EUROCLIO’s project team “Learning History That Is Not Yet History” announced as winner of the 2019 Global Pluralism Award

Deborah Ahenkorah (Ghana), the Center for Social Integrity (Myanmar) and ‘Learning History That Is Not Yet History’ (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia) recognized as outstanding leaders promoting inclusion worldwide.

Ottawa, Canada – October 15, 2019 – On October 15th 2019, the Global Centre for Pluralism announced the three winners of the 2019 Global Pluralism Award: Deborah Ahenkorah – a young Ghanaian social entrepreneur and book publisher bringing African children’s stories to life; the Center for Social Integrity - an organization giving youth from conflict-affected regions in Myanmar the skills and voice to be leaders for change amidst the many overlapping conflicts ongoing in the country; and ‘Learning History that is not yet History’ - a network of history educators and specialists in the Balkans pioneering a new approach to teaching the controversial history of conflict.

The Global Pluralism Award celebrates achievement and excellence in the field of pluralism. The Award is presented once every two years to individuals, organizations, governments and businesses of any nationality. Through their remarkable and sustained achievements, awardees contribute to building more inclusive societies in which human diversity is protected.

The winning project, ‘Learning History that is not yet History’, was carried out by a team (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia) of historians and educators who have been working for over 16 years to develop a responsible way of teaching the history of conflict in the former Yugoslavia. Recognizing that teachers often feel ill-equipped to teach these sensitive and controversial topics, the network created an online database of free resources and provides training for teachers. They represent the only regional effort to provide a non-biased approach to learning and teaching about the recent wars.

EUROCLIO wishes to thank everyone involved in this project: the project team Aleksander Todosijević, Nataša Kostić, Emina Zivković, Bojana Dujković-Blagojević, Melisa Forić, Marija Naletilić, Dea Marić, Igor Jovanović, Miljenko Hajdarović, Miloš Vukanović, Igor Radulović, project experts Mire Mladenovski, Marko Šuica, Edin Veladzić, Saša Knežević, Snjezana Koren, Aleksandar Jakir and project managers Jonathan Even-Zohar and Judith Geerling.

Everyone in this project has showed true dedication to working towards an inclusive history teaching and we could not be prouder of  the work that has been produced.

Thank you again to everyone who made this project a success!

Report: Estonian History Teacher Association’s summer school

Lars Peter Visti Hansen EUROCLIO

The Estonian History Teacher Association's (EHTA) summer school took place from the 14th  to 16t of August 2019.  EUROCLIO Board Secretary Lars Peter Visti Hansen shares his experience there.

Earlier this year, from the 14th of August 2019 to the 16th I was invited to participate in the Estonian History Teacher Association’s (EHTA) summer school. The summer school is a major event in the series of events EHTA organize every year and it has taken place every year since the country (re-)gained its independence. It attracts a large number of EHTA members from all over Estonia and therefore provides a lucky foreigner like me with a chance of meeting teachers at all ages from all over the country.

Every year the summer school is organized in a different region and with a different theme. This year the focus was on the almost disappeared minority of Estonian Swedes who lived in the western part of the country up until the Second World War. At this time, many Estonian Swedish people whose families had lived in Estonia for many generations fled the country, many of them “returning” to neutral Sweden. This was a rough experience but not as harsh as the destiny that awaited those who chose to stay, who fell victim to the war.

Even though the Estonian Swedes are no longer present you can still find their houses, graveyards and churches, some of which have been restored in recent years. In Haapsalu, where the summer school was held, you will even find a cultural centre dedicated to the story and the traditions of the Estonian Swedes, keeping their history alive. There are a lot of histories you will only know if you either stumble upon them or someone makes an effort to tell you about them. For me, the history of the Estonian Swedes is one of those little known but none the less interesting histories that lets you see (Estonian) history in a new light.

Most of the conference was held at the beautiful newly renovated High School in Haapsalu, with excursions to nearby sites. I participated in the summer school along with other guests from Lithuania, Georgia, Russia, the Netherlands and Finland, who each made a contribution to the conference, for my part a presentation of a) the work of the Danish History Teachers´ Association and b) how history exams are organized in High Schools in Denmark.

