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Žnidarec Čučković, A. (2014). Understanding the Right to Education from Critical Pedagogy point within Human Rights and Democracy teaching. Hungarian Educational Research Journal, 4(2), 19-34, DOI :10.14413/herj.2014.02.03.
Understanding the Right to Education from Critical Pedagogy point within Human Rights and Democracy teaching
Ana Žnidarec Čučković
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?
Keywords: right to education, human rights, democracy, freedom, peace, critical pedagogy, obligations, responsibilities, critical consciousness
It is well known that if you want to teach something, then you have to do so not only in classroom. It's the same with teaching human rights and democracy in schools which is happening without its important element – practice in everyday life. The environment of schools/universities (consisting of rules and regulations, attitude of teachers and school administrators toward the students among others) is in connection with the effectiveness of human rights teaching. An environment that does not respect human rights will not promote an appropriate attitude towards human rights among the students. They are often not provided with the chance to express their ideas that can help improve the education system, while teachers hold the status of experts who in paternalism form can provide all the knowledge that students need. Often we are witnessing the students who are deprived of the chance to express what they know and much less to ask questions beyond what is provided in educational material. Highly competitive education system is another factor. Students are being prepared to pass examinations to get to the next higher level of education. They are expected to concentrate on learning only those that will be included in the examinations. This competitive and examination-oriented system in turn put so much pressure on the students. Their values are formed around the ideas of getting ahead of others, and promoting their own interest alone. Teachers, on the other hand, are required to teach only such subjects that relate to the examinations. Other matters such as human rights have low priority. This type of education system invariably promotes knowledge-centred education which neglects the importance of cultivating proper attitudes and behaviour toward others (Focus, 1998). So it is clear that school environment is connected with effectiveness of conducting human rights and democracy teaching. If there is no respect for human rights, not only in schools and universities itself, goals of education need to be reframed. Do we value academic learning or do we need to gain social, emotional and ethical competencies? Surveying the current state of research in the fields of social emotional education, character education, and school-based mental health, we can conclude that social-emotional skills, knowledge, and dispositions provide the foundation for participation in a democracy and improved quality of life and that social, emotional, ethical, and academic education is a human right that all students are entitled to, so if we put this aside we only enhance social injustice. Students do see the need to develop their capabilities and see that they are limited with the frame of standard curriculum. Rarely students get the chance to engage in creative learning using new and participatory pedagogies and yet we can see the need for critical thinking and there are also examples of good practice which does not allow sufficient consideration. In the context of on-going political and economic reforms, gives enough room for human rights and democracy teaching to become part of the school curriculum and not just the formal one. The role of the teachers in human rights and democracy education is not simply limited to the classroom but extends to activities that support curriculum development with students through research and training, collaboration and interdependence. We cannot forget the support from outside the system (NGOs, various offices, associations etc.) because they are introducing the change. This paradigm implies assessing development of students’ performance, but not without democratic methods. In teachers’ autonomy that means embracing responsibilities in creative ways in teaching with all its’ dimensions. All of us want to acquire this knowledge whether we are talking about a child, pupil, student, adult or human being because it teach us how to prevent and fight racism, discrimination; it provides us with skills, knowledge and attitudes for our role in community and gives us tools how to influence and participate in society and in global change. We can say that human rights and democracy education means change.
