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New teacher institute to focus on the “Fourth R”: Rights

News release details

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) and the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba today announced the creation of a unique summer institute for teachers that will provide training opportunities in teaching and learning about human rights issues.

The program represents the first-ever partnership between the CMHR and a university education faculty. Called "The Fourth R: Teaching and Leadership for Human Rights Education", it helps address teacher needs for more knowledge and skills in teaching about human rights, a subject that is increasingly being integrated into all school curriculum areas. The name recognizes that human rights education is as critical as the traditional "Three R's" (Reading, 'Riting and 'Rithmetic).

"The purpose of this summer institute is to ensure human rights take a central place in education – not just as something we teach about, but also as something that informs how we teach. It will also help educators think deeply and critically about how they represent human rights stories, which can be told from multiple perspectives." Dr. David Mandzuk, Dean of Education at the University of Manitoba, told a news conference at the Faculty of Education building today.

Stuart Murray, CMHR president and CEO, said the Museum will become a trusted source for human rights learning – a goal that goes far beyond the exhibits visitors will see when the CMHR opens its doors as Canada's new national museum on September 20, 2014.

"One of the best ways to educate students about human rights and responsibilities is to support the teachers," he said. "That's why we're already beginning to address gaps in human rights education through strong partnerships that will better equip educators at all levels."

Last year, the CMHR partnered with the Canadian Teachers' Federation (CTF) to conduct a cross-Canada teacher survey, which revealed that 94 per cent of teachers wanted to acquire more knowledge and skills around age-appropriate methods for teaching about human rights.

The summer institute was the brainchild of Dr. Jerome Cranston and Dr. Melanie Janzen of the University of Manitoba's Faculty of Education, developed in collaboration with CMHR Learning and Programming specialists. The CMHR and Extended Education have provided funding for program coordination.

The summer institute, which runs from July 16 to 29, is open to teachers and student teachers. The 2014 program is offered in English only. Students enrolled in a University of Manitoba program, and who are not graduating in spring 2014, are able to register for summer session programs beginning March 17.

Interested teachers who are not currently enrolled in a University of Manitoba program can contact the Faculty of Education, Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Education Office at (204) 474‑7886 or pbde@umanitoba.ca and/or Extended Education at (204) 474‑9921 or extended@umanitoba.ca.

The University of Manitoba is the province's only research-intensive university, educating the majority of professionals in Manitoba. The University of Manitoba is a trailblazer in many areas of learning, discovery and outreach, well-placed to encourage debate and discussion around the understanding of human rights, peace and justice. The University of Manitoba is the repository of the records of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

The CMHR is the first museum in the world solely dedicated to the evolution, celebration and future of human rights. It is the first national museum in Canada to be built outside the National Capital Region. Using multimedia technology and other innovative approaches, the Museum will create inspiring encounters with human rights in a visitor experience unlike any other.