The Summer School was very well organized and it was a great chance for me to be present and explore Estonia´s rich history. I would like to thank the Estonian History Teachers´ organization and especially the chairman Madis Somelaar for their professionalism and hospitality, which I hope I will be able to return in some way in the future.

Report: EUROCLIO Summer School in Osijek

Denis Detling EUROCLIO

EUROCLIO’s 2019 5th Regional Summer School: “Diversity and Violence” was held in Osijek, Croatia, August 22-24 2019. EUROCLIO Board Member Denis Detling reports: 

In august 2019, the regional cooperation of teachers continued with EUROCLIO Summer School in Osijek under the name: “Diversity and violence: rethinking approaches in history education”. Even though some of the participants were not history teachers, the focus was on new teaching methods in the light of the current reforms of the school systems in the region.

This summer school focused on the two great conflicts that happened in this region: World War II and the Croatian War of Independence (Homeland War). More attention was given to the teaching of the Croatian War of Independence, especially on topics which lack sources such as the process of reintegration of Eastern Slavonia, Baranya and Western Sirmium (to this date, the most successful UN peace mission (UNTAES) which lasted from 1996 to 1998).

Participants were given the opportunity to visit the Memorial complex “Batinska bitka” (Battle of Batina), which is mostly forgotten, and learned about new ways of teaching about it. In fact, the only people remembering this battle are either those whose ancestors died in this battle, or those attending local schools. On the second day, participants visited the Memorial Centre of Homeland War Vukovar. The narrative there related only military history, while the viewpoints of victims and the mentioning of the rebellion were overlooked. This presented a problem for the colleagues who are not familiar with the conflict. The next visits were The Memorial Cemetery of the Victims of Homeland War, the site of the mass grave at Ovčara and The Place of Memory – Vukovar Hospital. There the focus was on the victims, and remembering them with dignity regardless of their nationality.

An emotionally easier experience was visiting the Museum of Slavonia, the host of this summer school where the workshops and debates took place. There, the participants could see the Ancient Roman collection and the history of Tvrđa, Osijek and the nearby region. The tour ended with the current temporary exhibition “Omladinske radne akcije – dizajn ideologije. In addition, the works of the artists from Srebrenica 2018 were displayed (the exhibition was opened in July 2019). In short, there was no lack of resources.

The last day was especially interesting when the participants of UNTAES reintegration, Tihomir Živić and Kristina Babić, talked about the whole process (unfortunately, the other side of this peace mission was not present). Nikica Torbica along with some of his students joined, and the teachers were divided into groups to help write a lesson plan about these topics (everyone helped a lot).

The host of this event was represented by Nansen Dialogue Centre Osijek and with the historiographic project “Learning history that is not yet history” (LHH, devedesete.net). This project included colleagues from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro. Judith Geerling presented EUROCLIO to the participants. This Summer School hosted members from twelve countries (Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Denmark, Ireland, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia). Unfortunately our colleague Miloš Vukanović from Montenegro could not come. Participants visited several important historic sites; they listened to the different narratives, and got a more nuanced version of the facts. However, we are still a long way from reaching a fully multi-perspective approach. As Dea Marić mentioned, it will need the inclusion of more than just stories from conflicted sides in these events.

What happened in wartime, stays in the archive?

Jonathan Even-Zohar Association, EUROCLIO

New national pilot in The Netherlands explores the digitisation of the judicial archive of the post-war persecution of collaborators.

On Friday 13th September over 100 Dutch archivists, historians and other researchers gathered in Amsterdam at the Trippenhuis, seat of the Royal Academy of Science for a very interesting conference “Connect the Dots”. EUROCLIO asked me to attend as an Ambassador, in particular to see which relevance the content may have for education. Well, in short, not much. Not yet, at least. I did however take plenty of notes and am happy to share these with you if you have a further interest. In this report I’ll illustrate some of the fundamental issues which were presented and debated during a very interesting day.

What is it all about?

