"We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made us."
My current research is a critique of Human Rights Education (HRE) discourse in community-based settings.I explore the way in which power and culture shape and control the formation of HRE discourse through the centralisation and institutionalisation of language and knowledge and distribution using an organised network of intermediaries. It aims to fill a gap in current research by not only examining the heories of human rights and education, but also the practice of HRE. My aim is to show not only how it is used, but also whose interests this serves. My research currently focuses upon the translation of human rights education between the global and the local.
I argue that in its current form HRE discourse fails to address the complex and multifaceted nature of human rights and education. While it can simultaneously be a force for domination or a moment of liberation, the apparent unquestioning and uncritical acceptance of an institutionally constructed HRE discourse has perpetuated the reproduction of the status quo in society rather than enabling communities to challenge it.
As part of the research I have developed a four-way interpretative framework through which to analyse and gauge the discursive orientation of HRE. The orientations include: technical, interpretative, critical and counter-hegemonic.
Figure. 1. Orientations in Human Rights Education
Figure.2. The Spectrum of Approaches to HRE