Moving the Conversation Forward
August 3, 2016 – Kenneth Best – UConn Communications, UConn Today
Middle and high school teachers are on campus this week learning how to use genocide and human rights education to address complex historical and current issues.
The program – The Upstander Academy: Intellectual Humility in Public Discourse Summer Institute – was developed by the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center and the Upstander Project, with assistance from secondary educators in Connecticut.
The week-long session is part of the Humanities Institute’s Public Discourse Project, a research and engagement program examining the role that intellectual humility can play in meaningful public dialogue, and the initial activity sponsored by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation for research on balancing humility and conviction in public life.
The Upstander Academy at UConn is associated with the national Upstander Project, which aims to overcome indifference to social injustice by using learning resources, including documentary films, to motivate individuals to move from being “bystanders” to becoming “upstanders” – people who take action in defense of those who are targeted for harm.
Glenn Mitoma, director of the Dodd Research Center and assistant professor in the Neag School of Education, says the week-long institute focusing on human rights and genocide will be followed by future summer sessions on philosophy and on American Studies. He notes that early secondary education – middle school – is when geography and world history become part of the public school curriculum, providing the opportunity to introduce conflict resolution issues to students. read more