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Improving Social Competence via e-Learning?

The Example of Human Rights Education

Sandra Reitz

This book analyses whether improving social competence via e-learning is possible at all. Therefore, an e-learning program for human rights education is developed and evaluated with pre- and post-tests. Social competences as well as human rights education are often divided into areas of «cognition», «attitudes» and «behaviour». In order to achieve the pedagogical goals, all three areas have to be considered. In contrast to the cognitive area, the attitudinal and behavioral areas pose a particular challenge: so far, hardly any programs exist that explicitly consider these areas – most e-learning programs focus on the dissemination of knowledge. Thanks to the participation of over one hundred learners, some generalizing conclusions can be drawn from this program.

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4 Human Rights Education

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“The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment.” - Robert Maynard Hutchins (1899-1977) Even though the term human rights education seems obvious at first – especially the meaning and function of “education” is regarded as self-evident, as well as what contents are covered by human rights education – it is worth having a closer look: Do we teach law or do we try to develop the moral behavior of learners? Also, the relationship to similar areas such as education for democra- cy, peace, tolerance or citizenship education168 is analyzed in chapter 4.1.1. The definitions of (International) Governmental Organizations (4.1.2), Non- Governmental Organizations (4.1.3) and Researchers and Academics (4.1.4) are analyzed before establishing a working definition for this thesis (4.1.5). As this thesis wishes to develop a practical example, it is important to look at practical experiences. A rough overview of widespread materials and best practice examples is given in 4.2. Over the past few years, topics such as ac- countability and effectiveness have played an increasing role in the educational field in general. Human rights education is no exception, and therefore, we will look into the issues, limitations, and methodologies of evaluating human rights education in 4.3. Finally, the relationship between the previous chapters, namely the concepts social competence, moral development, and human rights educa- tion will be analyzed in chapter 4.4. The outcomes from chapter 2 and 3 will be placed into the perspective of...

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