Human Rights Education in the Making (completed)

A Tool for Ethics, Collaboration, Accountability and Change? A study of the objectives and methods of human rights education in multicultural classrooms in primary and secondary education in Norway.

About the project

This proposed reseach project is a study of teaching and learning methods of human rights education (HRE) in primary and secondary schools in Norway. The project will also look into how the relation between HRE practices and the the national curriculum corresponds with international obligations on HRE. As such, it will investigate if today’s curriculum provide a sufficient mandate to develop education in, for and about human rights. HRE pratices will be examined in the form of classroom observations in the common core subjects Religion and Ethical Education (REE) and Social Studies in primary, lower secondary and upper secondary education.

Some of the schools in this study use HRE-programmes developed by non-governmental organisations (NGOs). These programmes are based on didactic guidelines and digital resources developed by the Council of Europe, the UN and affiliated organisations, where the objectives are to promote the knowledge, skills and values of human rights and conflict resolution.

Fundamental to this study is the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training adopted on 23 March 2011 and the World Programme for Human Rights Education (2010-2014) initiated by the UN Human Rights Council, and the World Conference on Human Rights in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action.

Project Management and Organisation

Project Manager for the research project will be Professor Sølvi Lillejord and the main researcher will be Nini Ebeltoft (PhD). The project is affiliated with the research group Teacher Professionalism and Educational Change: Practices, Purposes, Policies (TEPEC) studying teaching and working methods, teacher professionalism and professional practices where the use of local and international programmes, digital technologies and online collaboration in and between schools play a central role.


The aim of the research project is to study the objectives, content and consequences of human rights education (HRE) within the schooling sector. The project will generate knowledge about educational practices in terms of teaching and working methods, learning procesess and learning outcomes.  HRE practices in primary and secondary schools will be related to the national curriculum and international obligations, and to whether HRE is used as an instrument of collaboration in order to establish a “human rights culture”.

The project’s development of empirical and theoretical knowledge of various forms of HRE in relation to teaching and learning and governing documents, will expectantly have consequences for the renewal and development of teacher education.  In accordance with the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, this may facilitate didactic efforts to promote the knowledge, skills and values of human rights.

Published Nov. 29, 2011 9:58 AM - Last modified Dec. 29, 2017 11:04 AM