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Ana Žnidarec Čučković

Understanding the Right to Education from Critical Pedagogy Point Within Human Rights and Democracy Teaching

Keywords: right to education, human rights, democracy, freedom, peace, critical pedagogy, obligations, responsibilities, critical consciousness


Society with its elites and citizens conceptualize democracy as the rule of citizens. This paper discusses Aristotle's equality as well as the Webbs democratic regimes, through the prism of influential pedagogical reformers and relationship that education and politics have. Emphasizes is on the conscious development of the individual in a world that was given to them with the same rights and obligations. With this aim, in this paper, there is also another closely related to the first. We talk about the teachers who should provide the conditions for achieving the first aim. Were reviewed the literature relevant to teachers' beliefs related to society, politics, knowledge and responsibility. Existence of legislation, especially the "right to education"; provided us symmetry in finding a balance between school and society through responsibilities, freedoms and obligations. The solution is to be found in strengthening capacity building at all levels, regardless of what country we are living. The strong influence of the representatives of critical pedagogy on the development of critical awareness resulting with levels of education that fosters sustainable development of the individuals who lives in equality, with equal opportunities and the fraction of mutual respect with others. In 21st century the idea of incorporating the human rights and democracy steams from many educational reforms. Educational system with its context of political and economic changes in the same time provides place for human rights and democracy teaching but without any critical consciousness and on-going development of young person as citizen or student/pupil. We know that education is a right which must be available, with quality and focused on social, emotional, physical and cognitive development in one’s environment to be able to support democratic actions. To do so, students and pupils needs skills, knowledge, values and attitudes for lifelong learning and life. Educational systems are not responsive to many aspects of the Convention and Declaration. Critical theorists see education as a tool used by the ruling elite to sustain oppression along the lines of race, gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation, so the environment is not conductive to a children rights supportive educational system. Rights are the sets of responsibilities of all included in child/pupil/student development. In Democracy principals we need, trust of the nation, although it is recognized that the structure and organization of education usually serves as the philosophical underpinning for what occurs throughout the system, whether in the university, the school, or the curriculum development unit of a ministry of education. Situation today, in many states, does not allow whole fulfilling of ones potential for happiness and freedom in context of their race, class and gender. Change is needed from consciousness, through hegemony and finally – possibilities. What is the role of schools and universities in social stratification of society and its change? Do we value students’ voices and provide critique of society? Are they participatory members of a society?

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