Cognitive Flexibility and intuitive practice.A novel approach to human rights education: Using learning journals for reflective learning

O’Tuama, Seamus and Power, Lyndsey (2008) Cognitive Flexibility and intuitive practice.A novel approach to human rights education: Using learning journals for reflective learning. [Conference Proceedings]

Full text not available from this resource.
Official URL:


The teaching of human rights is critically important in the contemporary world, given both widespread violations of rights throughout the planet and the advent of new rights challenges emerging from a host of sources including migration, climate change, the availability of water and food and the depletion of hydro-carbon fossil fuels. While our approach attempts to address the learning processes within a formal university setting we see its potential in a diversity of educational contexts and cultures.Abstract: Teaching human rights theory to third level students in developed countries can often be an abstract exercise, as many of these students tend to have little personal experience with human rights violations. In order to efficiently convey the true lessons of human rights education, it is worthwhile to attempt to personalise the learning of these concepts. This paper considers the role the learning journal can play in human rights education by encouraging students to engage in reflective learning. The case study detailed in this paper examines the innovative approach of using a fictional novel based on real events (John Boyne’s The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas) to deepen the quality of learning of a group of first year university students following a course in citizenship and human rights. The use of the learning journal assignment is to provide a ‘vehicle for reflection’ in order to62enhance the learning process for students. By writing a journal in conjunction with reading the novel, students are afforded the opportunity to engage in active learning and to link human rights theory with concrete examples of human rights abuses in the book. This exercise then stimulates critical thinking and allows students to gain a deeper understanding of the course’s core concepts. This exercise also encourages students to make their learning personal by allowing them to immerse themselves in the book and to engage on a personal level with the book’s protagonists. By bringing this subject to a more personal level, students can more effectively understand the key lessons that they have learned in class.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Depositing User: National Forum
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2015 08:42
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2015 20:46

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year