Fighting Hunger the Rights Way: Using Videogames and Children’s Human Rights Education as a Means of Promoting Global Citizenship

Fighting Hunger the Rights Way: Using Videogames and Children’s Human Rights Education as a Means of Promoting Global Citizenship

Katherine Covell (Cape Breton University Children’s Rights Centre, Canada) and Robin MacLean (Cape Breton University Children’s Rights Centre, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-332-4.ch010

Abstract

The chapter will be grounded in theory and research with the WFP game and resource described as an example of how to make global citizenship education from a rights perspective engaging to students and non-threatening to teachers.
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Teaching Global Citizenship

The essential aims of global citizenship education are to develop intercultural empathy, concern for global challenges, and the motivation to act for human rights, justice and peace, and against discrimination and inequities (LeRoux, 2001). The core teachings of global citizenship then should evoke an appreciation for human rights and for global ecological and economic interdependence. There is no debate on the imperative of such education (Bourke, 2009; Brown & Morgan, 2008; Ennals et al, 2009; Gaudelli & Fernekes, 2004; Howe & Covell, 2007). However, with the exception of some individual curricula (e.g., Bourke, 2009; Pike & Selby, 2000), there is little evidence of its existence. First, for the most part, citizenship education is narrowly focused on history, structures and processes of government, and adult national, rather than contemporaneous and international, citizenship rights and responsibilities (Howe & Covell, 2007). And human rights education most often focuses on historic rights violations such as the Holocaust and other genocides (Gaudelli & Fernekes, 2004) with little generalization to contemporary concerns. Second, the pedagogy generally has not modelled the democratic processes the students are told are important. Rote learning, a facts-based approach, with little opportunity for participatory learning or application to daily life, not only contradicts what is being taught (i.e. the importance of democratic processes), but also evokes boredom and disengagement in the student (Belton & Priyadharshini, 2007). Third, neither citizenship nor human rights education has been accorded much status, typically being seen as less important than education for global economic competitiveness and technological expertise (Anour, 2002; Majhanovich, 2002; Priestly, 2002). In consequence, as shown in the extensive international studies by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, (e.g., Torney-Purta, 2002, Schwille & Amadeo, 2002) much citizenship education has failed to achieve its goals.

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