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Teaching materials on the EU

Background

Euro-criticism is here to stay. Zero criticism exist only in totalitarian regimes where critics are not having a voice. As long as euro-critics or euro-sceptics make up a relatively small group of citizens, they are an important part of a healthy democratic culture of any society. Critics send vital signals as their criticism may be well grounded. However, when it is not, it is founded in misconceptions, stereotypes, and additionally amplified by social networks and disinformation campaigns. If citizens, especially young people, are having limited to no exposure to plausible counter narratives to misconceptions and are ill equipped to think critically, they are easily susceptible to populist slogans and misconceptions about democracy and Europe.

Recent challenges to the EU, such as the migration crisis, Brexit, COVID-19, growing illiberal trends in some member states (MS), have had their impact on us in Bulgaria too. The public conversation about double standards is gaining momentum in many societies in the EU – a sentiment shared by many Eastern Europeans, citizens of former East Germany included.

The Idea

The aim of the project is to provide teaching materials that challenge popular misconceptions about the EU in Bulgaria. Specifically, we aim to foster a more accurate understanding among humanities students and their teachers of the role of the EU, its policies and institutions, as well as the role of the Member States (MS).

How? By:

  • Mapping the existing attitudes, stereotypes and misconceptions in Bulgaria on the EU.
  • Producing 5 online video lectures for high-school students jointly with an expert team and the popular online teaching platform ucha.se and by making them available as a free resource.
  • Designing 5 lesson plans for teachers, focusing on methods and strategies for tackling these misconceptions in class.
  • Organizing a series of so called open lectures in schools outside of Sofia, to support teachers in using the materials and informal methods of teaching controversies.

Where can you find the video lectures?

The first video lecture will be available on May 7 evening and the second one will be coming on Europe Day May 9 morning. The rest of the video lectures you'll be able to find by the end of May. Those will be published on this page below, as well as on our YouTube page and at ucha.se! We hope you'll enjoy them! And the lesson plans will be available on time for the new academic year this autumn.

 

The teams behind the project

The EU Explained: Beyond the Misconceptions is a project developed by the Sofia Platform Foundation with the support of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Sofia.

The video lessons are developed by Sofia Platform Foundation's team of experts and the online educational platform ucha.se: