Human rights and history

The Falstad Centre is both a memorial site and a centre for human rights, but what exactly is the connection between the history of Falstad and human rights? Can these topic areas be taught in ways that engender mutual reinforcement? What didactic opportunities and challenges are involved?

R&D at the Falstad Centre
In the autumn of 2011 the Falstad Centre initiated a research and development (R&D) project with the aim of developing both theory and practice in the field of human rights education and history teaching.

Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training
Our understanding of human rights education is based on the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training. The declaration, adopted by the UN General Assembly on 19th December 2011, establishes that «human rights education and training encompasses education about human rights… education through human rights… and education for human rights». Developing a culture for human rights is a key objective.

Discovering the Past for the Future
In 2010 the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) published the report Discover the Past for the Future. The report was based on a study examining the role of memorial sites and museums in educating people about the Holocaust and human rights. The study showed that despite high political expectations that current human rights issues will be included in Holocaust education, they tend to be left out. The report calls for development of methods, good practice, and concepts, as well as for training for museum and memorial site staff.

Crossing Borders
At the Falstad Centre we strive to critically and systematically evaluate and develop our practices and theoretical approaches. Regional expert forums have been initiated by the Centre, and in 2013 we hosted the international «Crossing Borders» conference in cooperation with The European Wergeland Centre and the Programme for Teacher Education at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). The anthology Crossing Borders will be published in June 2016. A final project report will be produced in 2015, marking the end of the project.

For further information, please contact project manager Sanna Brattland.