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The Struggle to Reclaim Human Rights Education in Palestinian Authority Schools in the Occupied West Bank

Abu Moghli, Mai; (2017) The Struggle to Reclaim Human Rights Education in Palestinian Authority Schools in the Occupied West Bank. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

This thesis provides a critical view of Human Rights Education (HRE) within a context of colonial occupation, authoritarian national ruling structure and oppressive social practices. It explores the reasons behind the introduction of HRE in Palestinian Authority (PA) schools in the Occupied West Bank. It investigates how stakeholders make meaning of and implement HRE. Finally, it examines the relationship between HRE and the struggle against the Occupation and for political and social change. The data was generated during six months divided over two field research trips. The research employed ethnographic methods such as classroom and whole school observations and semi-structured interviews. The analysis is framed within a critical constructivist paradigm allowing for reaching beyond mere descriptive accounts of HRE and foregrounding the findings within the indigenous knowledge. This thesis addresses gaps in the literature by problematising the theoretical basis of HRE and highlighting the importance of indigenous knowledge and strategies used to bring the decontextualised global to the nuanced and politicised local. Additionally, the data analysis reveals that HRE in PA schools in the Occupied West Bank has no clear aim or orientation. It is flattened, decontextualised and depoliticised to serve the ruling party, perpetuate socio-cultural oppressive practices and structures and implement donors’ agendas. HRE in PA schools does not allow for students’ engagement in human rights praxis, limiting their ability to dismantle structures of domination and oppression. It increases cynicism and disillusionment towards human rights. In spite of that, on the school level some teachers and students employ a number of strategies to re-claim HRE. These strategies are: vernacularisation, Islamisation, hidden curriculum and the continuous struggle. Having reached these findings from the literature review and data analysis, I reconseptualise HRE and provide an alternative understanding of HRE’s potential contribution to the emancipation of the individual and collective within a polarised, multi-layered, and fast changing context.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The Struggle to Reclaim Human Rights Education in Palestinian Authority Schools in the Occupied West Bank
Event: University College London, Institute of Education
Language: English
Keywords: Palestine, Occupation, Human Rights, Education, West Bank, Struggle
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1532837
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