Art and Human Rights

Articles of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child taught through shadow theatre

In this master‘s project a teaching method was outlined whereby articles of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child were taught through shadow theatre. The pedagogical method used was David Kolb‘s model of experiential learning.
Two workshops were held, held in collaboration with the City of Reykjavik, the Höfði Peace Center and the University of Iceland. Students’ ages were between 11 and 12, one group had 15 students, and the other 29 students. The composition of the student groups was multi-national with several students speaking other languages in addition to Icelandic. The workshop was based on students listening to and watching informational sources on selected articles of the Convention and developing from those their own shadow theatre productions. They did this through experiential learning, i.e. conceptual work, scripts and puppets. The final outcome was a production attended by parents and other students. Theories on human rights education were used to develop the workshop, and the Convention and its application in Iceland was introduced.
To assess the efficacy of the teaching method and the workshops as a whole, conversations between the teacher and students were held and 25% of the students (those who volunteered or were selected as a random sample) responded to a questionnaire.
The results were positive, there was general satisfaction among students with the teaching method and they gained and were able to interpret articles of the Convention through shadow theatre.
Guðrún Ragnheiður Guðmundsdóttir
gunnaheida [at]
Instructor: Dr. Ellen Gunnarsdóttir