The TRIADO project essentially seeks to make one very specific archive more accessible. The Centraal Archief Bijzondere Rechtspleging is the archive of the post-war legal instrument employed to persecute Dutch collaborators and war criminals who supported the Nazi occupation, volunteered in the Nazi war machine, ‘hunted’ the Jews and cracked down on the anti-occupation resistance. This archive of over 14 kilometers of jurisprudence and legal documentation is available at the National Archives, but only by researchers and historians who apply and obtain special approval to see them. In 2025 this legal restriction will expire.

  • Short series of interviews about the project can be viewed here (Dutch)
  • Detailed technical implementation report here (English)

Essentially, the TRIADO project, is a pilot to see what possibilities exist to digitise this special archive and make it more accessible. Big questions arise from this opportunity:

  • Should a digital archive which is that sensitive be available online?
  • What about privacy and information of individuals?
  • How can members of the public, if they are given more access, be supported in responsibly interpreting this archive?

Generally, the meeting was illustrative on a wide variety of challenges and opportunities of The Netherlands Dealing with the Past of collaboration and persecution in the process of the digitisation and the opening up of the special Tribunal archives.

What were some of the interesting issues?

A National 5-Year Documentary

To mark and document this process, the Dutch National Broascaster NOS has dedicated reporter Mr Lex Runderkamp, to follow the developments of this process between 2020 and 2025. As a war correspondent, most recently in Syria, he had always asked himself if he had done enough to raise awareness in the world on the importance of not looking away from crimes against humanity and genocide. A notion he illustrated with the post-war expression in the Netherlands “we did not know”. I found it quite special that the Dutch broadcaster has engaged in a project of five years to see where this will lead to. In particular in 2019-2020, we can see a lot of special attention given to the 75 years anniversary of the end of World War Two. This project puts a focus on war crime, strife and collaboration which is otherwise missing in the public eye.

Fear of the Data

Researchers during this day expressed a general excitement that this archive would be become searchable digitally on full-text level, and were somewhat taken by the presented prototypes which also stimulate them to ask new questions about the nature of collaboration in The Netherlands, for example about average age, types of families, environmental factors, and much more. But eminent sociologist Abram De Swaan expressed his concerns regarding the promise of Big Data in historical and sociological research. One example which he gave was that even if we would have all the wartime diaries digitised, the essential controversy about the big questions (did the citizens know of the Nazi regime horrors? Did they willingly participate, or could they have done more to resist, etc.), would have still been the same. He also pointed to various forms of bias in the sources which are obtained in the process of a trial, where actors act out of social desirability.

Privacy, Memory and History

The current archive is said to be the most consulted physical archive in the country. Ancestors are looking for very personal answers. Who betrayed my grandmother? What crimes was my uncle responsible for? Because of this, the archive carries large emotional loads. During the conference matters around anonymity came up a lot. At the same time a creeping desire to ‘get over it’ and ensure youth today are able to learn from this collection and part of history emerged. It seems to me that this archive tiptoes along the thin line that divides memory and history. Enabling full-text access to his, at the same time, including the opportunities for linked data, was recognised during the conversations as a big risk. One can only imagine a linked open data sort of ‘collaboration heat map’, or worse.

Digital humanities, Design and Diction

The project is coordinated by a network organisation called Netwerk Oorlogsbronnen, which in itself seeks to connect the worlds of research, heritage and technology. A particular presentation about the technical development of this pilot by the Director of the Royal Academy of Science Humanities cluster showed in great details the levels normally not considered by users of technological innovations. It was also very interesting to hear the important European and international infrastructures in digital humanities (such as Clariah, Clarin, Dariah, Cessda, Time Machine, Europeana, Dbpedia and more),on which such a pilot can flourish. It amazed me how much of our language in such projects has become tuned to technological design and development tongue, and can only hope researchers benefit from such projects and the cross-disciplinary learning it offers.

So?

Ultimately, this day took existing questions into a new arena. Researchers affirmed that critical source analysis is important, especially with such a sensitive and somewhat chaotic and technical archive as the War Tribunals one. The desire to provide better service to the "history-hungry” public is worth-while, but each steps should be considered very carefully. The issue of privacy kept coming back. The digital age and the long life of content online presents a special risk in the context of living memories of war which spark emotions of sadness and shame. I will seek to keep following this process over the coming years as well, and one particular issue remained open: what about education?