Toward Democracy
Democracy has four basic pillars: 1. replacing the government through free and fair elections, 2. participation of the people as citizens in politics and civic life, 3. respect for human rights, and 4. observation of the rule of law. The basic idea behind human rights is that there are a set of fundamental rights that everyone everywhere in the world is entitled to (Akbari, 2008). We see that democracy depends on the active engagement of its citizens, not just in voting, but in developing and participating in sustainable and cohesive communities. This can be applied on each state regardless at what stage is their social system. Positive attitude toward democracy and training of the citizens are major components of a democratic society. Citizenship education prepares children for liberal democracy and is concerned with particular forms of action, behaviour and ways of thinking (Pike, 2008). Perceptions of a citizen lies in a key role in the development and working of and in a democratic system. Citizenship education is treated as a contemporary example of the educationalization of social problems (Hodgson, 2008). The acceptance of democratic values is a necessary precondition for democracy (Daniel, Benjamin & Robert, 2006). Political parties are universally regarded as essential components of democratic regimes but often perceived in very negative terms: they are said to be self-interested, untrustworthy, corrupt, incapable of providing accountable and effective governance challenged by interest groups, social movements, and the media (Webb, 2005). Democracy is not only a process but rather an attitude and something out of self-perception. It respects other’s opinions and aims for social justice, equal opportunity, and people’s rights of liberty. Political ideas, values, and beliefs of the citizens are important components in democracy especially in societies undergoing democratic transition (Hu, 2003). Every society consists of two groups the elite and the citizens — and democracy is conceptualized as rule by the citizens (Acemoglu & Robinson, 2006). What makes democracy work, according to Aristotle, is equality among citizens who are peers (admittedly only free men at the time, not women and not slaves), who hold diverse perspectives, and whose relationships are governed by freedom and rules of civil discourse. It is a multiplicity of perspectives and discourse over conflict, and not unanimity, that helps democracy thrive (Pitkin & Shumer, 1982). Contribution of Ratke, Morris, Pestalozzi, Herbert, Ushinsky, Kerschensteiner, Key, Dewey and the so called directions and theories of the reforming pedagogy, such as: the Dalton-plan, the school system of Manheim, Jena-plan, Project-methodology in USA, the school without classrooms, with Freinet pedagogy as a concept of (political) change; we can observe connection between education and politics, between school and educating for democracy. Main pillar is to give children the world and thereby giving them the consciousness that they can change their society. To Celestin Freinet school is not a place of protection, but a place for learning a lot for and about real life. While the individual has the freedom to develop, at the same time he learns to accept and deal with obligations. So how can we ensure such conditions for the development of this kind? One difficulty in exploring the literature on pre-service teachers’ beliefs lies in the multitude of definitions of beliefs (Pajares, 1992). In order to understand, it is important to clearly define and understand what is meant by belief and then teachers’ beliefs can and should become an important focus of educational inquiry but that this will require clear conceptualizations, careful examination of key assumptions, consistent understandings and adherence to precise meanings, and proper assessment and investigation of specific belief constructs. Studies of teacher effectiveness indicate that teachers’ perceptions, attitudes and beliefs directly influence their decision-making and actual behaviour in the classroom (Natesan&Kieftenbeld, 2013). In democracy context the public sector secondary school teachers perceived that non availability of justice, autocratic style of elected government, no respect for law, terrorism, unemployment, non-serious and corrupt government body, and interference of army in democracy were major threats for the democracy. The role of the ruling party and opposition is very important in the development, continuity and sustainability of a political system because power groups always try to create differences between them. These forces particularly target the opposition therefore opposition must play positive role in this respect. Independent and just judicial system can ensure the right man for the right job and accountability. The lack of good governance has lead people to develop negative attitudes toward government and institutions. One can wonder: representational or directly participatory? But what unites and provides guideline is that education has been the key to achieving an effective citizenry.
According to Eurydice (2012) in the European Union, the average annual cost per secondary school pupil (ISCED 2 to 4) is higher (PPS EUR 6 129) than that of primary school pupils (ISCED 1, PPS EUR 5 316). The average cost per student in tertiary education in the EU was almost twice as high as for primary pupils (PPS EUR 9 424). In nominal terms, the unit cost of a pupil/student increased in all European countries. The total annual unit cost per student in public institutions was, on average, PPS (purchasing power standard) EUR 4 689 in the EU-27 in 2000 and was PPS EUR 6 288 in 2008 prices (PPS EUR 5 430 in 2008 at constant prices). This represents an increase between 2000 and 2008 in the total annual unit cost per student of 34% in nominal terms. Nevertheless, when taking into account the evolution of prices over the 2000-2008 the increase in the expenditure per students was only 16% in constant prices. In all other countries, the real unit cost per student increased: in Czech Republic, Ireland, Malta and Slovakia, it grew by a factor of 1.5, and by a factor of 1.7 in Cyprus (between 2002 and 2008).
