On the 14th of May, EUROCLIO, Europeana and Platoniq organized a co-creation workshop entitled “History Education Beyond the Textbook”. History educators, web developers, designers and representatives of historical and cultural heritage institutes were all invited to come up with ideas about possible ways to use Europeana content and sources in history education in general, and in the a framework of Historiana in specific.
Historiana - Your Portal to the Past
The EUROCLIO programme Historiana™ - Your Portal to the Past is an on-line educational multimedia tool that offers students multi-perspective, cross-border and comparative historical sources to supplement their national history textbooks.
Historiana™ might be considered as a digital alternative to a European textbook, however the website does not attempt to present a comprehensive ‘story of Europe’ and its relationship with the rest of the world. It offers a framework for comparing and contrasting the impact on and responses by Europe’s nations to a range of different events and developments which have shaped the world from the distant past to modern times.
Historiana™ promotes the acquisition of cross-border historical knowledge and the development of critical thinking, digital and other transversal competences important for preparing a young generation for active participation as citizens of the 21st Century.
History educators and historians from more than 30 countries have actively contributed to the present on-line tool. Recently also, educators from India, Middle East, North Africa and the United States have expressed an interest in contributing to the website.
Historiana™ will continue to grow as more and more contributors upload suitable material.
The thematic approach has been chosen because looking into history from a thematic angle makes it easier to see connections between historical events, the relevance for the world we live in and legacy that remains. The broad nature of the themes that are chosen makes them relevant for various contexts, so that the material can be used for multiple purposes. The thematic approach makes it possible to trace back long term developments, see and analyze turning points in history and see similarities and difference between events and locations. Through this, it shows what people share, with respect for diversity.
Historiana will be organised around these themes:
People on the Move
People on the move is a common theme in history and heritage as people have been on the move throughout history to escape poverty, famine, plague, war, unemployment, pogroms and political and religious persecution, and many have left their homes in search of a better standard of living for themselves and their families. They moved from rural communities to towns, they crossed borders within Europe, many left Europe in search of a better life and many came to Europe from the rest of the world for the very same reason. All these migrations have contributed to making the Europe and the world what it is today.
Rights and Responsibilities
Rights and Responsibilities is a common theme in history and heritage as ordinary people have been engaged throughout history in a prolonged and sometimes violent struggle against those who wield power and authority over them, whether they are tyrants, absolute monarchs, dictators, totalitarian states, multi-national corporations or democratically-elected governments. Here we look at that struggle; the events, developments, ideas and movements that have shaped this struggle; the steps that have been taken to protect those hard-won rights and the growing recognition that with rights come responsibilities - not least the responsibility to exercise our rights in such a way that they do not infringe on other people's rights.
Life and Leisure
When we look at the history of ordinary people we get a whole new perspective on historical events. We usually know what the generals thought about the battles they fought and won because most of them wrote their memoirs to remind us of their successes and to explain away their failures. But what did the ordinary soldiers, the ones who did the fighting for the generals, think about it all? Well some of them kept diaries, or wrote letters home, or, if they came home safely afterwards, talked about their experiences to other people who had the foresight to write down or record what they were told. Similarly, ordinary people have provided vivid impressions of their individual experiences of social life and leisure activities. Through studying not just the historical record but also art, fashion and literature in different historical periods we can get insights into how aspects of life that everyone experiences can have a very different meaning for people at different times.
Work and Technology
In the 21st century, people associate work with paid employment with technology and the practical application of scientific knowledge. But these are modern definitions. Further back in time work simply meant physical effort - the technologies people used were the tools that they had created to help them do this work. Work and technology have always been two of the main drivers which shape the way we live and behave towards each other. On the one hand they reflect people’s ongoing struggle to sustain themselves and their families. On the other hand, they also reflect the capacity we humans have for creativity, invention and problem solving. No matter what kind of work people are doing, you can be sure some of them are looking for ways to make that work easier, more productive and more efficient.
Conflict and Cooperation
Conflict is a normal part of human behavior. Sometimes conflicts are launched by deliberate intent; often they arise because of miscalculation and misunderstanding. Conflicts tend to arise when individuals or groups find themselves in competition with other individuals or groups. Conflicts may be over sharing a disputed homeland, or sharing scarce resources. Conflicts may occur because people want to protect their own interests, even if this is at the expense of the interests of other people. Conflicts may arise because people want to be the ones who are in control of their area. Conflicts may arise because people fear other people’s intentions towards them, perhaps because efforts at cooperation have broken down. Or it may just be because people feel threatened in some intangible way by others who have a different way of life, different beliefs and values, different friends and allies. However they arise, conflicts are not a permanent way of life and they do not last forever. Conflicts usually get resolved in some fashion, leading to cooperation and perhaps reconciliation.
