Education for Democratic Citizenship

Civic Education – Ukraine

March 2005 – March 2008

David Royle, the international team leader, senior adviser on education issues, company Cambridge Education (part of Mott McDonald Group).

Civic education (CE) exists in Ukraine in different forms and modals for more than 10 years. But in the secondary school it remains “A subject on choice”. The open issue concerns the part and state of civic education and sometimes the idea of civic education is considered as a synonym of patriotic education.

On the other side, there continues attempts to include new subjects into overloaded educational plan of the secondary school (for example, during the last years they are ethics, basis of consumer knowledge etc) but these issues most probably would be better to consider within the integrated course of civic education.

Performed within the frames of the project the analysis of the state regulatory documents and existing in Ukraine approaches to civic education confirmed that the formation of civic competence of pupils is the aim of the state policy. Nowadays this aim has to become clearly defined priority.

EDC means to teach how to become a citizen and how to live in a democratic society.

The main features of EDC are:

Education during whole life;

Preparation of some people and whole communities for civic and political participation;

Respect to the rights of a person and a citizen and the recognition of the corresponding obligations;

Appreciation of cultural and social difference.

EDC is not a separate subject or a group of subjects, it is the aim of educational policy of the state, community, definite educational institution.

Principals of EDC:

  • It is based on the fundamental principles of a person’s rights, plural democracy and supremacy of law;

  • It concerns in particular the rights and obligations, authorization, participation and respect for the variety;

  • It covers all age groups and sectors of society;

  • Its aim is to prepare the youth and grown-ups for the active participation in democratic society and by this means to increase the democratic culture;

  • These are the means to struggle with violence, xenophobia, aggressive nationalism and intolerance;

  • It promotes social unity, justice and general welfare;

  • It strengthens the civic society by promotion the obtaining of the information and erudition of its citizens and the development of their democratic skills;

  • It should correspond with national, social, cultural and historical contexts

You can contact David Royle on

More detailed information about the project is presented on the web site;

The publications of the Council of Europe on the issues of democratic citizenship –; The information about the European policy neighborhood –


School’s participation in the project

Within the project “Civic Education – Ukraine” 2005-2008 Cherkasy Advanced school #3 took part in the pilot project “Education for democratic citizens”, June 2007 – February 2008

On 1-3 June 2007 the delegation of our school took part in the seminar of charitable organization “Teachers for Democracy and Partnership” on the topic “Estimation of Education quality for Democratic Citizenship”. During the seminar were considered the main issues of education for democratic citizenship (EDC), principals of EDC, processes to provide the possibilities of EDC in schools. Main features of planning the school development were worked out as well being the key component to provide the education quality, the general idea about the planning of school development and school self-estimation as its basis was presented and principals, stages and problems of school self-estimation were researched.

We formed the coordinating board of our school which consisted of wise principals L.M. Barsukova, I.M. Shcherbata, O.O. Bilous and pupils of 8-A form Horb Tetiana and Oliynyk Iryna who received the task to estimate the school activity with respect to EDC. With this purpose the project calendar was developed for the period from 4.06.2007 till 15.09.2007. It included stages of work regarding school self-estimation and terms of their execution, corresponding indicators which should give the possibility to estimate the policy of school with respect to EDC.

School self-estimation was to be realized on the basis of specially developed estimating instruments.

On the first stage of planning school development teachers, pupils, parents were provided with the information about EDC, its principals, directed for understanding the necessity and importance of this concept to improve educational process in the school.

The coordinating group in the process of work involved school teachers, pupils, pupils’ self-government and parents.

Special instruments for the estimation – indicators of estimation corresponding with the principals of EDC and school-wide approach to its activity were used in the work. They present EDC as principal of policy and organization of school and pedagogical process as well.

The following indicators were chosen:

  • School policy with respect to EDC;

  • EDC and school educational plan;

  • Interrelations and style of managing the school life;

  • Procedure of conflicts solution, discrimination counteraction;

  • Participation and involvement, professional and organizational development;


Self-estimation, monitoring and reporting

To collect the information we used different methods: polling, questioning, interview with focus-groups and individual interview, documents analyses.

The information was systemized and analyzed, strong and weak sides of school referring to EDC were determined.

So, special center to solve conflict situations exists in school, it is opened for pupils and teachers. The teachers have knowledge of the special scientific methods of conflict solutions and violence counteraction in school and family. For conflict situation as a rule we use the arguments to teach mutual understanding, respect, and protection of personal dignity. The pupils use intersession including intersession of the children of the same age, teachers, and services of psychologist and social teacher of school or peacefully negotiate the conflicts. The teachers are ready for peaceful solution of disputes and fulfillment intercessor’s functions. Our school has no tradition for open discussion of conflict situations. But sometimes there are the cases when pupils can discriminate each other. Sometimes we can see the cases of unfair behavior of the grown-ups with the children. It happens that the members of the conflict are not satisfied with its solution. The similar conclusion gave the possibility to define the reasons of dissatisfaction.

The parties had no equal possibilities to find a compromise.

One of the parties was looking for the interested persons in their victory. Grown-ups intrusion was not necessary.


Participation and Involvement, Professional and Organizational Development

In the interview the school principal defined that the planning of school development via involvement of school specialists forming dynamic group which gives its propositions on planning for school wise principals, social and psychological service, school librarian and teacher organizer. In principal while planning we take into consideration the ideas of the participants of educational process. The ideas of parents and pupils of the school are defined via annual monitoring of the satisfaction of the educational demands but it is impossible to satisfy these demands to the whole extent because our school has two profiles of education which are not crossed and their educational plans are quite different. Such specialization still has no absolute support by the pupils and their parents because the society supports secondary school standard according to which all subjects to be taught at least to some extent.

