‘They don't have as good a life as us': a didactic study of the content of human rights education with eleven-year-old pupils in two Swedish classrooms

  • Lotta Brantefors Uppsala University, Sweden

Abstract

Drawing theoretically on the Didaktik tradition, this paper examines teaching and learning content in teacher-planned human rights education with eleven- year-old pupils in two Swedish classrooms. The results suggest that the principle aim for the teaching and learning of rights is to enable good interactions with other human beings. The findings indicate that teaching content and pupils’ learning outcomes are similar. Four dominant themes are identified in teaching and learning: fundamental democratic values; declarations of (human) rights; bullying and violations; and negative life conditions. Human rights are negatively interpreted, with an emphasis on rights violations and children’s need for protection and support. The paper concludes that human rights education is conflated with democratic education.  Although teaching and learning are closely aligned with the fundamental and democratic values stipulated in the Swedish Education Act and the national curriculum, children are not expected to acquire in-depth knowledge about human rights.

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Published
2019-09-05
How to Cite
Brantefors, L. (2019). ‘They don’t have as good a life as us’: a didactic study of the content of human rights education with eleven-year-old pupils in two Swedish classrooms. Human Rights Education Review, 2(1), 47-69. https://doi.org/10.7577/hrer.2832
Section
Research articles