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8 Reasons to Teach Children about Child Rights

By Bethany Robinson, UNICEF Australia Education Intern

Rights-with-Ruby-and-Jack.JPG

Want to make a difference to the children in your life and the world? Here are 8 reasons why teaching children about child rights is vital:

1.    Develops intercultural understanding – Global education provides an appreciation of Australia’s social, cultural, linguistic and religious diversity, and the ability to relate to and communicate across cultures. Teaching students about the world and other cultures increases social and cultural awareness, breaks down stereotypes, enables a broader view of the world and strengthens children’s identity. Global education prepares young people to understand and interact within a culturally diverse and globally interconnected world.

2.    Builds social skills – Education about social justice and human rights allows students to understand the importance of treating people equitably and the responsibilities we all have to protect the rights of others. Learning about child rights supports listening skills, respect, empathy and anti-bullying behaviours.

3.    Develops ethical understanding –Technologies bring local and distant communities into classrooms, exposing students to knowledge and global concerns as never before. Complex issues require responses that take account of ethical considerations such as human rights and responsibilities and global justice. Ethical understanding assists students to become confident and creative individuals and active and informed citizens.

4.    Supports Australian Curriculum – Global education on child rights aligns with Australian Curriculum learning areas of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Health, as well as general capabilities of personal and social capability, ethical understanding and intercultural understanding. Education on child rights is also supported in The Australian National Curriculum Early Years Learning Framework, for educating children birth to five years, which highlights a critical principle of ‘Respect for Diversity’ with a main learning outcome as ‘Children are connected with and contribute to their world’.

5.    Motivates student learning – Connecting classroom knowledge with situations outside the classroom creates personal meaning and significance. Teaching child rights leads to lifelong learning which is significant to each child’s life, motivating deeper knowledge and understanding.

6.    Creates a safer school – Teaching children about their rights can reduce exclusion and bullying, improve teacher-pupil relationships and make for more mature, responsible students. It positively affects the relationships, teaching approaches, attitudes and behaviour of everyone at your school. It provides children with the opportunity to model these rights and responsibilities within their peer groups and wider community, creating a rights-respecting ethos in your school.

7.    Children realise their rights – By recognising their own rights they become aware of how they should be treated by others and how to stand up for these rights. Children gain an appreciation of rights that are met and view their life from a global perspective.

8.    Empowers students to become active citizens – Teaching children about universality of children’s rights and the extent to which these are denied builds a generation that is socially responsible. Meeting all children’s rights in our lifetime is a real possibility. It is critical then to educate children as the future leaders of our society. Students learn to take responsibility for their actions, respect and value diversity and see themselves as global citizens who can contribute to a more peaceful, just and sustainable world.

Implementing education on child rights in your classroom is highly beneficial to your classroom or preschool. Here are our top 4 resources to teach children about child rights:
  1. Rights with Ruby and Jack animation
  2. What are Child Rights? photo story
  3. Illustrated rights
  4. Child Rights Calendar
To access many more free educational resources to engage students with world issues and learn the skills to make a difference register here!

Upcoming new and engaging early childhood resources for preschool to year 2 students are also on their way. If you would be interested in accessing these resources, please email education@unicef.org.au to register your interest.

About Bethany Robinson

Bethany has a Bachelor in Early Childhood Education and is currently studying for a Master of International Development. Through voluntary work she has witnessed numerous children overseas who are not having their rights met and are living without even the necessities. She is passionate about educating our children in Australia on global awareness.

Permalink | Posted 07/03/13 | Posted in Education

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