Figure 1: Trends in the annual expenditure on public education institutions (ISCED 0 to 6) by pupil/student, in PPS EUR (thousands), 2000 and 2008 (constant prices)
Source: Eurostat, UOE and national accounts statistics
Out of given data it is visible a gradual violation of human rights, from year to year the cost of education is increasing and thus prevents many and excludes them the flow of information and learning. When we talk about global education, we have to start from the very definition of the concept of globalization in the current scientific debate, which largely differ in the scientific field, such as culture, education, technology, economy, society, and the term depending on the political starting point is seen as a potential hazard or offensive challenge of modernization. Globalization does not mean uniformity in solving the problem, but rather the contrary demands of the nation-state independent decision on the mode of action. In accordance with this particular development framework are general objectives which tend European education. In this process there are many similarities but also many differences. Generally, they can be classified into four types: structural, corrective, modern and global, but the access to education gradually transformed into a dynamic model of the organization of education for the future that incorporates multicultural aspects of modern education, the specific educational standards as a base, who have already contributed to the partial innovation of curriculum and programs, strategies of modern education and a number of issues that have been present for preschool, school and higher education. The research put out the conclusions that are focused on: management of the process of reforming schools and collages; models of education for the future; roads humanization of education in the country; participation in international education space; the mission of the school, the school of global creative criteria; national politics and contemporary legislative process; prevention methods and ways of ethnic, religious, linguistic and other problems; specificity creative-global approach to education and a comparison with approches in other countries; general character of students as a result of planned; alternative approaches to developing creative curricula; the basics of building creative programs for globally oriented courses; preparation of creative teaching methods - a global moment; the use of methods and the development of critical thinking among the students; distance learning (e-learning) and finaly identity and new competencies in global school teachers.
Experiences (Dryden & Vos, 2001), the openness of the school in the transformation of national education, stated that schools should be organized as a lifelong and year-round resource center for the local community. Modern views on student-centered learning are explored in teaching and learning research and they emphasize the style and character of life, contradictions, mutual relations in society, the wealth of the socio-civilizational specificities. The conception is emphasized, among other things, like the results of all the programs that underpin global education: student willingness to accept the role of a responsible citizen, how much they appreciate the culture and customs of other people, advocates equality and justice, it affects the atmosphere of peace and tolerance in the community, mastery of basic knowledge of two foreign languages - and aesthetic dimensions of art and music literacy. It is discussed about the wisdom paradigm which is based on the foundations of life and existence, and represents life attitude made -the knowledge, will and educational experiences; displacement of emphasis from knowledge to students and teachers as an essential condition for proper assimilation and use of knowledge. It is clear that truthfulness requires critical thinking. At the same time, many teachers are already practicing peace education without calling it by name. In the classroom, peace education aims to develop skills, attitudes, and knowledge with co-operative and participatory learning methods and an environment of tolerance, care, and respect. Through dialogue and exploration, teachers and students engage in a journey of shared learning. Students are nurtured and empowered to take responsibility for their own growth and achievement while teachers care for the wellbeing of all students. The practice of peace education is an opportunity to promote the total welfare of students, advocate for their just and equitable treatment of youth, and promote individual and social responsibility for both educators and learners. Through pedagogy and social action, peace educators demonstrate that there are alternatives to violence. Although the teachers or the students are not the same, the person in charge of education is being formed or re-formed as he/she teaches, and the person who is being taught forms him/herself in the process. …There is, in fact, no teaching without learning (Freire, 2001). And therefore peace education does not teach students what to think, but rather how to think critically. In the process, its holistic and participatory approach may conflict with more traditional curriculum design or strict standards-based schooling. Peace education aims not to reproduce but to transform. It consists of people consciously striving to educate their successors not for the existing state of affairs but so as to make possible a future better humanity (Dewey, 2004). So we see that education plays an important role in fostering active and responsible citizenship. Nowadays in professional circles and among political "elites" and the general public increasingly hears about "democratic deficit" and the systemic problems of democratic institutions, and a "crisis of democracy", even in those countries that boast a democratic tradition, such as the U.S. and Western European countries. Therefore, it is necessary to thoroughly examine the very concept of democracy and the status and prospects of contemporary democracy, especially the ruling liberal-democratic system, parliamentary or representative democracy. In this regard, attention should be paid