Jonathan Even Zohar-Zohar (Evenzo Consultancy) is the former Executive Director of EUROCLIO. He continues to represent EUROCLIO as an Ambassador. 

Photo credits: Zoeken door CABR-dossiers | Fotoalbum 'Centraal Archievendepot Justitie' | Archief Ministerie van Justitie

Sharing European Histories meets in The Hague

Veronika Budaiová Project Updates

In today’s diverse society, everyone has its own understanding or interpretation of historical events. The opening up of a space to engage with the dissonant and often conflictual nature of European history is the first step in discovering common positions or overcoming divisions while acknowledging these existing differences.

The Sharing European Histories project core goal is to develop innovative teaching strategies for educators across Europe, designed to help young people better understand the different perspectives and the complexities of our shared European past.

At this 2nd Meeting of the Sharing European Histories project, EUROCLIO director Steven Stegers emphasised the need to create educational resources and tools which that in fact will be used by teachers. The purpose of the meeting was three-fold: peer-review of the strategies, agreement on a plan of action in completing the strategies, and the peer-review of a new Historiana tool.

During the meeting all contributors had the opportunity to share their strategies with their peers and receive suggestions for the future development. Among the contributors were Helen Snelson (UK), Joanna Wojdon (Poland), Elisabete Pereira (Portugal), and Gentian Dejda (Albania). Helen Snelson introduced her strategy focusing on using life stories which teaches students about the complexity of the past. The strategy, addressing the period 1989-2000, incorporates an intergenerational dialogue that deconstructs the idea of what it means to be an eyewitness to the past. It encourages students to talk to people they know that have a story about the past and to take ownership of what they are learning by bringing together the lived past and what is talked about or what we are told is important. Her strategy relates these memories to maps and timelines to interrogate which parts are actually remembered.

The second strategy, designed by Joanna Wojdon, focuses on public history in wider society. It follows the historical path of Wroclaw by looking at historical plaques to see how changes and ethnic groups are represented; who is or is not represented? From which point of view are turning points memorialised? Where did the plaques come from and who put them up? Why are they where they are and for what purpose?

This strategy stimulates an awareness in students of the constructed nature of history and teaches them how to deconstruct the contemporary message. An element could be to find other commemorative elements (i.e. monuments or street names) in a city or town, or to assign students the task to construct their own plaques.

The third strategy proposed by Elisabete Pereira uses object biographies to foster curiosity for the complexity of the past. In this strategy, students looks at science and history. Scientists do not think in terms of nationalism or politics, but in terms of innovation and how this took place across borders. The last strategy proposed by Gentian Dedja looks at medieval figures that surpass ethic borders. The aim of the strategy is to critically analyse chosen historical figures and deconstruct historical narratives of “national heroes” claimed by different groups

The challenge for all the developers for the next step in the project is to make sure that their strategies can be easily adapted and applied across Europe and in different historical contexts.

The final item on the agenda for the meeting was to offer a feedback on the new Historiana tool. The purpose of the tool is to deconstruct historical sources by gradually revealing information. EUROCLIO’s Steven Stegers explained three ways for which the tool can be used: analysing images, tracing the history of objects, tracing the spread of ideas.

The team finally decided on the further course of action which will include finalisation of forms for stages 1-2 and preparation of a peer-review workshop where contributors will individually teach their strategies. The workshops will be a part of the 2020 EUROCLIO Annual Conference in Serbia.

 

Tenure of Dr. Antoon de Baets as Chair at the University of Groningen extended

Agustin De Julio EUROCLIO

The tenure of Chair Professor of History, Ethics and Human Rights by Special Appointment of EUROCLIO at the University of Groningen, held by Prof. Dr. Antoon de Baets, has been extended until December 2022.

On 17 April 2014, Dr. Antoon De Baets became professor by special appointment in History, Ethics and Human Rights at the Faculty of Arts in collaboration with EUROCLIO. This chair, at the intersection between history, ethics and human rights, is unique in the world. It has been founded with the aim of supporting the extensive interest in recent decades both within and outside the University of Groningen for the principle of academic integrity, which has led to an ‘ethical wave’ within the history profession as well.

