Proceedings of the Eighth International North American Web Based Learning (NAWEB 2002) Conference, October 19-22, 2002., University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
The Spirit of Democracy project began in the summer of 2000. The project aims to strengthen the commitment to democratic ideals and institutions in Russia. The objective of the project is to enhance the capacity of civic educators to develop and sustain a dynamic and vibrant program of citizenship education. This goal is being met through supporting teachers in Canada and Russia by providing online resources and training that will assist them in engaging their students in a thoughtful consideration of the ideas that shape democratic societies. <br /><br />We live in a new and exciting time. Boundaries between countries and continents are fading, and developments in information technologies and interconnectivity are facilitating the spread of democracy. Web media, by its nature is the most democratic type of modern media and is ideally suited for conveying the 'spirit of democracy'. The Web also serves as a unique source of 'live' information by providing hypertext links to government organizations, international organizations, educational Web sites, and online magazines. The pedagogical approaches adapted by the project include blended learning, situated learning, and creative use of Web media to effectively teach democracy on the Web.<br /><br />The project Web site brings together a community of practice in cyberspace - a community of social studies researchers and teachers from Russia and Canada. We believe that in order for the existing Spirit of Democracy's virtual community to continue to grow and function successfully it would be necessary to create a supporting management framework for a second phase of the project. We believe that a logical extension of the project would be to create a 'Spirit of Democracy' portal that will accommodate resources to support the work of the 'Spirit of Democracy's' community members and Russian-led Centers of Excellence in Civic Education.