Human rights education and the conscience of mankind: developing didactics of perplexity

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The Preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) states that ‘disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind’. From this point of departure, we argue that philosophical, political, and religious reflections on core concepts such as conscience, freedom, equality, dignity, justice, and peace can help to create an appropriate balance between a normative framework and a non-affirmative approach to human rights education. Teacher students can benefit from philosophical reflection, critical thinking, and individual judgement, as this will enhance the authoritativeness and self-determination of both teachers and learners. In terms of didactics, we consider the potentials of a concept-based approach inspired by the political philosophy of Hannah Arendt and her critical discussion of the perplexities of the rights of man.
Translated title of the contributionUndervisning i menneskerettigheder og menneskehedens samvittighed:: Udvikling af en forstyrrelsens didaktik
Original languageEnglish
JournalHuman Rights Education Review
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)70-89
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2022


  • learning, educational science and teaching
  • education, professions and jobs
  • Hannah Arendt
  • human rights education
  • religious education


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