"We are Dumbledore's Army:" Forging the Foundation For Future Upstanders


  • Misty D Rodeheaver SUNY Buffalo State
  • Jill M Gradwell SUNY Buffalo State
  • Robert Dahlgren SUNY Fredonia


social studies education, alternative pedagogy, human rights


The profusion of human rights atrocities and purported incidents of genocide across the globe in recent decades has increasingly forced multiple and complicated issues associated with combating these violations onto the political agendas of world leaders and institutions. Scholars are united in recognizing the growing importance and need for critical instruction on the complex issues related to human rights and genocide studies to inspire high school students toward a global, democratic citizenship for the 21st century. Therefore, how do educators and student programs prepare students to critically examine these complex questions in a way that encourages global citizenship?

This study, conducted during a two-week intensive summer institute on human rights and genocide studies in western New York state, assessed the ability of a human rights and genocide educational institute to foster higher levels of self-efficacy among the participating students and their ability to be "upstanders," rather than bystanders in their daily lives. We argue that the students felt empowered to pursue their short- and long-term goals regarding becoming human rights upstanders through the role models in their lives who influenced them to come to the Institute and the various experiences they had during the Institute’s workshops and field trips. 

Author Biographies

Misty D Rodeheaver, SUNY Buffalo State

Assistant Professor

Department of History and Social Studies Education


Jill M Gradwell, SUNY Buffalo State

Associate Professor 

Department of History and Social Studies Education

Robert Dahlgren, SUNY Fredonia

Associate Professor 

Department of Curriculum & Instruction