This is My Home A Minnesota Human Rights Experience
About this project

Education is a Human Right!

This is My Home is a joint initiative of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights and the University of Minnesota Human Rights Resource Center, as well as numerous other organizations and community partners throughout Minnesota.The goal of the Tool Kit is to integrate and simplify human rights education in K-12 schools statewide.

The three primary objectives of This is My Home are:

  • To engage all members of the school community in creating a learning environment in which everyone can grow to their full potential with their human rights and human dignity upheld;
  • To motivate all members of the school community to take responsibility in promoting and protecting human rights, so that student achievement, development, and performance can thrive;
  • To develop new tools for sharing and monitoring emerging human rights education practices.

What will this project provide?

This is My Home is a human rights education resource for primary and secondary students, which seeks to create peaceful, effective, and fun learning environments for all to excel in Minnesota schools. The This is My Home Tool Kit includes online model units for grades K-12, a unique student-centered education process, and a wide scope of additional resources to share emerging practices and tools.

What is the This is My Home Tool Kit?

This introduction is also available in PDF format (497KB)

This Tool Kit is a work in progress forever! If we are successful, the Tool Kit will continue to develop as our human rights and responsibilities evolve. Human Rights Education is organic in nature. Each one of us brings our own creativity and passion into our teaching and learning, and each one of us wants to be fully engaged in this process. It takes you to make This is My Home a success!

This is My Home calls for a creative compilation of searching out and extracting from the excellent materials and effective practices from many educators throughout Minnesota. Although different lenses may be used – citizenship, democracy, diversity, environmental, equity, experiential, global, international, literacy, multi-cultural, peace, service learning, social justice – to best describe our individual connections and work in the field of education, we share a universal value of respecting human rights for all human beings.

The Human Rights Education Framework provides a developmental scope and sequence for learning universal human rights language and principles and putting these concepts into practice through new skills and community actions.

The Human Rights and Education Standards have been integrated into this learning process, which have set expectations for cognitive, attitudinal, and behavioral performance. These standards include:

The Human Rights Process Model is a student-centered learning circle. Seven steps are addressed at all age levels: (1) Observe and identify a human rights issue, problem or concern; (2) Describe and compare the human rights issue on a local, national, and global level; (3) Generate responses or formulate positions and make predictions; (4) Select a response or position, practice skill, and take action; (5) Observe and collect information; (6) Reflect and draw conclusions; and (7) Communicate learning with others. The Human Rights Process Model is flexible so teachers can use any content area and apply this learning circle. This is My Home has some curriculum models for different grade groupings. These lessons can be implemented as a stand-alone unit or woven through an existing unit.

Starting Fall 2004, This is My Home was piloted by educators in various schools throughout the state. Teachers can use this Tool Kit:

This is My Home is part of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights program called “Educate to Eliminate” (PowerPoint - 1MB). Educate to Eliminate has three major components: Community Forums (“The Right Focus on…”), Public Service Announcements (“Don’t Go There”), and a K-12 Learning Resource Kit (“This is My Home”), including a video documentary highlighting Minnesota’s diversity with emphasis on the day-to-day challenges, within the human rights framework, of some Minnesota children.

The Tool Kit is being distributed to K-12 Human Rights School Representatives throughout Minnesota and provides model units, a resource guide, an interactive on-line community action and lesson planning tool, suggestions for implementation, and ways to share emerging practices. The development of a program of this magnitude will ensure that teachers throughout Minnesota are provided with a competent framework that follows developmental scope and sequence to ensure their students receive human rights education, thus, contributing significantly to a child’s educational, cultural, and social development.

This is My Home is unique because students use higher order thinking skills to address issues in their community while challenging assumptions. It is also easy to use regardless of whether the teacher is a veteran human rights educator or a newcomer to teaching human rights. Most educators discover that they have already been teaching about human rights and responsibilities, but haven’t used the language or framework. This Resource Kit will allow for a common language for teachers and students throughout the state. It also addresses a K-12 scope and sequence.

The Human Rights Framework, Human Rights and Education Standards, and the Human Rights Process Model attempt to share a common language and lens for our work, while encouraging our creativity and innovation to improve the quality of our teaching and learning. This is My Home challenges schools to welcome families back into the classroom and school community and provides avenues for students to share their learning with others in the larger community. Most important it’s effective, free, and fun!!

Who has contributed to this Project?

A sincere thank you to the many contributors to the This is My Home project including pilot schools and individuals.