Lesson Plans on Teaching Human Rights using Media

2012/2013 SHREI Fellows: Media

How I Teach Human Rights Using Media


Scott Lankford
Foothill College

In a series of classes and activities culminating in an all-campus Earth Justice Day on April 17, 2013, Foothill College students and faculty together explored the often hidden, always-explosive links between environmental destruction and human slavery -- including contemporary child slavery from the Americas to Africa to Asia and Europe -- through a sequenced series of readings, research, writing, and all-campus discussions, debates, and events. The project placed special emphasis on the role of social media in catalyzing discussion and archiving events for wider distribution -- as well as cause-and-effect and intervention strategies demanding in-depth critical thinking and sophisticated analysis of complex factors.

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Link: Earth Justic Day at Foothill College


Keith Lee
Foothill College

This assignment asks students to read, then select an article from the UNDHR, and finally, to produce a Public Service Announcement (PSA) that promotes awareness or encourages positive action in support of Human Rights. It is intended to be a group project, with good discussion among group members paramount to the PSA’s success. The final form is to be a small PSA poster that illustrates an aspect of the selected UNDHR article, using the persuasive qualities of appropriate photographic lighting, models and props.

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Fabienne McPhail Naples
City College of San Francisco

In this lesson, students are assigned to view an HBO documentary or other media representation and to write a short film review. A discussion in of Human Rights issues using documentary or media representation will set the context for larger global issues. Next, students meet in groups to discuss their film review and then present their collaborative film review as a group. Students are then assigned a family history research project to locate an ancestor in their family and write and essay on their research findings. Finally, students are assigned a service-learning project in human rights, either on campus or off campus in their local community.

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Preston Ni
Foothill College

The Human Rights Media Project, at an instructional level, seeks to demonstrate that human rights issues can be taught in most courses across the spectrum of general education. The HRMP also seeks to showcase the feasibility of utilizing media (internet, video, social networking, etc.) as both a learning tool to explore human rights issues, and a motivational tool to elicit student engagement. Best practices as well as thoughtful questions emerge from implementing this project to further the range of instructional paradigms in advancing human rights education in the classroom.

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Human Rights Media Project Student Examples:








SHREI laid the foundation for Stanford Global Studies' new and thematically broadened community college partnership, Education Partnership for Internationalizing Curriculum (EPIC). EPIC focuses on strengthening the internationalization of curricula and the professionalization of language instruction at community colleges and K-12 institutions and includes the following programs for community college instructors:

  • Fellows Program and Symposium
  • Professional Development Workshops
  • Foreign Language Professional Development Workshops

For information on future workshops, symposia, and fellows programs, visit EPIC at https://sgs.stanford.edu/programs-centers/community-engagement


SHREI Newsletter Winter 2014 image

SHREI Newsletter Winter 2014
New Workshops for Community College Instructors; Art at De Anza College; 2013-14 SHREI Fellows; 2014 SHREI Symposium; Upcoming Film Screening; Outstanding Student Project Award Read More

SHREI Newsletter Fall 2012 
SHREI Announces 2012-13 Human Rights Educator Fellows; Recap: 2012 Symposium. Read More



Multiple email phishing/scam attempts are circulating claiming that SHREI and other organizations (such as the Gates Foundation) are hosting human rights conferences over the coming months. This is not true. Please do not register for SHREI conferences except through this website.