Teaching Human Rights in Jail

How to Cite

Saxton, M. (2016). Teaching Human Rights in Jail. Radical Teacher, 104, 48–54. https://doi.org/10.5195/rt.2016.239


The essay discusses the differences between teaching human rights in  an elite college and an elite  graduate school compared with teaching the same matrial  to incarcerated students.  The latter experience the dramatic absence of rights, both in jail and often  as well  in their previous lives, which almost inevitably were marked by poverty and deprivation.  The different life experiences of the majority of incarcerated students as compared with the majority of college and graduate students positions them very differently when they  study human rights and think about the implications of particular rights. In jail, discussions end to be concrete, personal and sometimes transformative. In tradtional classrooms, the conversations are more theoretical, less personal, and more skeptical.


This essay was based on personal experience, hence there are mentions of books, but not, strictly speaking references.