Ideas and Ideologies
For most of human history religion had a monopoly of providing answers to many of the questions people ask about their world. From the 16th century onwards science increasingly offered an alternative set of answers to those questions. But, of course, people are social animals. People ask questions which scientists are not interested in and, often cannot answer. What is right and wrong? What is good and bad? How does living in a state of nature differ from living in a society? What are our responsibilities and obligations as a member of society and what are our rights? Should our positions in society – our status – depend on who our parents were and how wealthy we are or should everyone be treated as equals? These are important questions about society’s values: how we should live and how we should treat each other.
Traditionally history is the story of human beings, the cultures and societies they have created and the relations between them. But we also need to understand our relationship with nature and, in particular, our relationship with the environment we inhabit. We usually associate the study of the environment with geographers, geologists, biologists, botanists and ecologists. However, the historian provides an additional perspective by looking at the ways in which nature and environment have influenced the course of human history and the impact that human beings have had on their environment. This includes looking at how the environment has changed over time and the impact that this has had on people; the development of human settlements and the creation of a built environment; the ways in which people have used and tried to control natural resources; and the issues that now confront humanity as a result of climate change, rapid population growth and urban development, pollution, deforestation and the depletion of natural resources that cannot be renewed.
Historiana is built on five types of different modules. These modules provide historical context and make use of source material. The modules can take various form, each with its own unique features.
The following types modules will be developed
A case study is an exemplar of something bigger. Each case study is organized around a set of key questions that are slightly different for each theme. The structuring of case studies around key questions allows for comparison between different case studies within a theme.
Each case study contains enough information (sources and narrative) for the user to understand how the context, reasons, experiences and perceptions, consequences and the legacy of whatever the focus of the case study is. In addition, the case studies shows how it is part of something bigger, so that it is easier for those who are not familiar with the history of the case study to make connections. Also, a case study includes suggestions for those who like to find out more about this particular case.
Long Term Development Studies
A Long Term Development (LTD) Study is a type of module that focuses on developments over time. Just like a Case Study, a LTD Study is organized around a set of key question. The difference is that a LTD Study focuses on a series of periods or events, so that comparisons happen within a LTD study, rather than between two studies.
Each LTD study contains enough information (sources and narrative) for the user to understand how the context, reasons, experiences and perceptions, consequences and the legacy changed over time. In addition, the case studies shows how it is part of something bigger, so that it is easier for those who are not familiar with the history of the case study to make connections. Also, a LTD Study includes suggestions for those who like to find out more about this particular Long Term Development.
Source galleries are a selection of sources that are encourage analysis. The galleries include enough examples to demonstrate how these sources can be used, and to bring out the bigger picture.
Specific Timelines offer more than a simple chronological list and are ‘shaped’ to illustrate a key concept linked to trends and developments. Timelines will encourage users to understand wider issues in a chronological context.
Teaching and Learning Ideas
Teaching and learning ideas are suggestions for using the Historiana websitein specific educational settings where the material is probably not being accessed online by the students. A Teaching Idea could be an example of how a topic could be taught to a particular age group; it could be an example of how the material could be used in an informal education setting (such as youth work), it might be designed for teaching students in a particular country, such as Denmark or Italy. Teachers accessing the website might use the whole teaching unit to deliver the case study in their classrooms or they might pick parts from it, or they might use it as a template to help them develop their own teaching unit. We could possibly even have more than one teaching unit based around the same case study.
The following types of Teaching and Learning Ideas exists:
Teaching ideas that are 'generic'. That is, they could be applied to any case study within the theme or even any theme. For example, a method for analyzing historical images.
Teaching ideas which are specific to a certain module. An example is an activity that was designed to help teachers in explaining what happens when multi-cultural societies fragment.
These are the entries we will use:
Instead of being structured around a series of periods and events, as tends to be the case with textbooks and syllabuses, the Historiana website is structured around broad historical theme. The thematic approach makes it possible to trace back long-term historical developments, identify turning points in history, and understand the forces and dynamics that shape history.
On the Historiana website the themes can be accessed via the Home Page, via the Top Menu, and were relevant via Connections in the Right Menu.
Locations can be accessed via a zoomable map on the home menu or via the topmenu. The following types of locations are included on the Historiana website:
Locations can be accessed via the Home Page, via the Top Menu, and were relevant via Connections in the Right Menu.
The overarching timeline is designed as a reference point in time for users. The Overarching Timeline is NOT designed to give a comprehensive overview and should be
The Overarching Timeline contains approximately:
People provides access to ‘Historical Figures’ and ‘Groups and Categories’ that are included in the Historiana website. The Groups and Categories are included under People to recognize the importance of ordinary men and women for history.
Within the Historical Figures section, Groups and Categories can be used as a filter, which means
On the Historiana website locations can be accessed via the Home Page, via the Top Menu, and were relevant via Connections in the Right Menu.
Key Words help to make connections between different themes and modules. Key Words can be accessed via the Home Menu and when they are placed as connection in the Right Menu.
Did you know?
