Our friends at PLAN International launch a fantastic new classroom resource

Educating for change article written on the 06 Feb 2012

Photo: Matthew Willman/OxfamAUS

“The Child Rights guide is a valuable resource. There is a wealth of variety in both the information resources and the activities. I particularly appreciate the activities for the opportunity they provide students for some very sophisticated thinking.” Michelle Hanger, Avila College, Victoria

Our friends at child rights organisation Plan International Australia have developed a fantastic new resource that explores the concepts of child rights. It’s tailored for students aged between 10 and 13 years, and has been designed specifically to align with the new Australian curriculum.

PLAN’s resource is one of many high quality resources developed by several non-government organisations (NGOs) including Oxfam, who are working in partnership with teachers and schools to educate our young people on active citizenship and social justice perspectives.

Common Threads: Weaving Child Rights into Global Education provides the knowledge and resources needed to introduce Australian students to the concept of child rights and responsibilities in a global context.

Plan International Australia chief executive Ian Wishart said Common Threads could help children to understand global poverty from a rights perspective and instil the knowledge and skills necessary for them to be active global citizens and help shape a better world for all children.

“Teachers know that when children have full access to their rights to survival, development, protection and participation they can develop to their full potential,” said Mr Wishart.

“This resource will help those educators who are teaching global education, specifically in the context of social justice and human rights. The main focus of this guide is child rights and how putting children at the centre of community development can have lifelong positive impacts — not just for children but for the entire community.

“Every one of us, young and old, needs to be aware of our rights and responsibilities as we take on the role of global citizens in this increasingly interconnected global world.”

Here at Oxfam, we’re strong believers in the meaningful inclusion of social justice, active citizenship and human rights in the curriculum.

Common Threads is presented in three modules: ‘Exploring Rights’, ‘Child Poverty’ and ‘Exploring the Convention on the Rights of the Child’.

Each module can be taught in its entirety over several weeks or can be individually incorporated into broader units of work.

“This is a great resource outlining Australia’s obligations to child rights in an accessible format for teachers and students; it illustrates the global nature of child rights and the connection to children reaching their potential,” says Catherine Branson, President of the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Some key dates you may want to use Common Threads in conjunction with are:

Tuesday 12 June: World Day against Child Labour; 24 October: UNICEF’s Day for Change AND Universal Children’s Day.

Enjoy planning to use this resource in your classroom this year and passing it onto other teachers!

Meanwhile…

Watch this space for Oxfam’s innovative new active citizenship resource (linked to the Australian Curriculum: English), to be released in late Term One.