Title

The learning and practising the notion of child rights in a lower secondary classroom

Date of Award

8-1-2003

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)

Department

Institute for Educational Development, Karachi

Abstract

In a context like Pakistan children are usually prepared with unquestioning mind. They mostly remain unaware of their basic rights, which they deserve by the virtue of being human/children. It is assumed that rights are the notion that should be known by the courts and judges. This lack or absence of awareness about basic child rights results into violation, deprivation and humiliation towards them. This attitude can be observed at different stages such as society, family and school. It is my strong belief that schools and specially Social Studies teaching can play a significant role in educating children about their rights and the ways these rights can be ensured. Therefore this small-scale collaborative actions research study aimed at developing understanding and practicing the notion of child rights education. The study was conducted in a private community based school with one teacher of a lower secondary class. The study was conducted in a collaborative action research mode where the power relationship between the research participants were equally shared, we both were equal contribution towards each others' learning and both of us had a stake. The study began with a reconnaissance stage where we shared our existing understanding about child rights in our society and developed it further through various activities. We also tried to explore if it exist in our school. With this realizationthat child rights is a missing phenomenon in school, we designed a curriculum framework and strategies in the form of an action plan. The notion was then practiced in the classroom through variety of activities such as role-plays, stories, poster, indoor games and discussion on several issues. The implementation of these activities resulted into students' enhanced understanding about their rights and the way these rights are violated in our society. They also realized that they have certain responsibilities in order to take care of the rights of other children. The study was exciting as well as challenging for both of us. Exciting, because child rights was a new notion for every person involved in this study including teacher, the students and myself. Challenging because of the sensitivity involved in the very nature of the topic and issues related to collaborative work.

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