Teachers have new human rights online toolkit to launch the school year


As teachers across Canada head back to school this fall, they have a valuable new online toolkit to support them in the classroom, courtesy of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) and the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF).

Today CMHR and CTF unveiled the Canadian Human Rights Toolkit, a new central hub of educational resources available at no charge to all K-12 teachers. The organizations collaborated to research educators’ needs in terms of human rights education, and responded to these needs by assembling this new online database, which will launch with more than 200 teacher-reviewed resources and tools focusing on human rights.

“Teachers across Canada are committed to integrating human rights into their classes, but we know that only one in four has all the training and resources they need for human rights education,” said CMHR President and CEO Stuart Murray. “These resources will fill gaps in human rights education and better equip teachers to prepare appropriate lessons to engage students and enrich their human rights learning experiences. Wherever teachers live and teach from coast to coast to coast, regardless of whether they are teaching early, middle or senior years, in English or French, access to the toolkit and the Museum is theirs.”

Teachers can search the toolkit for resources including teachers’ guides, manuals, study guides, handbooks and more, filtered by province, language, grade level and subject area. Still in the early stages, the toolkit will be an evolving database of Canadian and international resources, and will grow with the help of user-contributed content to provide teachers with unparalleled access to new ideas and innovative practices being used by teachers all across the country.

“The online toolkit was built by teachers to respond to a need expressed by teachers, and our plan is to ensure that resources will continue to be reviewed by teachers so that the toolkit will continue to contain high-quality educational resources,” said CTF President Dianne Woloschuk. “We know that teachers will appreciate having one central location where they may find a rich selection of resources to complement their planning.”

The Canadian Human Rights Toolkit is available on the Museum’s website and on the CTF’s Imagineaction website.

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights 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 immersive multi-media technology and other innovative approaches, the Museum will create inspiring encounters with human rights as part of a visitor experience unlike any other.

The CMHR will provide free, hour-long public preview tours through four Museum galleries during its official opening celebrations on September 20 and 21. Tickets for the weekend tours will be available online starting September 3, and are expected to attract up to 10,000 visitors over two days. From September 22 to 26, a number of special events will be held, including private visits by people whose stories are portrayed in the Museum. The CMHR is honouring their courage and giving them a chance to see the exhibits in privacy during these few days. In addition, the Museum will welcome senior Canadian travel and tourism officials for familiarization tours. Regular operations, with paid admission and public access to all Museum galleries, begin Saturday, September 27.

Founded in 1920, the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) is a national alliance of provincial and territorial teacher organizations that represent nearly 200,000 elementary and secondary school teachers across Canada. CTF is also a member of the international body of teachers, Education International.


MORE – Below: Canadian Human Rights Toolkit By the Numbers & FAQ

Canadian Human Rights Toolkit by the numbers

  • 200+ – number of resources in the toolkit when it launches
  • K-12 – grades for which the toolkit provides appropriate resources
  • 2 – official languages in which Toolkit resources are available (English and French)
  • 2013 – year the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) conducted a national survey of teachers across the country, on the need for a toolkit
  • 2,585 – teachers surveyed
  • 40 per cent – teachers who said they have insufficient resources to support teaching human rights
  • 92 per cent – teachers who said they place high value on human rights education, despite already feeling pressured by high expectations in a demanding curriculum
  • 94 per cent – teachers who said they feel it is important for them to acquire more knowledge and skills around age-appropriate methods for teaching about human rights.


Why was the Canadian Human Rights Toolkit created?

Teachers across Canada have identified a pressing need for more reliable human rights tools and resources, but said they often lack the time to seek them out. The toolkit provides a reliable, centralized educational resource hub for teachers to find engaging lesson plans, strategies and activities around human rights education that are linked to provincial or territorial curricula.

How were the toolkit resources chosen?

The Canadian Teachers’ Federation identified the first set of resources to be included in the toolkit through an environmental scan supported by the CMHR. The CTF, the CMHR and individual teachers will continue to add new resources, making the toolkit a living database. Each new addition will be screened through a national teacher advisory committee twice per year to ensure it meets the database’s criteria.

Who can use the toolkit?

The toolkit is designed for early, middle and senior years teachers across Canada, from any type of school including home-schooling, but can be used by anyone, anywhere. It is available free of charge.

How can teachers access the toolkit?

The Canadian Human Rights Toolkit is available on the Museum’s website and on the CTF’s Imagineaction website.