Schoolchildrens’ Attitudes in Armenia: What Kind of Impact Has Civic Education Had?

Diana Ter-Stepanyan evaluated the effectiveness of the civic education training program implemented in Armenian high schools (upper grades of secondary schools). She conducted a quantitative (questionnaire based) survey among 494tenth grade schoolchildren from all of Armenia’s regions to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of “Human Rights,” “Civil Society” and “State and Law” courses offered since 2001 in the scope of the civic education program in the schools. Particularly, she evaluated the knowledge and attitudes of schoolchildren in regard to various laws, crimes and punishment options, the role of the state, human rights and their violation, the need for and the topics to be included in the law courses offered in the schools.
The results of the survey indicate that, despite having a course on civic education, Armenian schoolchildren still possess controversial opinions/attitudes on various legal issues. For instance, only 48% of surveyed schoolchildren were ready to unconditionally follow the laws, while the rest mentioned that they would only follow the laws if they reflected Armenian traditions and social values. Furthermore, only 40% of schoolchildren accepted the role of the court as a mechanism to regulate disputes.

Such research cries out for a governmental response.
In parallel with educating schoolchildren on civic education, Ter-Stepanyan recommended to convey certain values to the children which would motivate them to follow the laws. She also recommended providing training to the teachers of civic education and developing interactive training materials which would increase the effectiveness of the training sessions.

Information about Ter-Stepanyan’s work, along with other CRRC-Armenia fellows can be found here.