Individual Advanced Research Opportunities (IARO) Program Research Report

Type Report
Title Individual Advanced Research Opportunities (IARO) Program Research Report
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2008
Publisher American University
National history textbooks are controversial in post-Soviet Moldova, where the government and
the intellectual elite have differing concepts of the nation and national identity (Casu 2005; King
2000). On September 1, 2006, the Ministry of Education replaced the existing national history
curriculum, History of the Romanians, with a new one, Integrated History. The latter, developed
under guidance from the Council of Europe, presents national history in the context of a larger
world history. This new curriculum, which also encompasses civic education, was implemented
by the government without the support of prominent historians. Since it was first proposed in
2003, it has met public resistance, skepticism, and fierce criticism from university professors,
journalists, and historians. Critics accuse the new curriculum of glorifying Soviet achievements and denying citizens’ ethnic Romanian identity.1
Proponents defend the new curriculum
because it fosters multiculturalism by including the histories of national minorities and promotes
citizenship (Anderson 2005; van der Leeuw-Roord 2002).
This project aimed to examine teachers’ responses to Integrated History after its first two years
of implementation, building on a prior study tracing curriculum development since 2003.
Teachers’ loyalties may be divided between their duties as state employees and their beliefs as
private citizens. My hypothesis was that Integrated History is more controversial in theory than
in the actual practice of teaching it.2
To test this hypothesis, I proposed a three-month research
trip to fulfill the following two objectives:
1. To determine the variation and range of the responses and attitudes of
secondary school history teachers toward the new curriculum.
2. To analyze the relationship of teachers at the local level to both the Ministry of
Education and to critics of the new curriculum.

Related studies