Research Paper

Teaching the History of Communism - Compendium for history teachers

In its first part this publication contains a survey about the level of knowledge of young people in Bulgaria about the communist regime and the European democratic values. What significance does the educational system assign to the recent history of Bulgaria and what do young people know about the history of dictatorship in Europe as a whole? It turns out that 33 % of young people in Bulgaria have never heard anything about the Berlin Wall, more than 85% are unfamiliar with the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact or Solidarność. According to the survey, 17.5 % of young people prefer to live during the time of the communist dictator Todor Zhivkov, and only 30.8% during the democratic period after 1989. The publication is thus intended as a methodological tool for history teachers and in its second part contains a compilation of best practices from different Central and Eastern European Countries for teaching the history of the communist regimes and their consequences. The aim is to provide a source of inspiration for people working in educational institutions, ministries and even administration and to improve the quality of tuition on the subject. The publication also offers a list of online information sources about this period of Bulgarian history which pupils and teachers can make use of.

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October 2013

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