London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Human rights and social sciences: education for values and understanding

Author(s) Haav, K.  
Publisher London: CiCe  
Year 2009  
Editor P. Cunningham, Human Rights and Citizenship Education  
Age group -  
The paper elaborates a social critical approach to democracy education (Haav 2005a, b, 2008a, b, 2009). The traditional civic education is isolated from social sciences and practice. It ignores the social inequalities and injustice and reduces the problems of human rights and values to legal and moral issues. In practice, social inequality is commonplace. The powerful groups have more social resource at their disposal than the less favorable groups do. The former appreciate individual freedom and well-being more than social solidarity and justice. The critical alternative attempts at linking social science and practice, human rights and values. It recognizes social inequalities and opportunities for injustice. This enables to use social science and policy for reduction of inequalities and injustice. It teaches the less favorable groups to appreciate social well-being, solidarity and justice. In Estonia, some social science and civic teachers provide students with adequate social theoretical concepts, values and experiences. The national civic education system does not support them. In the contrary, it ignores them. The system pays lip-service to human rights, and disseminates irrelevant texts, inadequate to social practices.

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