Distance Learning Course
Introduction to International Human Rights
Between April and December 2015, faculty participated in an online course. The course included 14 modules and entailed video and audio presentations, discussions, research exercises, case studies, and other interactive assignments designed to foster community-building and inter-university dialogue.
The syllabus was informed by consultations with Columbia University faculty and researchers, Dr. Khin Mar Yee, local and international NGOs, and, of course, feedback from the Myanmar faculty participants themselves. The modules were facilitated by Kristina Eberbach and Ben Fleming, complemented by “guest lectures” from Columbia human rights instructors.
The in-person trainings complemented knowledge of human rights concepts, principles, mechanisms and institutions developed through the online course, while emphasizing critical skills related to curriculum development, research methods, and pedagogy. The faculty engaged in a range of hands-on exercises that emphasized rights-based approaches to education. For example, they facilitated human rights discussions, designed and piloted their own learning activities, engaged in collective human rights research, and developed and practiced advocacy techniques that they could teach their students. These in-person trainings also helped develop a human rights community among faculty and addressed the challenges and needs of faculty engaged in human rights education in Myanmar.
These in-person trainings also fostered relationship-building between faculty and members of civil society. Project participants engaged in in-depth discussions with a range of NGO representatives, including Bridges Across Borders Southeast Asia Clinical Legal Education (BABSEACLE), Chin Human Rights Group (CHRO), Equality Myanmar (formerly HREIB), International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), Justice For All, Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG), Myanmar Human Rights Commission, Network for Documentation Burma, Open Society Foundations (OSF), and Women’s League of Burma.
The in-person trainings have taken place in March 2015, January 2016, and July 2016.
Online Curriculum Development
Faculty participants engaged in group exercise. Photo credit: Basam Khawaja.
This six-module online training focused on collaborative, research-based assignments through which the faculty developed elements of the human rights curriculum that they will be teaching. Faculty worked in small teams focusing on five human rights themes: Children’s Rights, Women’s Rights, Minority Rights, Development and Rights, and Expression Rights.
This portion of the project supplemented the general overview of international human rights provided in the previous online component and in-person trainings with a smaller, collaborative, research-based program designed to foster specific subject-matter expertise and the tools to transform that knowledge into effective class sessions.
Three faculty participants were selected to spend the fall 2015 semester at Columbia University as participants in ISHR’s Human Rights Advocates Program.
In spring 2016, we were also joined by a human rights education expert from Myanmar, Ja Aung. Click here to learn more about our visiting scholars.