This Scope and Sequence for Human Rights Education began as a collaborative project of the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights and the Idaho State Department of Education in 2003. The classroom resource is fundamentally based upon the mission of the Center: The mission of the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights is to promote respect for human dignity and diversity through education and to foster individual responsibility to work for justice and peace. The project began as part of the Center’s efforts to develop strategies for the delivery of human rights education into Idaho’s K-12 classrooms. To this end, the Center formed a “Blue Ribbon Advisory Task Force” consisting of professional educators, professors from Boise State University and community leaders. The Task Force developed several positions and conclusions over the course of one year:
This project was developed on the assumption that rote memorization and mere acquisition of facts will not suffice for teaching the concepts, objectives, understandings and feelings that are integrated into the definition of human rights education. On the contrary, appreciating feelings such as dignity, empathy, respect and responsibility (a part of what some might call “emotional intelligence”) can only be acquired through making direct connections with other people. It is through those connections that we learn how another person feels, reacts, thinks, struggles, and becomes frustrated or angry, and how that person’s feelings correspond to our own. The goal, then, is to reach the minds and hearts of our children. The only core program of its kind in the nation, the document features lessons developed by Idaho teachers for use in K-12 social studies, language arts, and visual arts courses. Each lesson is correlated to the Common Core standards.
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