(Bulgaria, Sophia, November 2005)
A series of workshops on pedagogy for teachers, principals and educators were held in Sophia, Bulgaria to share knowledge on moral and creative education. Authors writing on pedagogy also attended the educational workshops, held from 22 to 25 November 2005.
A Pioneering Breakthrough for the Moral Educational Project
Founders and members of the project, “Moral and Creative Education”, representing schools from Russia, Bulgaria and other countries, gathered for a series of workshops in Sophia to step up the launch of a new model of educational books.
At a press conference held in Sophia, founders of the project; authors of books for children; and many eminent educationalists presented the project, "Moral and Creative Education". The project, a pioneer amongst educational institutions, is devoted to the advancement of good educational practice; training and research; and the development of books and educational materials. Amongst its achievements are the following:
A Revised Series of Books on Moral Education, comprising more than 18 titles;
Educational Poetry Books for Children;
Induction Manuals for teachers, school management and parents;
International Networking Opportunities;
Teacher Training Programmes;
A website on Moral Education (Russian version www.dobrieskazki.ru ) and
... (English version www.kindbook.com ), and
E-books on Moral Education.
More about our vision and goals
The challenge is to deliver more appropriate books on moral and creative education which strike a balance between modern educational methods and scientific heritage and culture. Bulgarian TV showed a great interest in the ideas of moral education and showcased this vital project to millions of people by highlighting this workshop in its local news programme.
The project motivated that teacher training should focus on imparting universal values to students and must involve the following:
Identifying reading books on moral and creative education;
Collecting published reading books on moral education;
Introducing school subjects, such as mathematics and science through interesting tales, interactive tasks and creative games;
Grading and evaluating students;
Field testing in the classroom;
Compiling recommended reading lists that are categorized into different levels and grades;
Translating material into English and compiling a new series of educational books and resources for teachers and educators. Publishers should also be made aware that there are many educational conferences where they can display, market and sell their books since the market is growing fast, and
Developing and marketing a series of e-books on moral education.
The Agenda for the Workshops in Sophia
On the first day of the workshops, 22 November 2005, a press conference was held. This appeared on Bulgaria TV's evening news at 19:30. The news programme featured this project, as well as the course on moral education being conducted by Terry Madison at school number 32.
A three-hour workshop for teachers and psychologists, which attracted more than 40 educators from different schools, was also held on Day One of the workshops.
A two-day workshop was conducted for teachers of elementary schools and psychologists on the second day, 23 November 2005. Eighteen educators from different schools were present at this workshop which ended on 24 November 2005.
A meeting for teachers, as well as a round table on the problems facing moral education, was conducted on Day Three, 24 November 2005. Twenty participants from different schools were invited to attend this meeting indicating that teachers are very concerned about the aspects and challenges of moral education. Some of the teachers shared their ideas on moral education and were already conducting lessons using materials presented at these workshops – their lessons had been met with a positive response.
On 25 November 2005, Day Four of the workshops, a three-hour workshop was conducted for teachers and psychologists. Seventeen educators from different schools attended the workshop. The level of interest in the books, as well as the theme of the workshop, was great. Unfortunately, at this stage of the programme, all the books were sold out.
This workshop involved practical consultation with educationists about conducting classes for children and introducing the new approach.
The workshops concluded with a plenary session that summarised the proceedings and developed a plan of action for the future. This included opportunities for future cooperation; and setting the date, venue and agenda for the next meeting on moral education.
In an interview on national radio, the organisers of the workshops said that they had been surprised at the depth of interest in the programme. They undertook the responsibility of providing as much information as possible on the moral education project in the future.
A Newspaper Article
A Russian newspaper (Name) published an informative article entitled, "Morals are the corner stone of a civilization". The author of this article, a teacher from school number 32 in Bulgaria, attended the workshops on moral and creative education.
In this brief note, all of the statements, ideas and concerns of teachers and parents cannot be incorporated. However, it was surprising that some teachers came to the workshops with feelings of skepticism because they had already tried to explain moral rules to children. However, moral teachings are not always well perceived by children if it is not supported by examples taken from the culture of different people. What needs to be reiterated is that these lessons won't have any prolonged effect if it is not taught on a regular basis and supported by practical, creative tasks. Besides, children often see examples of immoral behaviour and misconduct and it is therefore important to help them understand the true values of life.
Without a doubt, Bulgaria shows great potential for continuing the project on moral education since:
- Teachers are in need of materials and books on moral education;
- Teachers understand Russian and Russian books can thus easily be used by teachers (During one seminar, 100 books were distributed but this was insufficient);
- In Sofia there are shops which stock Russian books;
- There would be no difficulties to translate books into Bulgarian or to publish a book or particular compilation, provided that there are publishing houses interested in this project, and
- Teachers are interested in regular practical seminars on moral education and can understand Russian.
Galina Lilova from the Ministry of Education, the inspector on Russian language, participated in the workshops for two days. She purchased a complete set of the books and rated the books and workshops highly. The project organisers were assured that further cooperation with this Ministry could open greater opportunities in the realization of the project.
Maria Skrebtsova and Alexandra Lopatina.