on direct (directly, immediate) democracy, because the idea and practice of direct democracy relativize some of today's socio-political life and offer an alternative to the existing economic and political system that is a source of growing discontent of citizens. This is the form of democracy that is closest to the ideal of democracy, because it minimizes the gap between the subject of democracy and democratic procedures. In this form one can use discussion to formulate problems, questions and suggestions for solving them; debates are encouraged; decisions are making, pertinent decisions, checking the implementation of decisions. This is the principle of collective decision-making process which involves all stakeholders of which the decision relates. It is important to redefine the concept of a community that is immediate community as a group of people in a particular context has common challenges and common interests, and apply the principle of subsidiarity, which says that everything we can decide at the lower levels should not switch to a higher level. The values ​​and principles of this form of democracy is largely coincide with the formal values ​​and principles of the present educational systems, namely: freedom, equality, justice, fellowship, solidarity, subsidiarity, responsibility, horizontality, openness, voluntariness, interchange ability and information. But the question arises only: if there is a set of formal rules, why miss the visibility of social responsibility, civic consciousness and social engagement? It is necessary to check the relevance of the objectives to the identified needs, check the efficiency, effectiveness and economy and their optimum distribution and sustainability of achievements with lasting impact. To ensure quality, all systems should be decentralized, require appointments tween national standards and focus, transparent indicators of quality, continuous self-evaluation reports and the discussion and development planning to ensure conditions of constant change.
Right to education and its implications
With an educated population and a commitment to uphold human rights, a government is in a good position to avoid conflict and advance the country’s development. The right to education is recognized, promoted and protected at all levels – from local to global – and it fully reflects the interplay between the dual processes of globalization and localization which are now taking place (Tomaševski, 2001, no. 2). If we want to understand the Right to Education, we need to see its roots. The right to education is universally recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) of 1948 and is further expressed in a number of international human rights treaties. These include the UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education (1960), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR, 1966), the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW, 1979), the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC, 1989), and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD, 2006). The right to education has also been incorporated into regional human rights treaties, and many States have enshrined a provision for this right in their national constitutions. These provisions have been further defined through a rich body of practice and jurisprudence at national level. States, therefore, have clear obligations regarding the right to education. As well as being a right in itself, the right to education is also an enabling right. Education creates the voice through which rights can be claimed and protected.  In CESCR is written that education is both a human right in itself and an indispensable means of realizing other human rights. As an empowerment right, education is the primary vehicle by which economically and socially marginalized adults and children can lift themselves out of poverty and obtain the means to participate fully in their communities. These are often deemed to be lacking remedies and are accordingly treated as quasi-rights or not-quite rights. As a consequence, denials and violations of the right to education are not addressed. This reductionism ruptures the symmetry of law which balances rights and duties, freedoms and responsibilities (Tomaševski, 2001, no. 3).The right to education involves more than mere access to education. Students must receive a quality education that enables their personalities, talents and abilities and to live a full and satisfying life within society. In order to achieve this and as part of their obligation to fulfil the right to education, States must ensure that education meets national minimum standards, and learning outcomes assessments are one tool to measure this. Tomaševski explains that although resource allocation is litigated the least being widely perceived as an inherently political decision, intrusions into decisions on allocations of public funding have been necessitated by the right to education (for example, governmental obligations to provide transport to school or textbooks free of charge) and rights in education (for example, assistance to learners to overcome linguistic obstacles or learning disabilities). As a way to hold decision makers accountable, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Community Based Organisations (CBOs) can empower communities to understand their right to education, and equip them with the necessary tools to take action and hold their governments to account (Zetu, 2012). Although the last years have seen great improvements in access to education, growing evidence indicates that millions of pupils are not acquiring the knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes necessary to meet their “basic learning needs” as stipulated in the 1990 World Declaration on Education for All. There has been a large volume of literature dedicated to the “theory” and “usage” of rights-based approaches and application of such principles. It is centered on how development agencies, civil society groups and citizen worldwide have actually used such approaches to demand and claim rights. The three-tier approach shows massive impact based on general principles concerning State obligations.