An entry that only appears on the Home Page of the Historiana Website. The ‘Did you Know?’ entry gives interesting attention grabbing facts and functions as a Hook to lead users to a module where they can find out more about the fact that interested them in them.
The following people are involved in the development of Historiana
- Dzintra Liepina – History Teachers Association Latvia
- Harald Geiss – Bundeszentrale fur Politische Bildung, Germany
- Joke van der Leeuw-Roord – EUROCLIO – European Association of History Educators
- Mire Mladenovski – Macedonian History Teachers Association
- Robert Stradling – Blueprint Research Centre (University of Edinburgh), United Kingdom (Editor in Chief)
- Yosanna Vella – Maltese History Teachers Association and University of Malta
- Agnete Holst Andersen – Danish History Teachers Association
- Annemarie Cottaar – Centre for the History of Migration, the Netherlands
- Benny Christensen – Danish History Teachers Association
- Elarbi Imad - Moroccan Center for Civic Education
- Elma Hasimbegovic – EUROCLIO-HIP, Museum of history of Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Ivan Dukic – Croatian History Teachers Association
- Ineke Veldhuis Meester- VGN, Dutch Association of History Educators
- Marína Zavacká – Institute of History, Slovak Academy of Sciences
- Semih Aktekin - History Educators Association, Karadeniz Technical University, Turkey
- Sylvia Semmet – VGD - German History Teachers Association, Germany
- Chris Rowe - Council of Europe Expert, United Kingdom
- David Parra – Spanish Association of History and Geography Educators
- Hanna Kokkonen - The Association for Teachers of History and Social Studies in Finland
- Joanna Wojdon - Institute of History, University of Wroclaw
- Lóa Steinunn Kristjánsdóttir - History Teachers Association of Iceland
- Maria Gregoriou - Association of Historical Dialogue and Research, Cyprus
- Marzia Gigli - Peace School Foundation of Monte Sole, Italy
- Neil Douglas Roderick Mclennan - Scottish History Teachers Association
- Nicolas Smaghue - Association des Professeurs d'Histoire et Geographie, France
- Bodo von Borries (Emeritus) – University of Hamburg, Germany
- Bogdan Murgescu – EUSTORY, the History Network for Young Europeans
- Dean Smart – EUROCLIO – European Association of History Educators
- Harald Geiss – Bundeszentrale fur Politische Bildung, Germany
- Jill Cousins – EUROPEANA, the digital European Library
- Joke van der Leeuw-Roord – EUROCLIO - the European Association of History Educators
- Karl Donert – EUROGEO - the European Association of Geographers
- Margherita Sani – NEMO, the Network of European Museum Organisations
- Maria Grever – Centre for Historical Culture (Erasmus University), the Netherlands.
- Richard Hermans – Netherlands Institute for Heritage
- Robert Maier – Georg Eckert Institute, Germany
- Robert Stradling – Blueprint Research Centre (University of Edinburgh)
- Ruth Fisher – Understanding Slavery Project, United Kingdom
- Laurie Neale, Europa Nostra – The Voice of Cultural Heritage in Europe
- Steven Stegers, EUROCLIO – European Association of History Educators
- Geert Kessels, EUROCLIO – European Association of History Educators
- Historiana Powerpoint Presentation (11-10-2011) (13.11 MB)
- Introduction to Historiana
- Historiana Flyer
- Introduction to the theme People on the Move
- Introduction to the theme Rights and Responsibilities
- Introduction to the theme Conflict and Cooperation
- Introduction to the theme Ideas and Ideologies
- Introduction to the theme Life and Leisure
- Introduction to the theme Work and Technology
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
In the Hague, on 24 April the Europeana Foundation Board, where EUROCLIO is member, was meeting to discuss a long agenda. Except for the ordinary topics, two issues stood out.
The aim of the co-creation workshop is to facilitate cooperation between the partners working on Historiana and the other EuropeanaCreative partners in order to further stimulate the re-use of Europeana’s cultural heritage resources through the Historiana portal. To reach this goal there will be attendants from the field of content providers and history educators. Web developer Webtic and editors Bob Stradling and Ineke Veldhuis-Meester will participate on behalf of the Historiana team.
Partner organisations representing, Creative Industries, Tourism, Education Professionals, Living Labs, Webdevelopers, Business Planning, Museums and Cultural Heritage Institutions came together on February 21st at the Austrian National Library to kick-off the EuropeanaCreative project in which EUROCLIO is a partner. The project will demonstrate that Europeana can facilitate the re-use of cultural heritage content made available by a diverse set of organisations. EUROCLIO role in the project is stimulate the re-use of this content by history educators.
Regular readers of the EUROCLIO website and newsletter may recall that in September 2012 it was announced that the digital portal Europeana was opening up its dataset of over 20 million digitised images, documents and other cultural objects for free re-use. Given that so many of these objects relate to history and heritage this has important implications for history educators everywhere, but particularly across Europe.