Materials

LESSONS FROM THE PAST: WHAT HAPPENED BEFORE '89?

During a sociological study, realised in the framework of the national initiative “25 years free Bulgaria”, it became apparent that young people in Bulgaria have serious knowledge gaps when it comes to the Communist period in the country. At the same time, the information they do have is largely based on the personal memories of their relatives and friends instead of on knowledge gained from textbooks and books.
The project “Lessons from the past: what happened before ’89?” which started in March 2016 was conducted under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria Rossen Plevneliev. Support for Sofia Platform is provided by the America for Bulgaria foundation. The statements and opinions expressed herein are solely those of Sofia Platform and do not necessarily reflect the views of the America for Bulgaria Foundation or its affiliates.

The project includes a number of activities aiming at engaging both students and the general public in a conversation about the Bulgarian history in the period 1944 – 1989. In the framework of the project thirty open lessons for high school students indifferent towns all over the country will be organised on topics, related to the communist rule in Bulgaria. In addition, fifteen seminars for history teachers will take place with the aim of sharing good educational practices in teaching the subject matter. Five lectures for university students will familiarise future Bulgarian journalists with the work of Georgi Markov and the prize, given in his name, by Radio BBC. Finally, showings of the exhibition “Breaks in the wall” by Petar Baytchev, depicting former prisoners from Belene will be organised in five Bulgarian towns.

All of the above will be accompanied by free and easily accessible online materials, including an online course on Bulgarian history from the period 1944 – 1989 for students and two handbooks – one for teachers and one for students – on the same topic.

 

Sofia Platform presents our newest publication: Instruments for Teaching Recent History: Lessons from the  Past.

A primary impediment in teaching history of the Bulgarian communist period is the lack of adequate teacher trainings on contemporary teaching methods. This is especially true when it comes to the recent past because many teachers have witnessed this period personally. The methods, included in this manual, have been tested with over 200 history teachers from the entire country. With their help, we created this publication. The book is targeted at highschool history teachers but the instruments can be used by anyone teaching civic education.

The publication is available online for free (in Bulgarian) here.

 

After working with thousands of students and hundreds of history teachers in the past three years we have come to the conclusion that they do not find the study material about the recent past engaging or adequate. For this reason, with the help of leading historians, we published an accessible and easy-to-read collection composed of the nine most important topics, related to communism in Bulgaria. Our goal is not to replace, but to complement the history textbook by giving students the opportunity to learn important, and sometimes little known, fact about the period before ’89.

The publication is available online for free (in Bulgarian) here.