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Title: Educating about, through and for human rights in English primary schools : a failure of education policy, classroom practice or teacher attitudes?
Author: Struthers, Alison E. C.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5922 1190
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis explores the nature and extent of Human Rights Education (HRE) in primary education policy and practice in England. It highlights that the provision of holistic education about, through and for human rights at all levels of formal schooling is required by the international legal framework, and has been included most recently within the UN Declaration on HRE and Training (2011). The UK has signed and accepted most of the international instruments and initiatives that address HRE and therefore ought to be educating in accordance with their requirements. The thesis investigates whether the commitment to educate about, through and for human rights is reflected in English primary education policy, and shows that this is ostensibly not the case. Following this finding, it draws upon quantitative and qualitative empirical research with primary teachers across England to gauge whether the elements may instead be reflected in practice in primary classrooms and schools. This empirical investigation shows that, despite the practice of teaching about values that could have human rights relevance, there is little evidence to suggest that primary teachers are addressing effectively the elements of the tripartite framework. Educational practice is therefore unlikely to be remedying the deficiencies in policy concerning HRE in England. The empirical research identifies a number of the barriers to effective HRE articulated by primary teachers and explores these in detail in light of the academic literature. It therefore fills a gap in the current research by not simply addressing the pragmatic question of whether HRE is being incorporated into classroom practice in a manner consistent with the international framework, but also by delving deeply into the underlying reasons why. It concludes by arguing that stronger government policy and guidance reflecting the international requirements for HRE is needed, but unless the identified practitioner-based concerns are taken into account, the commitment to educate primary school children about, through and for human rights is likely to remain undelivered in England.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LB1501 Primary Education