Document Type



Political Science, Sociology


Drawing on our experience as professors who teach human rights, social justice, and social movements courses at an urban college in Providence, R.I., with a student body that includes large populations who are of color, first generation, economically disadvantaged, and nontraditional in other ways, we explore the relevance and impact of these grand narratives for the lives of our students and their sense of political agency. In particular, we advocate for a critical approach to human rights pedagogy to counter and overcome the pervasive individualization that undergirds the grand narrative of human rights. We argue that a critical (and radical) human rights pedagogy must evaluate the position of the individual in modern life if liberation through human rights law and activism is to be possible. By challenging the individualization that forms the basis of the grand narrative of human rights, we can unlock the power and promise of human rights and social justice education as a driver of student and community agency.


Excerpted From:

Source Data

Radical Teacher, No. 103 (Fall 2015)

Link to Full Text

Included in

Education Commons