Chapter 5

Globalization, Human Rights and Education

Ayşe Ottekin Demirbolat


Views on the relationships between democracy and human rights and the universality of human rights are presented and the position of the teacher, whose role is considered critical in this controversial process of globalization, is discussed. </p><p> The global world is increasingly under the influence of the discussions about whether democracy and human rights are based on the same conceptual foundations, and whether human rights are universal. Particularly, the views that human rights are a product of the Western World and that they cannot be universal have led to the formation of antipathy against human rights in non-western societies. However, human rights are a product of human history. The principles related to human rights comprise the rights conceived not according to an understanding of man of a particular philosophy, but that of an individual as abstracted from the historical social and cultural conditions. Unfortunately, international human rights organizations tend to support the relativity of human rights, which has strengthened the prejudiced views that leave human rights in the domain of the monopoly of the west. Consequently, some people or groups have developed an increased need for qualifying themselves with different identifications and have come to over-stress their differences. This situation is the source of many political and social problems currently encountered because social life is a product of the goal oriented to integration, and it is not resistant enough to deep differentiations and separations. Presently, there is a need for reevaluation and for coherent and rational resynthesis by contemporary philosophers of human rights, and their relativity and universality and democracy. </p><p> In the face of globalization, the teacher, with a neutral identity, should be egalitarian in the face of inequalities and should provide an opportunity for the students to improve themselves freely, independent of any ethnic or religious pressures and influences. The principal objective of this chapter is to emphasize, the importance of the unitary, bureaucratic and normative characteristics of education institutions to protect democracy.

Total Pages: 64-74 (11)

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