Title page for ETD etd-01142002-222738

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Bond, Helen
Author's Email Address hpeters@intrepid.net
URN etd-01142002-222738
Title Teaching for Freedom: A Case in Ghana
Degree PhD
Department Human Development
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Wiswell, Albert K. Committee Chair
Boucouvalas, Marcie Committee Member
Cline, Marvin Gerald Committee Member
Morris, Linda E. Committee Member
Owusu-Ansah, David Committee Member
  • Ghana
  • Africa
  • Human Rights
Date of Defense 2001-12-13
Availability unrestricted
Teaching for Freedom: A Case in Ghana

Helen Bond


The United Nations declared the years 1995 to 2004 as the Decade for Human Rights Education. The principles of human rights education promote dignity, tolerance, and peace by educating individuals and groups to respect, defend, and advocate for their rights. These rights are enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted in 1948 making human rights a global responsibility. During this decade nations are called upon to promote and implement human rights education in all sectors of their society.

In 1992 Amnesty International Norway developed a human rights education program called Teaching for Freedom (TFF). This program was implemented in 26 countries worldwide including all ten administrative regions in Ghana, West Africa. The purposes of the TFF program were to educate the youth and train final year teachers in the principles of human rights. These programs are based on the notion of universal human rights that are sometimes criticized as Western and non-applicable to the African context. Human rights education programs are tasked with not only making these universal principles meaningful and participatory in the lives of the people on the ground, but also implementing culturally legitimate programs in local contexts with few resources. This study attempted to understand how the Teaching for Freedom program accomplished these aims and the barriers that impeded it.

Using qualitative analysis and the grounded theory approach, I conducted a case study of one TFF program located in one school in one region of Ghana. This human rights education program operated as a club and was studied within the context of the school and society in which it operated. Grounded theory analysis revealed that the TFF club was a conflicted organization whose operation was greatly shaped by forces within the school that were also present in larger society. I describe the operation of the club in terms of awareness, empowerment, and implementation. Barriers to the operation of the TFF club were identified within these three areas of operation and were closely related to the conflicting cultural forces within the school and Ghanaian society

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