Culture of Democracy Through the Didactics of Chemistry

This publication contains the semester plan of a training module for pre-service teachers as well as the detailed planning of all 12 semester units (session plans). This module is intended for primary and secondary school teachers through a combination of pedagogical-content knowledge and democracy. The module included specific chemistry content and attempted to integrate democratic principles and values into the education of future teachers.

The publication is a result of the project Preparing Future Teachers in the Western Balkans: Educating for Democracy & Human Rights 2019–2022, led by the European Wergeland Center. Funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the project provides support for higher education institutions and universities in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia, that are interested in modernizing their teacher education courses, with an aim to improve the quality of teacher education for future teachers in the region.

During the realization of this module, several materials in the field of citizenship and human rights education, developed by the Council of Europe and partners including educators from Western Balkans, were used: Living in Democracy Series, Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture, and Teaching Controversial Issues publication.

The main focus was on the development of new and innovative teacher education modules, emphasizing practice-oriented teaching that promotes citizenship, democracy and human rights. The first module of its kind in North Macedonia, which integrates chemistry and democracy, involved six students and two teacher mentors.

With a combination of theoretical knowledge and school practice, students (future teachers) get the opportunity to learn about additional skills needed in the classroom, but also in everyday life, to think about the value system that each of us carries within, to understand how important it is to listen to others and to express our own opinion and attitude on a particular issue. Moreover, critical thinking is particularly important in chemistry, and the introduction of topics from democracy only reinforces the symbiosis between these two, seemingly different, areas.