Queen's University

Winning textbook rolled out in 20,000 Ukrainian secondary schools

George Perlin and Lyubov Margolina were instrumental in the development of the new Ukrainian civic education textbook.

A secondary school textbook supported by the Centre for Studies on Democracy and Diversity’s Building Democracy in Ukraine (BDU) project is being distributed to all Grade 11 students in Ukraine. The textbook won a national competition to be the core text for a new civic education program.

The civic education program will be taught in 20,000 secondary schools in Ukraine and 200,000 students a year will work with this textbook.

The BDU project was established in 2004 by George Perlin, professor emeritus in the School of Policy Studies and director of the Centre for Studies on Democracy and Diversity. The aim of the project was to help create a comprehensive education program about democracy throughout Ukraine.

Lyubov Margolina, the BDU’s director in Ukraine, is the lead author of the textbook that explains democratic rights and responsibilities to Ukrainian students. The textbook is fully-integrated with the curriculum and offers an important foundational civic education for students who do not go on to university.

“The Ukrainians have taken this project on as their own,” says Dr. Perlin, who explains that the BDU team acted as knowledge brokers, offering information about democracy and encouraging their Ukrainian partners to choose the aspects that best related to their country. “This textbook really is by Ukrainians for Ukrainians.”

The Ukrainian Ministry of Education has now taken over responsibility for the textbook and the BDU team is confident the civic education program will be self-sustaining.

The BDU project will come to an end on March 31.

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Last updated at 3:43 pm EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
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