2023-24 HRER & WERA IRN Human Rights Education Seminar Series


Human Rights Education Review in collaboration with the WERA IRN in Human Rights Education has been running a series of international webinars since 2020.

A new series of WERA HRER webinars is running from October 2023- March 2024. The webinars are planned on Wednesdays 17.30-18.30 (Berlin/Oslo CET); 16.30 – 17.30 (London/Dublin).

Past webinars can be found on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@humanrightseducationreview7611


2023/24 Series

Seminar 3:An alternative to market-driven university global citizenship education: using participative theatre to enable transformative human rights

Wednesday 17 January 2024

17.30-18.30 (Berlin/Oslo CET); 16.30 –17.30 (London/Dublin)

Piers von Berg, Birmingham City University, UK

How might a university global citizenship programme enable students to draw on lived experiences of human rights and develop profound empathy and human solidarity?

In this webinar, Piers von Berg reports on his experiences of designing and researching a university-based global citizenship education programme, using participative theatre. Piers illustrates how he enabled students to engage in authentic reflection and how the pedagogical methods he employed stimulated new ‘becomings’ in students’ civic identities and sense of agency.

Piers reflects on ways in which the theories and practices he used can be understood as a form of transformative human rights education. He discusses how participatory theatre can be used to support students in recognising the human dignity of excluded others and their experiences of injustice, thereby extending their sense of community, solidarity and agency. He proposes this theatre-based learning as an alternative to market-driven university-based global citizenship education, allowing student participants to observe themselves in action. 

Read Piers’s article here: http://doi.org/10.7577/hrer.5120

Register for this seminar here


Seminar 2: Human rights perspectives in language education for sustainable development 

Wednesday 15 November 2023

17.30-18.30 (Berlin/Oslo CET); 16.30 –17.30 (London/Dublin)

Ricardo Römhild, University of Münster, Germany

We appear to be living in an era of repeat human rights crises. In this timely webinar, Ricardo Römhild poses the question: ‘What if the way we speak about human rights - the way we teach about and learn about them – is a part of these crises?’ In this webinar Ricardo explores the role of a human rights-informed pedagogy of hope in enabling learners to cultivate languages of hope and advocacy.

Ricardo Römhild is interested in language education for sustainable development and draws on the concept of agency to connect pedagogies of hope, human rights and language education, seeing learners as potential change agents who may be supported in recognising their human rights duties and then acting accordingly. He argues that the language classroom can become a space of hope by telling stories of hope, change, and transformation to help learners envision a better future and take actions to realise these futures. 

This webinar explores how human rights-informed language education may empower learners to contribute to living together in a more sustainable and just world. It anticipates a 2024 special issue of Human Rights Education Review on human rights education and language learning. 

Read Ricardo’s article here: https://doi.org/10.7577/hrer.5192

Register for this seminar here


Seminar 1: Teachers and school safeguarding: how can human rights education help? 

Wednesday 18 October 2023

17.30-18.30 (Berlin/Oslo CET); 16.30 – 17.30 (London/Dublin)

Kjersti Draugedalen, (PhD University of South-Eastern Norway) Tønsberg Municipality, Norway  

Alison Struthers, University of Warwick, School of Law, UK  

The World Health Organization has declared sexual abuse against children a global public health issue and expressed grave concern for the consequences for both individual child victims and societies as a whole. In this webinar, our presenters will consider how a deeper understanding of children’s human rights can enhance and strengthen school safeguarding practices and empower both teachers and children.

HRER recently published two articles addressing school safeguarding, and specifically how we might protect children from harmful sexual behaviour. Legal scholar Alison Struthers argued that if HRE were to become an integral part of safeguarding training and delivery, children would be better equipped to recognise and speak up about violations of their human rights, rather than rely passively on a system on adult observation and intervention. By contrast, Kjersti Draugedalen, who is a teacher by profession and whose recently-awarded PhD examined harmful sexual behaviour in primary schools, argues that if children are to be better protected, teachers need to overcome cultural taboos in understanding children’s development. Effectively, she calls for a cultural shift among teachers where they adopt care-based ethics and embrace their role as human rights defenders, rather than seeing safeguarding as one more worrisome chore.  

Read Alison’s article here: https://doi.org/10.7577/hrer.4473

Read Kjersti’s article here:  https://doi.org/10.7577/hrer.4776

Register for this seminar here