It’s so great to see that Amnesty International’s document entitled ‘Using Fiction to Teach Human Rights.’ In it, Amnesty recognises the ‘power’ fiction has to ‘further human rights education.’ It just makes so much sense. Well written fiction raising human rights and welfare themes could play a role in different areas of our education system in terms of PHSE, Citizenship and of course English/English Literature. And such books don’t need to be heavy. Nor do they need be moralistic. They just need good, engaging stories which give pupils a taste of another world or life that they may never otherwise come across. Surely this has to be a good way of breaking down barriers created by differences whether such differences are cultural, physical, emotional, learning or any others. In turn, that should pave the way for a more open-minded, respectful and understanding society. It would certainly help at least.
I am so pleased to read about Amnesty’s work. I’ve written Teacher’s Materials for my book, ‘Losing Agir.’ It is basically a guide to the legal and human rights themes the book raises plus it gives, chapter by chapter, some ideas around class exercises, discussions and themes. If any teachers are interested, I’m happy for you to have a copy.
In the meantime, bring it on Amnesty. Let’s hope schools and the education system engage.