Teachers’ pedagogical perspectives and teaching practices on human rights in Cyprus: an empirical exploration and implications for human rights education
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This paper describes a qualitative study that explored the understandings of human rights, pedagogical perspectives and practices in human rights teaching of three Greek-Cypriot elementary teachers. The study revealed some significant challenges in human rights teaching that seemed to be common for all three participating teachers. First, all of the teachers experienced pedagogical difficulties in defining and talking about human rights. A second challenge was that these difficulties seemed to influence both their pedagogical perspectives about the teaching of human rights and their teaching practices. And the third challenge was that the difficulties that teachers faced in preparing their lessons were also reflected in their teaching practices in four ways: the dominance of a “declarational” approach; decontextualization; the trivialization of human rights; and the retreat to familiar discourses and activities. The paper concludes by discussing the implications for teachers, teacher educators, and theory in human rights education.