International Programs: Education for Democractic Citizenship
Professional Development in Civic Education for Romanian Teachers
Targoviste, Romania
"Quality Assurance in Education for Democratic Citizenship"
October 5 - 8, 2007

Program Director: Corina Leca, Democracy and Human Rights Educator

The activities described below were conducted by Jackie Johnson, CELD Associate Director, working in collaboration with Corina Leca on the professional development program in civic education for Targoviste teachers, "Quality Assurance in Education for Democratic Citizenship,“ in Targoviste, Romania, October 5-7, 2007, funded by the US Embassy. The project is based on a policy of the Council of Europe.

Demonstration lessons on teaching controversial issues with discussion were also demonstrated for an audeince of university students at Bucharest University, October 8, 2007.

October 6-7, 2007
The Civic Mission of the Schools : Six Promising Practices

Participants examined the Six Promising Approaches identified in the Civic Mission of Schools Report, specifically those that relate to classroom pedagogy and civic content. Each group examined research and a Colorado teacher's reflection on successes and challenges in using a particular practice. Materials used in the workshop were adapted from the program iniatiave "Strengthening Civic Education in Colorado Schools," sponsored by the Colorado Department of Education and the Center for Education in Law and Democracy.


What Is the Ideal Citizen?

Teachers ranked and prioritized citizen roles in a democracy in the activity,"What Do Good Citizens Do? They were then introduced to "Three Kinds of Citizens" identified in research conducted by Joseph Kahne, Mills College and Joel Westheimer, University of Ottawa. Given the importance placed on education for democratic citizenship, participants were asked, “What is your image of the ideal high school graduate/citizen? What would you want this young adult to know, be able to do, and value as he/she takes on the responsibilities of citizenship?” Having studied the best practices—what can we expect as a result of implementing the CMS best practices. Groups developed and presented their "Ideal Citizens" to the large group.

As an elementary adaptation of this lesson, a small group of teachers identified characteristics of good citizens in Romanian children's literature and placed parts on "Mr. Potato Head" to match these citizen characteristics and qualities.

Using Political Cartoons to Identify the Principles of Democracy

Workshop participants examined political cartoons to apply their understanding of one or more of the principles of democracy (from the lesson, Signposts of Democracy), to current controversies occurring in nations around the world. In the lesson, Analyzing Current Issues about Democracy, groups selected a favorite cartoon that they agreed illustrated one or more democratic principles and provided reasons for their choices.

October 8, 2007
Bucharest University Students:
Structured Academic Controversy

University students participated in a demonstration of a classroom discussion strategy for teaching controversial issues – SAC, the structured academic controversy. (Romanian translation of materials available here).

This demonstration lesson included materials from the project, Deliberating in a Democracy. In small groups, students deliberated the question: "Should our democracy place criminal penalties on anyone who sells, rents, or shows violent video games to minors?"

Materials for this lesson: Violent Video Games SAC: Romanian Translation: Violent Video Games SAC: English