Educational resources

We offer a selection of teaching resources relating to education for human rights prepared by the Council of Europe.

Policies and practices for teaching sociocultural diversity – Concepts, principles and challenges in teacher education (2009)

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Synopsis : The project “Policies and practices for teaching sociocultural diversity” was launched by the Steering Committee for Education (CDED) in 2006, with the primary aim of promoting the recognition of diversity in pre-service teacher training and the management of diversity at school.

This publication is aimed at all staff in teacher education institutions. It intends to raise discussion about how teacher education, particularly in-service training, can prepare student teachers to become reflective professionals responsive to diversity in schools and classrooms. It addresses the urgent need to develop courses and practical training which stimulate the competence and reflection necessary to enhance inclusive environments where children and young people can learn to live together respecting differences.

This work offers an outline of the main principles underpinning work in the diversity area. It also introduces some key concepts related to sociocultural diversity in education while analysing some challenges in teacher education and development. It identifies policy measures and guidelines for teachers’ pre-service training institutions.

How all teachers can support citizenship and human rights education: a framework for the development of competences (2009)

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Contribution des enseignants à l'éducation à la citoyenneté et aux droits de l'homme: cadre de développement de compétences (2009)Synopsis : This publication sets out the core competences needed by teachers to put democratic citizenship and human rights into practice in the classroom, throughout the school and in the wider community. It is intended for all teachers – not only specialists but teachers in all subject areas – and teacher educators working in higher-education institutions or other settings, both in pre- and in-service training.

Some 15 competences are presented and grouped into four clusters. Each cluster of competences corresponds to one chapter, within which the competences are described in detail and exemplified. The reader will find progression grids and suggested developmental activities for each competence: these grids – featuring focusing, developing, established and advanced practice – aim to help teachers and teacher educators determine the level to which their professional practice corresponds, and thus identify specific and practical improvements upon which they can focus.

Living in Democracy – Lesson plans for lower secondary level (EDC/HRE Volume III) (2008)

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Synopsis : This is a manual for teachers in Education for Democratic Citizenship (EDC) and Human Rights Education (HRE), EDC/HRE textbook editors and curriculum developers. Nine teaching units of approximately four lessons each focus on key concepts of EDC/HRE. The lesson plans give step-by-step instructions and include student handouts and background information for teachers. In this way, the manual is suited for trainees or beginners in the teaching profession and teachers who are receiving in-service teacher training in EDC/HRE. Experienced teachers may draw on the ideas and materials. The complete manual provides a full school year’s curriculum for lower secondary classes, but as each unit is also complete in itself, the manual allows great flexibility in use.

The objective of EDC/HRE is the active citizen who is willing and able to participate in the democratic community. Therefore EDC/HRE strongly emphasise action and task-based learning. The school community is conceived as a sphere of authentic experience where young people can learn how to participate in democratic decision making and may take responsibility at an early age. Key concepts of EDC/HRE are taught as tools of life-long learning.

Initial training for history teachers: structures and standards in 13 member states of the Council of Europe (2004)

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Synopsis : The Council of Europe’s work on history teaching in secondary schools, has three main thrusts: Curriculum development, textbooks and teaching materials, and teacher training. They should take into account societal developments and the cultural needs of coming generations. This pilot study is the first comparative study on the structures of initial training for history teachers to be carried out in several European countries. The aim of the study is to provide information that will raise the level of professionalism not only of history teaching, but also of teacher training.



Manual on human rights education with young people

Compass is a manual on human rights education providing youth leaders, teachers and other educators, whether professionals or volunteers, with concrete ideas and practical activities to engage, involve and motivate young people to form a positive awareness of human rights in their own ways and in their own communities.

This educational guide presents a wide range of approaches of themes and methods, that should inspire anyone interested in human rights, democracy and citizenship. This guide also provides a series of 49 sheets for complete practical activities, proposing a detailled framework for working activities at school as well as related multiple texts and documents.


Manual on human rights education for children

‘Compasito’ is a starting point for educators, teachers and trainers who are ready to deal with human rights education with children of 7-13 years.

The 42 practical activities serve to engage and motivate children to recognise human rights issues in their own environment. They help children to develop critical thinking, responsibility and a sense of justice, and help them learn how to take action to contribute to the betterment of their school or community.