Figure 2: The three-tier approach in building capacities 
Source: UNDP, 2005, p. 61.
The State is the duty bearer which means maintaining the primary and overarching responsibility for ensuring that human rights are realized fully and not violated. The State is a broad term and actually encompasses the broader machinery of the government, including the executive and legislative branches of government, the various government departments or ministries, government agencies or other public bodies, and local / provincial government. General legal obligations can be watched from tree levels: respect (States must refrain from interfering with the enjoyment of the right), protect (States must prevent third parties from interfering with the enjoyment of the right, primarily through effective regulation and remedies) and fulfil (States must promote rights, facilitate access to rights, and provide for those unable to provide for themselves). So there must be a progressive realization that reflects to all tree levels from the Graf 1. Increasing understanding of the right to education in democratic societies, inshore responsibility from Micro to Macro level in form of claiming and defending rights in transparent and accountable way. This is how we can assess understanding of the purpose and value of education with full development of the human personality and the sense of its dignity.
Tomaševski, the former UN Special Rapporteur on the right to education, considerably contributed to the understanding of the right to education. She divided the obligations relating to the right to education into a 4-A framework: availability, accessibility, acceptability and adaptability. So, available means that education should be free and government funded with adequate infrastructure and teachers; accessible stands for the systems which should not discriminate and positive steps should be taken to reach the most marginalized; acceptable means that the content of education should be relevant, culturally appropriate and of quality and adaptable tells us that education should respond to changing needs of society and to different contexts. The 4As provide a good starting point for analysis on the right to education, but it is crucial to move from analysis to action which often is a problem al local, district or national level. International legal standards guaranteeing the right to education are not only directly relevant to the development of a government’s budget, but can shape and greatly strengthen budget analysis and other forms of budget work, as well as budget advocacy, undertaken by civil society related to education budgets. Tomaševski argues that the inherent balance between rights and duties, freedoms and responsibilities orientates law in general and thus also human rights law. Children cannot have a right to free education unless the government is able to raise revenue, which means that companies and individuals have to pay tax. Unless parents accept that their children have a right to education, education will not be compulsory. Why law is important becomes clear if one considers how education can be provided: it can be delivered by religious institutions, with an implicit (or explicit) purpose of proselytizing; it can be perceived as a gift by a country’s political leaders or aid donors. Such models do not make education sustainable (proselytizing is often resisted, a gift can always be taken away) while beneficiaries are not treated as subjects of rights but rather as objects of charity, aid or political patronage.
