Drs. Alden Craddock (left) and Awad Ibrahim

Drs. Alden Craddock (left) and Awad Ibrahim

BGSU gets $1 million for democratic education in Middle East

The International Democratic Education Institute at BGSU has received $1,060,000 from the Higher Education Development program office of the U.S. Agency for International Development to conduct the Civic Education Partnership Initiative in Lebanon and Morocco.

Dr. Alden Craddock, School of Teaching and Learning and director of the institute, and Dr. Awad Ibrahim, School of Leadership and Policy Studies, will lead the effort to assist Lebanese and Moroccan educators in developing democratic citizenship curricula for schools and universities in both countries.

The IDEI-led partners include the Lebanese American University and Lebanese Center for Civic Education in Lebanon, the Hassan II University and Moroccan Center for Civic Education in Morocco, and the Center for Civic Education in Calabasas, Calif. The organizations will work together to advance democratic citizenship education policy and practice in Lebanon and Morocco, based on the successful model IDEI has used with previous partnerships in Poland, South Africa and Ukraine.

“Being awarded this grant is really a testament to the success of our institute's efforts in our other partnerships,” Craddock said. “I believe our success results from the fact that we don't tell our partners what to do or simply translate our materials for them. Instead, we work together to provide them with an understanding of our experience, both good and bad, and trust them to choose what they think will work in their context.”

Activities will begin immediately with travel to the region to begin planning for the three-year project. Within a year's time, educators from both Lebanon and Morocco will come to BGSU to participate in an intensive curriculum development seminar and to work with teachers in the local community. Other program activities will include developing teacher education courses and conducting a series of educational workshops in Lebanon and Morocco.

According to Craddock, the partnership has benefits for all. “While these programs are technically done to help others, we've found that all parties learn a great deal and that our understanding of democracy and democratic citizenship grows with each experience.”

For additional information about IDEI, see

December 18, 2006