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Author Bio

Dr. Mai Abu Moghli holds a PhD in human rights education from University College London. She is currently a senior researcher at the Centre for Lebanese Studies - Lebanese American University and a Research Associate at the Institute of Education - University College London. In 2019 Dr. Abu Moghli was a Postdoctoral fellow at the Arab Council for the Social Sciences. Dr. Abu Moghli is currently working on a number of research projects focusing on teacher professional development in contexts of mass displacement. Her research and teaching interests centre on decolonising higher education and research methodologies and education in conflict, post conflict and fragile contexts.

Abstract

This article provides a critical view of Human Rights Education (HRE) within a context of colonial occupation and an authoritarian national ruling structure. It explores the reasons behind the introduction of HRE in Palestinian Authority (PA) schools in the Occupied West Bank and investigates how teachers and students make meaning of and implement HRE. Through examining the relationship between HRE and the struggles against injustice, the article problematizes the theoretical basis of HRE and highlights the importance of indigenous knowledges and strategies utilized to bring the decontextualized global to the nuanced and politicized local. This article shows that institutionalizing HRE turns it into a harmful tool in the hands of those in power. Reverting to alternative sources of knowledge and linking human rights to the vernacular of the people, adopting a bottom-up approach and allowing for criticality are necessary measures to enable the re-appropriation of human rights, where HRE becomes a true strategy to build a culture of human rights that can dismantle structures of oppression. There is a need to rethink HRE as a concept, shifting its current reality to one that contributes to building ‘critical consciousness’. This shift, particularly in the case of Palestine, will not emerge without developing alternative forms of education. This idea might be considered problematic. However, as critical educators and researchers, it is our responsibility to take on this battle.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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