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Lebanese Law Students Find Creative Ways to Teach Human Rights

Students role playing during their presentation on interactive teaching techniques

Students role playing during their presentation on interactive teaching techniques

March 2008

 In February, the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI), in collaboration with Amnesty International and the Arab Institute for Human Rights, organized a two-day workshop at La Sagesse University (ISSED) for eleven law students who have been selected to work on public education projects.  The public education effort is a component of ABA ROLI’s human rights clinical legal education project in partnership with La Sagesse University Law Faculty, funded by the US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.  The workshops prepared the students to give human rights presentations in Lebanese and Palestinian schools, universities and juvenile prisons.

On the first day, the law students discussed presentation strategies and interactive teaching techniques. The students each arrived to the second and final day of training with a written presentation prepared according to the seven steps learned during the previous session. They demonstrated ingenuity and an open-mindedness that made the presentations very rich. Some brought props with them (such as guitars and road signs) to clearly demonstrate their ideas, others used recorded footage to transmit their message, while others started their presentation with a role play.

These projects are carried out under the supervision of local and international institutions namely, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Mouvement Social, the Arab Institute for Human Rights (AIHR), the Lebanese Council to Resist Violence against Women (LCRVAW) and Amnesty International (AI). Joumana Merhi, Director of the Arab Institute for Human Rights, and Ahmed Karaoud, Head of the Regional Office for Amnesty International in Lebanon, conducted the two-day workshop on presentation skills, interactive teaching skills and techniques and lesson planning, drawing on their extensive experience in this area.

At the conclusion of the workshop, students were asked to complete a written evaluation. According to their responses, all of them found the training very useful and interesting; they noted that they have acquired new skills and developed their knowledge of the subject. They were also very positive regarding the presentations they conducted and how it helped them in understanding the objectives and the methodology of training.
Following this training each student will work on implementing and executing their own human rights education projects under the guidance of their supervisor.  Over the next two months, the students’ learning process will continue; with practice and proper guidance, the students will enhance their training and presentation skills and develop their interactive teaching techniques.