Online consultations with Moldovan pupils on the new civic education subject
The COVID-19 crisis has created many challenges for education systems across Europe, but it has also opened up new possibilities. The ability to easily bring together educators and pupils in large numbers and from various locations to discuss the education process and make it more participatory and democratic is one opportunity brought about by the generalised use of digital technologies in education.
Circa 150 pupils participated in online workshops intended to evaluate the teaching process within the new civic education subject in the school year 2019/2020 in the Republic of Moldova.
The workshops took place on 4-9 June 2020 and were organised by the Council of Europe Project „Education for Democracy in the Republic of Moldova” in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research.
The Project organised dedicated workshops for the 5th, the 6th, the 10th and the 11th grades’ pupils who attended the “Education for society” classes. This is a re-conceptualised civic education compulsory subject developed with the Council of Europe expert support and based on the Council of Europe’s Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture.
The workshops were facilitated by experienced national experts. The pupils were encouraged to talk about the strengths and weaknesses in teaching and learning the “Education for society” subject and to suggest proposals and recommendations to improve the quality of teaching this subject.
Two years after its introduction in schools, the subject stands out for its student centered and competence based approaches that are clearly appreciated by the pupils. They mentioned the following key competences that this subject has helped them develop: group work and group dynamics, communication skills, tolerance and diversity, dealing with situations of bullying and cyberbullying, as well as the opportunity to discuss freely and safely controversial issues such as stereotypes and bullying.
As a next step in the process of evaluating the school year 2019/2020, on-line workshops with circa 80 teachers of civic education were organized, during which teachers’ handbooks, the evaluation methodology and the feedback from pupils were discussed.
The Project will support the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research to analyse the feedback received from teachers and pupils and to integrate it in planning and designing the “Education for society” classes in the school year 2020/2021, including the revision of the teachers’ handbooks and designing the training seminars for teachers.