As the film directors Bertrand Tavernier and Laurent Cantet demonstrate in their respective films It All Starts Today (1999) and Entre Les Murs (2008), schools still reproduce social inequality and cultural stereotypes. One of the most important challenges teachers and professors confront as members of civil society, particularly in moments of social crisis or instability, is to promote students' critical thinking in relation to individual and collective rights. A deep understanding of the concepts and history of human rights infuses the foreign language classroom with a sense of cooperation and dignity that will promote the deconstructing of social and cultural stereotypes. This article analyzes the pedagogical implications and impact of readings on human rights and Service Learning within a community where "foreign languages and cultures" are recent social components of changes related to labor and immigration. This work explores the interrelation between the pedagogical and social dimensions of "critical thinking" within curricula.

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Copyright © 2012 University of Nebraska-Omaha. This article first appeared in JOLLAS 4:2 (September 2012), 45-58.

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