Class 12: Role Playing Competing Visions of Human Rights

human rights day  Catching.LightStudents introduced to the Choices Program. The program’s curriculum units draw upon multiple primary source documents and culminate in a rigorous student-centered role-playing activity. Students will take part in a Choices lesson entitled Human Rights: Competing Visions of Human Rights – Questions for U.S. Policy. Working cooperatively, students will examine the evolving role that human rights has played in international politics and explore the current debate on U.S. human rights policy.

The goal of this class is to experience the role-play as teaching method. Students will be introduced to (and receive) a hands-on curriculum that uses primary sources, case studies, videos, and role-play simulations to engage students in an exploration of the concept of human rights and the challenges of international enforcement. The curriculum also introduces students to various human rights actors, and examines the current debate on U.S. human rights policy. Emphasis is placed on helping students develop the skills and habits needed for active citizenship.

The lesson was delivered by guest teacher – Tim Graham. Tim is currently a teacher at Cleveland High School in Portland, OR. He has taught social studies for 11 years in the Portland Public Schools district, working at Roosevelt, Benson, and Franklin high schools in addition to his current placement at Cleveland. He has attended teaching seminars with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. He is currently a Choices Teaching Fellow. Tim maintains two class blogs – Modern World History and IB HOTA.

Assignment due Nov 23

Write a reflection on your experience with the DBQ design assignment.

  1. It should be posted on this blog by Sunday 11/23.
  2. Include an image to make it pretty.
  3. Note that you are not posting your DBQ, but what you learned from your work on it.

What did you learn from the experience of trying to design a DBQ?
Here’s some prompts you might consider (but you don’t have to answer them all):

  • what was your goal? was it achieved why or why not?
  • how it might be used in class?
  • value (or lack of value) as a learning experience.
  • challenges, successes, lessons learned.
  • how you’d approach it differently the next time.
  • ways to improve or replace the assignment.

Image credit: Flickr / “human rights day”  by Catching.Light

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