From Human Rights Curriculum Theories to Children’s Rights Authentic Actions

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Abstract

The core aim of this article is to present a case-study for the promotion of Authentic Learning with the integration of Information Communication Technologies (ICT) in Primary Greek Education. Undergraduate students from the Department of Educational Science and Early Childhood Education of the University of Patras co-designed and researched the application of authentic learning scenarios for the introduction of concepts such as “diversity” and “human rights” during early childhood education in the academic year 2018 2019. This was done under the mentoring and the critical view of university instructor Maria Fragkaki. The challenge of this study was the absence of prior practical engagement of students with those aforementioned topics, both in the university classrooms and in the every-day kindergarten placement. Researchers would like to examine if the current learning, teaching, and research process could transform educators' role as professionals to a meaningful one in order to meet the challenges which their students have to face within a globalized environment. For this purpose, Participatory Action Research combined with “emancipatory cognitive interest” was used. Authentic learning scenarios were co-designed, implemented, and also combined with critical constructivist and authentic learning theories. Open Educational Resources (OER) were pedagogically employed to enrich critical thinking, reflection, problem solving, and learning activities based on empathy. The initial research results showed that the pupils’ interest was raised by topics that were authentic. The preschoolers’ positive attitudes more evidently came to the fore when they participated actively to the problem solving, debating, and engaging in empathetically-based learning activities. Eventually, it is concluded that ICT and OER technological environments motivate students and facilitate the teaching and learning process.