The complex life of the school in micro level is trying to organize the educational foundation for the continued development and improvement of educational processes, which are often closely linked to the social environment. In accordance with the time in which we are building their school curriculum to the new paradigm in which: activities directed learner, interactive working methods, teaching and learning of the project is collaborative. It starts with learning skills, and used positive strategies to encourage students. The most important definition of school today is the concept of the school as a community. This concept includes interpersonal respect and appreciation, caring, involvement, trust, support and development activities, compliance obligations. By creating a sense of community in the school are given many benefits for teachers and students, and is the basis for improving education. School community encourages open communication, involvement and participation, supporting teamwork, and in accordance with it works (Žnidarec Èuèkoviæ, 2007).  A school is a communication center for a whole range of values and aspirations of a society. In large part, it defines the values that transcend society through educational medium. The school is an arena for the exchange of ideas and must, therefore, be premised upon principles of tolerance and impartiality so that all persons within the school environment feel equally free to participate (Tomaševski, 2001, no. 2). Discussing human rights in education is thus necessary. Without a clear vision of the inter-relationship between the right to education and rights in education, promoting human rights education or human rights through education remains impossible. The right to education is high on the agenda of the international community. It is affirmed in numerous human rights treaties and recognized by governments as pivotal in the pursuit of development and social transformation. The first treaty to deal comprehensively with the rights of children was the Convention on the Rights of the Child. While children, as human beings under 18 years of age, of course enjoy all of the human rights set out in the other treaties, restating these rights in a single comprehensive document with emphasis on the particular circumstances of children and the conditions required for them to enjoy their rights provided an opportunity to develop additional provisions relevant to them. Devolved authority, if accompanied by greater accountability and transparency, can serve to address corruption, empower local communities and utilize local expertise and knowledge. The right to education can only be realized in a political and economic environment that acknowledges the importance of transparent, participatory and accountable processes, as well as broad-based collaboration both across government and in the wider society. It needs a long-term strategic commitment to the provision of adequate resources, development of cross departmental structures, engagement with the energies and capacities of parents and local communities, and partnership with non-governmental organizations (UNICEF, 2007).
Education is not only a means to promote human rights. It is an end in itself. In positing a human right to education, the framers of the Universal Declaration relied on the notion that education is not value-neutral. Education always relates to and supports values. But we must be aware of what values we are promoting through education.
Figure 3: Diagrammatic representation
Source: Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, 1998, p. 45.
The aim can be found in securing and increasing knowledge, skills and values relevant to the nature and practices of participative democracy. It is necessary to enhance awareness of rights and duties, and the sense of responsibilities needed for the development of pupils into active citizens. Value to individuals, schools and society of involvement in the local and wider community must be established. Reinforced interrelationship of essential elements is shown in Graf 2. The rapid changes in the developed world have not only led to changes in organizational thinking and working environments, but also in human values, beliefs and behaviours that guide the thoughts and actions of billions of people throughout the world. The field of education, like all other sectors of society, is presently being profoundly challenged by a rapidly changing global connections, interactions and dependencies. What is emerging is a world of intense cultural exchanges in which both democratic advancement and transition are possible if based on the recognition of, adherence to and active promotion of human rights, the diversity of cultures and the rule of law, all of which becomes essential for contemporary citizenship (Piršl, 2007).
Critical pedagogy point of view
Democracy and freedom from oppression are the cornerstones of Critical Pedagogy. The first step for attaining the necessary change and freedom is a rising of the consciousness of the people. Once the oppressed become aware of their situation they can then critique it to determine what is wrong and what should be, then make decisions and take actions toward the perceived needed change. Giroux (1988) offers four concepts: rationality, problematic, ideology and cultural capital; which give a specific discourse to the problem of education. Dual meaning of rationality provides efficiency and control that promotes obedience rather than critique. All models of rationality contain conceptual structures identified both by the questions raised and questions ignored. These are called problematic. By the ideology, Giroux (1988) implies dynamic construct that refers to the ways in which meanings are produced, mediate and embodied in knowledge forms, social practices and cultural experience. And cultural capital is labeled with forms of knowledge, language practice, values, and models of style. These concepts provides a way for critical mode of knowledge in the most radical and affirmative aspect of the dominant and subordinate culture in specific country. Status quo remains as long as there are those with status and power for controlling the rest of society. The process of hegemony occurs in most subtle way, compromises are made so that nothing can be changed and everybody is satisfied (more or less). In the process of decentralization we promote democracy but we don’t practice it nor do we study authoritarianism. In the world of commercial consciousness we don’t choose critical one. The fundamental commitment of critical educators is to empower the powerless and transform those conditions which perpetuate human injustice and inequity (McLaren, 2005). The critical intent of promoting intellectual autonomy and preventing knowledge imposition is explicitly and very clearly manifested in these terms. In 21st Century it is clear that education has politicity, the quality of being political.  