METHOD 22: RESEARCH PROJECTS

Projects are independent investigations that permit participants to explore topics in depth and to share their findings with others. Some suggestions for research projects:

• Help participants define their topics precisely and clearly, perhaps in question form (e.g., "How are refugees treated when they arrive at the border?" or "Have women's human rights improved in my community?");

• Make clear project goals, parameters, and deadlines; suggest research resources and techniques;

• Clarify the way in which results can be presented (e.g., written report, exhibition, artistic expression, poster, or web site);

• Include both objective findings and the participant's subjective responses;

• Provide a way for participants to present their results publicly so others may learn from their research.

1. Case Study Research: While library or Internet resources are useful, projects can also draw on interviews and other "live" sources (e.g., studying community immigration patterns in the local cemetery; evaluating the route to school for disability access; creating statistics from personal observation). See also "Method 15: Interviews," p. 68. Such projects develop research skills, independent thinking, and cooperative learning and illustrate the links among issues, the local situation, and the range of conflicting views.

2. Internet Research: Where Internet access is available, many human rights research projects can be accomplished electronically, including geography, statistics, documents, and newspaper articles. See Part VII, "Web Sites for Human Rights Education," p. 166, for a list of human rights Web sites.

Examples of Method:

The Human Rights Education Handbook: "Human Rights Homework," p. 52; "Activity 8: A Dialogue with Your Lettuce," p. 83;

"Model 5: Five-day Workshop," p. 125.

ABC: "Protecting Children," "Child Soldiers," "Humanitarian Law," "An International Criminal Court," "Work," "Energy,"

"Councils and Courts," "Identifying Some Minority Groups," "A Model UN Simulation." [www.unhchr.ch/html/menu6/2/abc.htm]