Education and Equal Dignity

•  Dakshinamoorthi Raja Ganesan, Director and Coordinator
•  Annette A. Engler, Director and Coordinator

•  Thomas Clough Daffern, Director and Coordinator

HumanDHS is primarily grounded in academic work. We are independent of any religious or political agenda. However, we wish to bring academic work into "real life." Our research focuses on topics such as dignity (with humiliation as its violation), or, more precisely, on respect for equal dignity for all human beings in the world. This is not only our research topic, but also our core value, in line with Article 1 of the Human Rights Declaration that states that every human being is born with equal dignity (that ought not be humiliated). We agree with Shibley Telhami, Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development, who advocates the building of bridges from academia as follows, "I have always believed that good scholarship can be relevant and consequential for public policy. It is possible to affect public policy without being an advocate; to be passionate about peace without losing analytical rigor; to be moved by what is just while conceding that no one has a monopoly on justice." We would like to add that we believe that good scholarship can be relevant and consequential not only for public policy, but for raising awareness in general.

Thomas Daffern wrote (June 7, 2005): I would like to propose a sub-group to look at cases of humiliation in education, including higher education – when so much is at stake – in peoples academic careers etc. – humiliation is often, it seems to me, used as a weapon of power in academic work and academic relations.

Please see Values in Higher Education, edited by Simon Robinson and Clement Katulushi (Vale of Glamorgan, Cardiff: Aureus Publishing, 2005), with a chapter written by Hilde Eileen Nafstad, "Assumptions and Values in the Production of Knowledge: Towards an Area Ethics of Psychology and the Social Sciences."

Please see Learning to Live Together: Preventing Hatred and Violence in Child and Adolescent Development, authored by David A. Hamburg and his wife Beatrix A. Hamburg (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004).

Please see here a Special Issue that addresses humiliation in education:


"Humiliation in the Academic Setting"

A Special Symposium Issue (January 2006) of
Experiments in Education

published by the S.I.T.U. Council of Educational Research

Editor: Dakshinamoorthi Raja Ganesan
Guest Editor: Annette A. Engler

If our symposium will spark interest in studying and comparing the experience of humiliation across at least two countries I feel we can feel proud and happy about it.
- Dakshinamoorthi Raja Ganesan, June 2005

Earlier editions of Experiments in Education included an editorial that Dakshinamoorthi Raja Ganesan wrote on "Humiliation in the Classroom." Dakshinamoorthi Raja Ganesan carried a series in the mid-eighties on "New Horizons for Educational Research" and it was inaugurated with a contribution written specifically for the journal by the late Dr. Malcolm Adisesiah, who had been Acting Director General of UNESCO. Dakshinamoorthi Raja Ganesan contributed with articles such as "Humour in the Classroom," "Boredom and Education," "Suicide and Education," "Anger and Education," "Depression and Education."

The Special Issue "Humiliation in the Academic Setting" will have as its frontepiece quotation the lines from the Indian Literature Nobel Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore:

      Where the mind is without fear
      Where the head is held high
      Where narrow walls ...

As Secretary of the S.I.T.U. Council of Educational Research, Dakshinamoorthi Raja Ganesan kindly offers to print and circulate extra copies of the journal inland among teacher education institutions which are not currently in the mailing list and also among fellow members on two committees on curriculum and on evaluation of the National Council for Teacher Education on which he is a member, and the members of the Indian Council for Social Science Research and the National Council for Educational Research and Training. He also kindly offers to send it to fellow members in the South Asian Consortium for Teacher Education and Development comprising India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Maledives.


•  Editorial by Annette A. Engler

•  8 articles

•  A select and sharply focused bibliography running to about 8 pages

Guidelines to Contributors

Length of each article
Each article should be running to about 6 pages, with a cushion space of one page for notes and references. The average number of words per page is 400 (four hundred)

Standard format for documentation and reference should follow the APA guidelines:

The documentation of references will be iIn the case of books:
Autbor's name, initials, year of publication in brackets, title of the book in italics, place of publication and publisher's name

For journal articles;
Author's name, initials, year of publication, title of the article, name of the journal in italics, volume and issue number, and pages.



Please note that the entire HumanDHS website is maintained by volunteers, since its inception in 2003, and this is mainly done by Evelin Lindner. Until 2012, she usually pasted interesting news into this Links section. From July 2012 until 2017, she tagged interesting information on From 2017 onward, you see Evelin's personal list of interesting web links on Twitter:

The System Improvement Process
SIP was developed to solve any difficult large-scale social problem. This includes the "excessive humiliation problem." Systems Engineer Jack Harich invites all researchers to study SIP (in a personal message, 15th January 2013).

