29.01.2013 - Education Sector

Teaching respect for all through anti-racism curricula

© UNESCO Brazil - Students from Cantagalo Centre - Criança Esperança Programme - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Can respect for all be taught? A new mapping study has collected policies, practices and materials dealing with teaching respect from all over the world. The study identifies good practices to develop learners’ knowledge and understanding of other cultures and peoples; exercises to develop empathy, self-confidence, openness to new experiences and flexibility in behaviour.

All these abilities help counter hatred, prejudice, stereotyping, discrimination and bullying. Commissioned as part of the UNESCO-USA-Brazil project Teaching Respect for All and carried out in cooperation with the Centre of Human Rights Education, Lucerne, Switzerland, the study also makes recommendations in terms of content, methodology, usability and process for the future development of education materials against racism, discrimination and intolerance. For example, it recommends pedagogy which encourages students to apply what they have recently studied at school and community level so as to ensure a sustainable learning experience. 

Launched in January 2012, the UNESCO-USA-Brazil project Teaching Respect for All aims to promote educational responses to counter discrimination and violence through strengthening the foundations of mutual tolerance, and cultivating respect for all people, regardless of colour, gender or national, ethnic or religious identity. The results of the study are now available online in English and French.  

The advisory group for the project met for a second time from 29 October to 1 November 2012 in Brasilia, Brazil. Jointly organized by UNESCO, the Secretariat on Policies of Promotion of Racial Equality (SEPPIR), Ministry of Education and Ministry of External Relations of Brazil, the meeting allowed international experts to discuss the major components of the project such as the policy guidelines and teaching materials that have now been drafted by specialists and how to implement pilot testing with interested countries and partners. On this occasion, the experts, representatives of the national and municipal authorities, NGOs as well as teachers and educators in Brazil shared their experiences and suggestions. Recommendations included the promotion of cooperation with higher education institutions for research, data collection and training for policymakers, and the involvement of  family members in educational activities so that schools can be a bridge between generations.

 




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