Quality Control Report

Assessing the Effectiveness of the Teaching of “A History of Democratic Kampuchea (1975-1979)”

Executive Summary: This summary provides an overview of the key findings from data and responses collected during the course of the quality control assessment conducted by the Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-CAM) for its Genocide Education Project. The purpose of the comprehensive quality control is to assess recent and longer-term impacts of the Genocide Education Project on students, teachers, schools administrators, families and the community. The assessment involved a multi-layered approach that involved a series of individual surveys, interviews, observations, and focused group discussions. The scope of the quality control included assessments of teaching and learning of “A History of Democratic Kampuchea” since it was first introduced in 2009 to high schools across Cambodia. The quality control team chose to assess a number of aspects related to the Genocide Education Project, including, among other areas: • The effectiveness of A History of Democratic Kampuchea (1975-1979) as a textbook; • The effectiveness of the Teacher’s Guidebook • The effectiveness of the Student Workbook; • The effectiveness of teacher trainings; • How genocide education contributes to national reconciliation, peace building and global genocide prevention. Overall, the positive outcomes and impact of the Genocide Education Project, which is described in detail throughout the full report that follows, serve as strong indicators of the project’s success over the past three years. As it has expanded across the country, the project has been able to provide valuable insight and opportunities to enhance personal, professional skills and competencies of educators. For educators, the project effectively provides them with historical content, instructional methodologies and materials to improve their instruction in the history of Democratic Kampuchea. Based on the findings from the quality control, the Genocide Education project will likely remain a unique and valuable program that will continue to build on its early successes, providing lasting academic and professional opportunities for educators and their students. Key Findings: The effectiveness of A History of Democratic Kampuchea textbook • All observed teachers strongly agreed or agreed that the content of the textbook is easy to understand. • Almost all teachers strongly agreed or agreed that the textbook is accurate and without political bias. • All surveyed teachers strongly agreed or agreed that the information and content of the textbook enriches the teaching in the classroom. • All schools that were visited had at least 50-100 copies of the textbook in circulation. The number of students who have received copies of the textbook is still small. Among the surveyed students, only 31 percent have copies of the textbook on hand. The other 69 percent relied on their friends’ textbook or textbooks kept at the library. The effectiveness of the Teacher’s Guidebook • The copies of the Teacher’s Guidebook and the unpublished Student Workbook have been distributed only to teachers who have received training on Khmer Rouge history. 

Thus far, about 3,000 teachers have attended DC-Cam’s teacher training. • Almost 96 percent of teachers strongly agreed or agreed that the methods in the guidebook are clearly explained. The same percentage of teachers also strongly agreed or agreed that the lessons facilitate student-to-student discussion and debate. Likewise 96 percent of teachers agreed strongly or agreed that the guidebook facilitates group discussion and provides tools and ways for students to share their work. • Teacher-student interaction continues to suffer as teachers continued to rely more on the traditional teacher-centered approach. Only 30 percent of the teachers surveyed encourage their students to ask questions during the class. • Teachers are beginning to use more group work activities. Seventy-four percent of observed teachers asked students to work in groups. The effectiveness of teacher trainings • As a result of the trainings and increased attention by the Ministry, DK history has been integrated at a greater level within the general curriculum, however oftentimes this integration has been ad hoc and piecemeal due to system-wide time constraints, lack of incentives, and insufficient resources. • Teachers are more competent with implementing student-centered teaching lessons; however there is a continuing reliance on lecture-centered lessons. • Teachers are more open to using student-centered learning methods, however time and resource constraints influence their ability to implement certain approaches. Many teachers admitted that the new methods generated a lot of student interest and eagerness to learn. • Teachers were able to handle the DK history lessons adequately for the secondary school level. Sixty-six percent said that they were able to answer the students’ questions, and 99 percent of teachers appeared knowledgeable in classroom observations. Eighty-one percent also appeared well organized. How genocide education contributes to national reconciliation, peace building and genocide prevention. • Based on interviews, 95 percent of the students surveyed have studied DK history as part of their school curriculum. • Individuals who identify themselves as victims are very supportive of the teaching of DK history; however feelings are mixed from individuals who are former KR cadres. • All students surveyed (100%) believe that crimes occurred during the DK regime. However, the level of belief and the knowledge informing these beliefs varied from age to age.