Philip and Katy Leakey Have Plans for a Business School
Based in central Kenya, East Africa, The Leakey Collection founders Philip and Katy Leakey, combine their talents in interior design and the arts with their love of nature to develop stunning handcrafted products for an international market. Using natural elements such as fallen wood, grass and ceramic, these renowned designers create unique products while protecting the environment and providing economic opportunity to the local communities.

What Are the Values that Will Guide the Development of Children and Young People in Our Schools?
Lecture held by Inga Bostad for the Conference of European Ministers of Education at Grand Hotel, Oslo, Norway, 5th June 2008.

Educational Equality
Bullying's Effects on Equal Educational Opportunity
by Douglas E. Abrams
In: Our Promise: Achieving Educational Equality For America's Children, Carolina Academic Press, 2008, University of Missouri School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2008-21
Abstract: This paper outlines a coordinated public response to bullying, including cyber bullying, in the nation's public schools. Pediatric professionals have long recognized bullying as a form of child abuse, perpetrated by other children rather than by adults. With recent national surveys confirming that bullying in school has reached epidemic proportions, the American Medical Association and the National Institutes of Health now identify it as a public health crisis.
An effective response to bullying summons all components of the pediatric safety system, the public network charged with protecting children from physical and emotional harm. The network extends primarily to the schools, the juvenile and criminal courts, the child protective agency and perhaps the mental health agency, and law enforcement.
The new frontier is cyber bullying, which pediatric professionals now identify as a risk factor contributing to childhood and adolescent suicide. News headlines reporting suicides show that a few keystrokes can inflict hurt even more severe than fists or playground confrontations because Internet postings can hound the victim around the clock and off the campus.
After measuring the devastating immediate and lasting damage that school bullying can inflict on its participants (the bullied, the bystanders and the bullies themselves), this paper stresses the need for effective bullying prevention programs in the schools. The paper describes the reported effectiveness of rigorously evaluated programs, and analyzes the shortcomings in state legislation that requires schools to maintain anti-bullying policies.
Finally, the paper explores the central roles that the various members of the pediatric safety system play, consistent with First Amendment constraints, in the effort to prevent bullying and react firmly to incidents that occur. The paper presents public strategies that comply with constitutional guidelines.
This paper will be published in Our Promise: Achieving Educational Equality For America's Children, a book which the Carolina Academic Press will publish in the summer of 2008, edited by Maurce R. Dyson, and Daniel B. Weddle
Summary: This edited volume provides a thought-provoking collection of papers by expert legal scholars and serves as a reminder of the extensive work that is yet to be accomplished in the evaluation of educational policy. The authors encourage us to take a second look at the research surrounding the topics of equality in education and urge us to examine the benchmarks of progress so as to gauge next steps and possible new directions in educational achievement. In a sense, this is a compilation of works that serve as a reminder that the nation's growth and its history will be measured not by its crepuscular and steganographic support of educating a select few in education, but, instead, by establishing the bright light of accountability and our commitment to every student by advocating for the full embodiment of equality in education.— Excerpt from the Foreword by Philip T.K. Daniel, J.D., Ed.D., William and Marie Flesher Professor of Educational Administration, Adjunct Professor of Law, The Ohio State University.

'$100 laptop' to Sell to Public
By Jonathan Fildes
Science and technology reporter, BBC News
Computer enthusiasts in the developed world will soon be able to get their hands on the so-called "$100 laptop".
The organisation behind the project has launched the "give one, get one" scheme that will allow US residents to purchase two laptops for $399 (£198).
Please read the entire article at and on

Documentary Series Indian School
Indian School is a fast-paced documentary series, following a remarkable year in one of the world’s fastest growing cities; Pune near Mumbai. The series gets under the skin of India’s middle classes, exploring their dreams and anxieties in a world that seems to be changing every day.
See more on and on

Restorative Practices E-forum
Restorative Practices in Schools Research - Part II
Schools implementing restorative methods are seeing a drop in disciplinary problems, decreased reliance on detention and suspension, and an improvement in student attitudes. Several educational and governmental groups have undertaken evaluations that demonstrate the postive effects of implementing restorative approaches.
This article, by Abbey Porter, provides information on these evaluations, as well as interviews with associated researchers, practitioners and educators.
To read the article, please go to, and to download a PDF version of the article, please go to