Since 1995, prof. dr. de Baets has coordinated the Network of Concerned Historians. Furthermore, he works on issues such as the relationship between historical writing and democracy; historians and archivists killed for political reasons; the subversive power of historical parallels; posthumous privacy and reputation; intergenerational awareness; iconoclastic breaks with the past; academic freedom; history-related complaints before the United Nations; the legal framework of historical writing; among other topics.

On behalf of EUROCLIO, prof. dr. De Baets has undertaken a number of projects of importance to both the association and the academic community. De Baets has imparted a number of high-profile keynote speeches and lectures, including lectures involving the High Commissioner on National Minorities of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Institute for Global Justice and at EUROCLIO’s Annual Conferences.

The unique nature of this Chair, the indisputable quality of prof dr. De Baets’ work, his many publications as the 2019 book Crimes Against History published by Routledge, fill EUROCLIO with enthusiasm and pride. The Association looks forward to continuing the fruitful collaboration with prof. dr. De Baets and the University of Groningen.

Written By Agustín De Julio, EUROCLIO Trainee

Crowdsourcing Historiana Source Collections – Global Reactions to Events in Revolutionary Russia 1917-1923

Louise Sträuli EUROCLIO

Picture: Demonstration near the Bolshoi Theatre 

 

Historiana, the educational portal developed by EUROCLIO, is entering a new engaging phase of development. Since the website’s establishment it has built up a broad variety of learning activities and historical content available to teachers, historians, as well as students providing quality education on history and heritage from a global perspective. Now, to make the content generation more inclusive the idea of a crowdsourcing came up. Crowdsourcing is a process in which many contributions by individuals cumulate to a valuable result. In the case of Historiana, EUROCLIO, led by the Historiana historical content team, involved its community to gather historical sources from a wide range of countries and draw from the diverse language skills and local historical knowledge of its members. The idea is that together we can produce source collections that are truly transnational and multiperspective, thereby removing an important barrier for those who want to teach history in this way.

Because things are sometimes easier said than done, we wanted to test the viability of crowdsourcing for this goal, with the pilot ‘Developing a transnational source collection on the Russian Revolution’. The purpose of the pilot was to set the events in revolutionary Russia into a wider international context and explore the different ways in which people, in the political elites or workers’ movements as well as amongst the general public or the bourgeoisie, responded to what was happening in Russia. In order to provide a transnational perspective, we wanted to include sources from within Russia as well as from the states neighbouring Russia, the Allied as well as the Central Powers. The focus was put on six key events in the years from 1917 to 1923.

EUROCLIO invited members to participating in a webinar session that took place on two afternoons in October and November 2018. During these sessions, the participants were instructed about the ideas behind Historiana, the aims of the source collection as well as the practical requirements and formalities for submitting sources. There were no requirements made on how many sources a participant would be expected to provide nor on the format of the sources.

By the end of the year, around fifty sources from more than twenty participants reflecting a broad variety of perspectives were submitted. Subsequently, the EUROCLIO Secretariat and the content team of Historiana took on the task of categorising and analysing the sources received. In certain cases, more information was collected from contributors or further research was carried out. Preliminary findings and conclusions were then presented by Bob Stradling at the EUROCLIO Annual Conference in Gdansk at the beginning of April in 2019. The positive reception by the audience as well as the motivated participation by the contributors supported the successful start of the pilot project.

Currently, the source collection counts over 150 sources from more than 13 countries. One of the biggest advantages that followed from the dedicated contribution of many members was the wide variety of different types of sources that came together. The diversity ranges from newspaper articles and eyewitness accounts, diplomatic correspondence and government documents to visual sources such as cartoons, photographs, drawings and documentaries. These sources provide a basis for teaching material that is reflecting multi-perspectivity as well as engaging and stimulating critical thinking and analytical skills.

For example, it is rather unusual to find out what children, being eyewitnesses to major world events in the past, were thinking about these at the time. Thanks to the contribution of Bistra Stoimenova, we have received a collection of children’s drawings made in Moscow in the year 1917. One of these drawings, depicting the first days of the bourgeois-democratic revolution, is shown below.

