to address them, how can you be certain to take into account the perspectives and experiences of different people?
    • What needs to be done to improve the human rights conditions in your school? What actions can you as individuals and as a group take to create a more humane environment?

    4. Review question #25 on the survey, stressing the importance of assuming responsibility and acting. Then brainstorm possible actions the class might take to improve conditions. Record a short list of options for action.

    5. Discuss the list and choose an item or items for action. Develop an action plan identifying goals, strategies, and responsibilities.

    6. After demonstrating an example as a class, have the students create a personal action plan including a goal, strategy, and personal responsibility and turn it in on a sheet of paper.

Evaluation: Assess the personal action plans. Check specifically for a goal, strategy, and personal responsibility.

 

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