Future School
... West Philadelphia is a place of high crime rates and low incomes. It's the last place you'd expect to find a new, bright white school building packed with technology. There are digital writing boards, built-in audio systems, auditoriums that swivel into place, and lots more...
Rear more at

In the Classroom, a New Focus on Quieting the Mind, by Patricia Leigh Brown
OAKLAND, Calif., June 12 — The lesson began with the striking of a Tibetan singing bowl to induce mindful awareness.
With the sound of their new school bell, the fifth graders at Piedmont Avenue Elementary School here closed their eyes and focused on their breathing, as they tried to imagine “loving kindness” on the playground.
“I was losing at baseball and I was about to throw a bat,” Alex Menton, 11, reported to his classmates the next day. “The mindfulness really helped.”
As summer looms, students at dozens of schools across the country are trying hard to be in the present moment. This is what is known as mindfulness training, in which stress-reducing techniques drawn from Buddhist meditation are wedged between reading and spelling tests.
Mindfulness, while common in hospitals, corporations, professional sports and even prisons, is relatively new in the education of squirming children. But a small but growing number of schools in places like Oakland and Lancaster, Pa., are slowly embracing the concept — as they did yoga five years ago — and institutions, like the psychology department at Stanford University and the Mindfulness Awareness Research Center at the University of California, Los Angeles, are trying to measure the effects.
Please read the rest of this article at New York Times.

Positive Futures Network
Positive Futures Network is an independent, nonprofit organization supporting people’s active engagement in creating a just, sustainable, and compassionate world.
The Positive Futures Network (PFN) and its publication YES! magazine start with the belief that we need deep change if we are to avoid the breakdown of society and the natural world.
Our hope lies in the fact that millions of people around the world are creating the needed changes in their homes, communities, work places, and nations. Powerful innovations are taking hold within agriculture, businesses, criminal justice, schools--virtually every sector of society.
The work of the Positive Futures Network is to give visibility and momentum to these signs of an emerging society in which life, not money, is what counts; in which everyone matters; and in which vibrant, inclusive communities offer prosperity, security, and meaningful ways of life.

Report: Deprived of Dignity: Degrading Treatment and Abusive discipline in New York City And Los Angeles Public Schools
A report by NESRI shows that middle and high school students in New York City and Los Angeles are frequently ignored and mistreated in their classrooms, and subjected to harsh discipline policies that punish, exclude and criminalize them.
Press Release - New York City and Los Angeles
Press Conference Statement:
The report uses a human rights framework to document the use of suspensions, law enforcement and other punitive disciplinary strategies that ignore students’ educational and emotional needs. Schools with the most repressive policies are overwhelmingly under-resourced, overcrowded and primarily attended by low-income students of color.
The report calls on the Department of Education in NYC and the Los Angeles Unified School District to take a holistic approach to school climate and safety by reducing overcrowding, increasing resources for teachers, and guaranteeing the participation of students and parents. Schools should view discipline and the teaching of behavioral skills as an essential part of education and prioritize counseling and mediation. The criminalization of discipline and use of police in schools must stop.

One Laptop Per Child Project
$100 laptop project launches 2007
The first batch of computers built for the One Laptop Per Child project could reach users by July this year. The scheme is hoping to put low-cost computers into the hands of people in developing countries. Ultimately the project's backers hope the machines could sell for as little as $100 (£55). The first countries to sign up to buying the machine include Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Nigeria, Libya, Pakistan and Thailand. The so-called XO machine is being pioneered by Nicholas Negroponte, who launched the project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab in 2004. Test machines are expected to reach children in February as the project builds towards a more formal launch.
Please read the entire article at

Alfie Kohn
Alfie Kohn writes and speaks widely on human behavior, education, and parenting. The author of eleven books and scores of articles, he lectures at education conferences and universities as well as to parent groups and corporations.
Kohn's criticisms of competition and rewards have been widely discussed and debated, and he has been described in Time magazine as "perhaps the country's most outspoken critic of education's fixation on grades [and] test scores."

The Art of Possibility
by Rosamund Stone Zander & Benjamin Zander
Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 2000

I Feel Like Nobody When … I Feel Like Somebody When …
Please see the educational book that Stephanie Heuer created, inspired by our 2004 Paris meeting and Robert Fuller's work on Rankism. She is publishing this book by herself, so please write to her for a copy, safa40 at I Feel Like Nobody When … I Feel Like Somebody When …