Author Bio

Felisa Tibbitts is a Lecturer in the Comparative and International Education Program at Teachers College, Columbia University and Chair of Human Rights Education at Utrecht University. Her research interests are in human rights, (global) democratic citizenship and peace education; education in post-conflict and transitional societies; curriculum development and reform; critical pedagogy; and social change theory.


In 2002, the author published three models for categorizing human rights education practice in the formal and non-formal education sectors: Values and Awareness, Accountability and Transformation, which are widely cited in the HRE literature. The original models were developed by applying grounded theory from a practitioner’s point of view about learner goals, target groups and other practical elements of educational programming, such as content and methodologies. The emerging models of HRE practice were linked with praxis and strategies for social change. In this article, the author suggests updates to these models based on the ensuing 14 years of scholarship, documentation and observation of practice across a range of teaching and learning settings globally. The proposed amendments to the models include a stronger association of the Values and Awareness Model with socialization, the Accountability Model with professional development, and the Transformation Model with activism.