According to the principal, 75 % of school development plan corresponds with basic principles of EDC as it composed for all directions of school activity: organizational, control and analytic, methodological educational and socio-psychological. We plan to have the interaction and unity of the specialists for the realization of some or other process.


Self-estimation, monitoring and reporting

To work with this indicator we took the interview with the school principal, wise principal and psychologist. According to this interview it is determined that the school has its own scheme of self-estimation, school management annually reports before parents on annual parents’ conference at the beginning of the year when school work plans are confirmed for the educational year and school principal report before parents by the end of the year.

Respondents mentioned that different monitoring researches are used but not always we have the feedback, it means that there is no wide discussion of monitoring results.

Properly developed are only the criteria to estimate the school work by the results of the educational activity (state attestation, outside independent testing, All-Ukrainian Olympiads on basic subjects, participation in contests and projects). Other forms of questioning, polling with respect to estimation of school work quality still has no formed scale and therefore can find only strong and weak sides, find the problems for the future research or approbation of new forms and methods of work.

Aim: to create the school system of conflicts solution by all participants of educational process of the basic school.


To form the school center for conflicts solution and develop provisions of its activity.

To plan the actions of this center indicating the forms and methods of work with all participants of educational process of the basic school.

To organize the work of the center according to the plan and establish the forms of control and reporting.

To distribute the information about the existence of the center in the school, its task and forms of work.

To choose the forms and methods of teaching the members of the center how to solve the conflicts.


Establish center to solve the conflicts during the educational year.

The developed provisions of center activity discussed with society and agreed by the school board.

The developed plan of the work of the center to solve the conflicts in 2008.

To collect information about the practice of solving conflicts, forms and models of solving pedagogical issues.

The addressing of each member of pedagogical process to the center of solving conflicts.

Prepared models for solving conflicts and forms of reporting before the society.

Reporting about the work of the center of solving conflicts before the society and members of educational process.

To teach and learn to solve the conflicts.


Content of the event and its form

To inform the teachers about the results of school self-estimation by the indicators of EDC.

Explanation of work to the candidates for the establishment of the center for conflicts solution.

Notification of all the participants of school educational process about the establishment of the center.

Installation of “trust box”.

Center meeting to distribute the obligations and authorizations.

Proposals on provisions of the center for conflict solution and their discussion among the participants of the educational process.

Development and confirmation of the provisions of the center for conflict solution taking into consideration made propositions.

Confirmation of the establishment of the center for conflict solution.

2. 2.1 The work with the special literature on the issues of conflict solution.

2.2 Formation of the data base on problematic topic.

2.3 Collection of the recommendations and propositions on the draft work plan of the center for conflict solution.

2.4 Concordance of the forms and methods of work of the center for conflict solution with all participants of the educational school process.

2.5 Confirmation of the plan of work of the center for conflict solution in 2008.

3 3.1 Individual work and consultations connecting with “trust box”, center for conflict solution.

3.2 Weekly meeting of the center for conflict solution with respect to definite situations.

3.3 Monthly reports about the results of conflict solution. Definition “+” and “-“ during woking variants.

3.4 The report of the center for conflict solution for school board.

4 4.1 Working poster with the information about the work of the center for conflict solution.

4.2 Information on school site.

4.3 Presentation of the results of self-estimation and the work of the center for conflict solution.

4.4 Meeting of the teachers, parents conference, report for the society.

Final conference of the project

On the February, 8 the representatives of Cherekasy advanced school #3, members of coordinating groups of the project “Estimation of Education Quality for Democratic Citizenship” L.M. Barsukova – wise principal and T.Horb – pupil of 9-A form took part in the final conference “Results of the Project and Future Challenges for Civic Education”.

Recommendations of the final conference

The participants of the conference came to the common conclusion about four key challenges which remain to be actual for the future development of civic education in Ukraine:

The necessity of clear determination of the content and role of civic education, strategy of its development, its corresponding place and state in educational plan.

Demand in the creation of efficient complex system to prepare the teachers of civic education in pedagogical universities and institutes of after-diploma pedagogical education in particular with the involvement to this activity of the non-governmental organizations having the corresponding experience.

Provision of the future development of the school as democratic society and involvement of pupils to take decisions with respect to the own education and teaching.

The necessity of the monitoring and estimation of the efficiency of civic education in secondary schools.

So, the main challenge is the first one: only after achievement of the clear all-national consensus with respect to the meaning and status civic education we can plan definite events for its implementation.

It is necessary:

  • to overcome stereotypes on the European and Euro-Atlantic integration;

  • to improve the state of the informing of the population and especially the youth of Ukraine about EU and NATO;

  • to form the understanding that to be the citizen means to be active, have initiative, believes of the modern youth and believe that despite the different culture we can live in the atmosphere of the partnership;

  • to make the respect to the person’s rights and supremacy of law by not the slogan but reality.

Teachers and pupils proposed their recommendations with respect to future implementation of civic education.

  • To expand the best experience of the teachers of civic education for example the usage of interactive methods of teaching, forms out-of-class work etc.

  • To hold seminars, conferences, trainings, share experience, exchange by pupils and teachers on the national and the international levels.

  • To provide the results of the project “Civic education – Ukraine” in all schools of Ukraine.

  • To share the best experience of the work of the euro clubs of Ukraine which will help to inform the pupils about the processes of the European and Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine.

  • To continue the realization of the similar projects with attraction of more schools of Ukraine.