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Controversial Issues and Notions in Teaching Bulgarian and European History of XX Century in Bulgarian Primary and Secondary Schools

The goal of the project is to further develop the achievements and results of the completed project ‘The Communist and Nazi Crimes Against Humanity and Bulgarian History Textbooks for Primary and Secondary Schools’ thus ensuring their sustainability and to provide a possibility for different post-graduate qualifications for teachers of history. Some of its main objectives are as follows: to establish sustainable partnership between the school teachers and university lecturers and researchers in history, to provide continuous possibility for professional discussions on topical and disputable issues; to propose to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Science changes in the State Educational Requirements in history and civilization followed by changes of the curricula and syllabi which shall allow the real studying of the most recent Bulgarian and European history at school; to assist Bulgarian history teachers by defining the scope and content of the main terms used in teaching the totalitarian regimes thus avoiding different interpretation of the same terms, etc.

The main activities under the project include discussions with representatives of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Science, school teachers and university lecturers, parents’ associations, young people and other interested parties on the necessity of introducing changes in the State Educational Requirements in history and civilization and in the curricula and syllabi which shall allow the actual studying of the most recent Bulgarian and European history at school; elaboration of proposals for such changes and offering them to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Science; discussions on the key terms and notions used in Bulgarian textbooks in history of XX century, their scope and content, their interpretation in different textbooks for primary and secondary school; elaboration of a list of terms with their definitions and its publication; discussions on the necessity of long-life learning and different forms of post-graduate qualification of the pedagogical personnel; development of syllabus of a Master ’s degree programme and a post-diploma qualification programme in teaching of history of XX century; maintenance of the website of History Association “Alternatives” and posting all relevant information.

The main target group of the project and the direct beneficiaries shall be lecturers in history from schools, universities, research institutions, representatives of NGOs. The project envisages involving them in solving the identified problems through active participation in all project activities during all project stages. The indirect beneficiaries of the present project shall be Bulgarian youth - school and university students.

  • Information on the current progress of the project Controversial Issues and Notions in Teaching Bulgarian and European History of XX Century in Bulgarian Primary and Secondary Schools”

The implementation of the project started in April 2010. The following activities have been carried out so far:

A meeting with history teachers from Sofia and experts on history from the Ministry of Education and Science and the District Inspectorate was held, at which the core terms and the terms included into the history curricula for 6th, 10th and 11th grade were discussed. Proposals for introducing new terms were presented, linked with the teaching about totalitarian regimes in 20th century.

Prof. Tsvetana Georgieva was assigned the task of developing a glossary of terms, included in the curricula for 6th, 10th and 11th grade, in which every term is to be presented with a short definition and an enhanced explanation about its origin, development, etc.

A meeting with history teachers from Veliko Tarnovo was held. During the meeting part of the collected material by Prof. Georgieva was presented and discussed. The meeting was attended by representatives of the History Department of Veliko Tarnovo University. The teachers emphasized the need for such material and that it would be very useful in their work.

Lecturers from Veliko Tarnovo University were assigned the task to develop a draft curriculum for postgraduate qualification and for a master’s degree in teaching about 20th century totalitarian regimes.

The project coordinator participated in an international meeting, held in Prague, of nongovernmental organizations from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Sweden, which work on topics linked with the crimes of communism - „One World in Schools” program.