As well, politics has educability, the quality of being educational.  Political events are educational and vice versa.  Because education is politicity, it is never neutral. When we try to be neutral, like Pilate, we support the dominant ideology. Not being neutral, education must be either liberating or domesticating (Freire, 1994). So it can be discussed from ideological and political point of what? and how? with consequences. Critical consciousness in theory and practice can be achieved with Culturally Responsive Teaching based on questioning and challenging any kind of domination and promoting progressive social change. Important thing in democracy is the direct transmission of information in all levels of society. There must be the systems of belief and action that have aggregate effects within the power structures of society. Giroux (2004) proposes that education is a form of political intervention in the world that is capable of creating the possibilities for social transformation. Further, the fundamental challenge facing educators within the current age of neoliberalism’s to provide the conditions for students to address how knowledge is related to the power of both self-definition and social agency. It is clear that curriculum based skills, knowledge and authority must be questioned so that one can act and live in a substantive democracy society.
Learned helplessness passivized people and leads to a denial of personal responsibility, denying any possibility of change and an acceptance of the status quo. Long-term exposure to a situation where every action leads to the same (usually negative) effect, or no effect, significantly reduces the ability of people to actively oppose and to imagine something different, new, something that does not currently exist and as also of themselves required to become part of the changes that wants to be create. How knowledge, skills, and values are transmitted is important as a part of curriculum just as what is learned. Because, in fact, the process is part of what is learned. Learning should be child-centered, using approaches that are appropriate to and build on the developmental level and abilities of children. But the processes are much more than this. Within the learning environment children must be able to express their views, thoughts, and ideas to participate fully; to associate freely; and to feel comfortable about whom they are, where they come from, their gender, and what they believe in. They need to be given dignity. Without this kind of a learning environment, children will not develop the self-esteem that is essential for decision-making throughout life. Educational processes can also help children develop a sense of self-discipline that will help them pursue their goals throughout their lifetimes. The learning environment must also recognize that children have a right to joy, to play, to leisure. These also provide excellent modalities for learning. When we really appreciate the fact that every child is unique, we will realize that schools are only one of the many tools that are available to educate our children (Grego, 2011). In them we can start to learn how to claim our own humanity necessitates that we care about the other as much as we would our own. Our goal should be to ensure that all young people find their way to lives worth living and work worth doing. When an entire community accepts responsibility for education and no child is left unknown, it may be possible to ensure no child will be left behind (Grego, 2011). It is necessary to develop a critical awareness for the problems of unequal treatment of people because of the differences that exist between them. What we pursued is the establishment of free, autonomous individuals, aware of their rights and obligations in relation to self, other people and the world around them.
Future studies are needed directed at all levels of society (from macro to micro) with special emphasis on the needs of learners in the current conditions of the world in constant change. Recommendations are arising from the voices of children, often not heard and ignored, in order to from the existing laws and regulations have become a means of preserving the dignity of all. The human rights values needs to reach the young minds so as to create a society full of people who have an understanding to respect the rights of fellow beings which would lead to a sustainable development where equality, opportunity, and mutual respect would be lived in every day. Critical consciousness should be raised by focusing at all levels of education with a strong impact on the democratic society of today. We do not need to wait.
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UN Treaties Containing the Right to Education:
• International Covenant on Economic, Social, & Cultural Rights (ICESCR, 1966.) Available at:
• Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD, 1965.) Available at:
• Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW, 1979.) Available at:
• Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC, 1989.) Available at:
• Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers & Their Families (CMW, 1990.) Available at:
• Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD, 2006.) Available at: