WASHINGTON – Fifty educators from five countries are participating in a distance course for Caribbean educators titled ‘Education for Democratic Citizenship in the Caribbean’ (EDCC) since March 9, 2009.
The course was designed to ensure that the classroom can become an early incubator for the cultivation of democratic cultural practices in and among the emerging generations of Caribbean citizens.
The distance course consists of two three month phases. The first is an on line course which will provide educators with the tools – knowledge and skills – needed to complete a follow-on practicum in their classrooms.
Funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and administered by the Organization of American States (OAS), the program is being offered through the University of West Indies (UWI) Open Campus, and is part of a 3-year pilot project The five countries participating in the pilot project include Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago. Over 200 additional educators throughout the Caribbean will participate in the second cohort scheduled to begin in September 2009.
Throughout the three months of the course, educators will be exposed to themes such as Democratic Foundations, Caribbean Citizenship Development, Teacher and Student Behavior in the Classroom, Pedagogical Methods and Professional Reflection and Assessment.
The early 21st Century finds the English-Speaking Caribbean at a crossroads in the development of its democracy. On one hand, the Caribbean boasts of a healthy tradition of adherence to the institutions, norms, and practices of liberal democracy. On the other hand, there is a realization that democracy is a lived reality, and its successes are not only guaranteed by the presence of institutions and law, but by individual attitudes and behavior and by cultural practices which shape human interrelationships.