Multimedia: “Democracy: From Theory to Practice”
On June 6, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) released a video aimed at promoting its innovative, semester-long civic education course, “Democracy: From Theory to Practice,” within Ukrainian academia. The course will be piloted during the 2018-19 academic year with the goal of strengthening the knowledge and skills associated with effective and mindful democratic citizenship. This will be achieved through an interactive classroom environment that fosters democratic values and attitudes; student action projects—wherein students identify, analyze, and address issues in and beyond their communities; and customized course readers that focus on democratic principles, good governance, civil society, civic participation, and human rights.
Moving away from traditional, lecture-based, top-down approaches, in the lead-up to the 2018-19 academic year, course teachers receive continuous training on interactive teaching methodology to strengthen their students’ sense of civic responsibility, as well as develop skills such as critical and abstract thinking, team work, media literacy, consensus building, and fact-based argumentation.
Cross-cutting course themes include gender equality, elections, minority rights, inclusion of and accessibility for persons with disabilities, enfranchisement, good governance, rule of law, media literacy, digital participation, diversity, the role of money in politics, the role of youth, and corruption.
IFES’ civic education course was developed by Ukrainian and international experts, is tailored for Ukraine, and is based on IFES’ global university-level civic education methodology, Strengthening Engagement through Education for Democracy (SEED). Through SEED, IFES introduced an innovative, university-level civic education course in Georgia in 2011 that is currently offered at the majority of the country’s accredited universities. The universities that will offer the course during the 2018 academic year include Vasyl Stus Donetsk National University, Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Lviv Polytechnic National University, Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University, Ivan Horbachevsky Ternopil State Medical University, and V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University.
This initiative was developed through the support of the U.S. Agency for International Development, Global Affairs Canada and UK aid.