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Dialogic universalism and human rights education : a case study from Kuwait

Al-Nakib, Rania; (2012) Dialogic universalism and human rights education : a case study from Kuwait. Doctoral thesis , Institute of Education, University of London. Green open access

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Human rights are often described as the underpinning framework for citizenship education. However, literature on the subject focuses on justifications for this perception more than on the substantive content or actual enactments of human rights education (HRE). This study explores the human rights approach espoused by Kuwait's Constitution and Human Rights (CHR) module, introduced to the secondary school curriculum as a three-year programme in 2006 but then reduced to one year by 2010. In order to analyse its substantive content and contextualised enactment as well as its rollback, a case study was conducted, involving data collection in the form of documents, observations, interviews and student research workshops over three phases (2009-2011). 'Fatima School' was selected as a critical case for its potential to provide viable alternatives. While the analysis reveals gaps in Kuwait's approach to human rights education (HRE), it also identifies expansions to this approach in Fatima School's enactment of CHR as well as in its ties to UNESCO. In conference with the theoretical field and the empirical data, particularly the perspectives of the student participants, a more maximal interpretation of HRE is offered in a Continuum of Human Rights Education. Three dimensions are identified for the substantive content of HRE: a curriculum that promotes criticality through purposive engagement with tensions between competing rights frameworks; participation that promotes the right to take what is termed 'unsanctioned action'; and recognition of individuals' humanity, which fosters solidarity and helps trigger transformative changes. This, it is argued, is best realized within an educational context characterised by free rather than enclosed and controlled spaces; diverse rather than homogenous school populations; and humanistic rather than authoritarian ethos. Within this continuum, HRE is conceptualised as a potential space for 'reclaiming dialogic universalism' through the types of mediations between the ideal and the real advocated by Benhabib (2008, p. 20).

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Dialogic universalism and human rights education : a case study from Kuwait
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos...
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis: (PhD) University of London Institute of Education, 2012.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10020669
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