Figure 1 The bourgeoise-democratic Revolution in Moscow 1917. Source Contributed by Bistra Stoimenova. (accessed from Интернет-журнал «Подмосковный краевед», 2017, https://trojza.blogspot.com/2017/01/1917_17.html)

 

In addition, we have received several sources that throw a surprising and less official perspective on the dynamics of the revolution. Examples are the photographs of Latvian workers at the Mantel Machine Factory who fought for the Latvian independence in Russia or a political poster directed at Allied soldiers in the Ukraine during the Civil War, shared by Dzintra Liepina.

 

Figure 2 Left: A photograph of Latvian Workers. Contributed by Dzintra Liepina. Right: A poster appealling to allied soldiers. Contributed by Lazar Aranitovic

 

The involvement of the EUROCLIO members made it possible for us to access and combine sources from countries and language areas that were not previously represented. While sources from the Russian Empire, the Central as well as the Allied Powers form the majority, a large proportion of the sources come from countries that were occupied by the Central Powers, like Albania or Luxembourg, or neutral countries, such as the Netherlands and Switzerland. This variation makes it possible to look at the events of the Russian revolution from a truly transnational perspective.

The amount of received sources will enable the team behind Historiana to create a number of small source collections, which will be uploaded to the website, providing an interesting, diverse and multi-perspective addition to existing history textbooks. Although a selection of the submitted sources must be made for this process, it must be emphasized that all submitted sources make a valuable contribution to this project as they enhance the understanding and knowledge of the events and thus make a comprehensive contextualization possible.

The source collection on the Russian Revolution was made possible by the diverse contributions and dedicated cooperation of the EUROCLIO members.

This pilot project has been an exciting and successful process for us as well as for the members of the EUROCLIO community, who have been given the opportunity to exchange ideas, to contribute to new teaching materials and to intensify and share their research.

If you, as a reader, feel inspired by the topic and would like to participate, then we look forward to hearing from you. Despite the success of the project there are still some gaps in the source collection. Less represented are contributions representing the perspectives within Russia as well as the perspectives from the bourgeoisie across Europe. Furthermore, only a small number of sources reflect the uprising of workers and soldiers in Petrograd in July 1917, the attempted military coup led by General Kornilov or the signing of the Treaty of Brest Litovsk on 3 March 1918. If you would like to contribute a suitable source to these gaps, you are welcome to contact Alice Modena (alice@euroclio.eu).

After the successful implementation of the first pilot project, EUROCLIO is preparing for the next crowdsourcing project. In September 2019, the next

Webinar on the Fall of the Berlin War

will take place.

To commemorate the 30th anniversary of this historic event, we will discuss the history behind “the Fall of the Berlin Wall,” the coming to life of the Wall and its end. The reunification of Germany had not only far-reaching consequences in Europe, but was also a catalyst for developments in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. The webinar is the prelude to a new crowdsourcing project. The aim is to create a transnational and multi-perspective source collection that will provide history teachers and students with a multifaceted insight to the end of the Cold War. For once, the perspectives and activities of ordinary people are to stand in the spotlight and, on the basis of diverse sources, it shall be shown how contemporaries have experienced these historical events. If you are interested in the events of 1989, and specifically the Fall of the Berlin Wall and its impact on Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, and would like to participate in this upcoming Webinar, please look out for details about it on our website and on social media and register online.

We would like to thank

  • Bistra Stoimenova
  • Bojana Dujkovic Blagojevic
  • Dzintra Liepina
  • Guido Lessing
  • Jim McBride
  • Joy Jhugroo
  • Lazar Aranitovic
  • Lulzim Abdiaj
  • Mariana Lagarto
  • Miguel Barros
  • Olfa Mahmoud
  • Olga Terenetska
  • Riitta Mikkola
  • Tatiana Koval
  • Valentin Schönherr
  • Valerio Bernardi
  • Vesna Lučić
  • Zdravko Stojkoski

for their valuable contributions!

 

Written By Louise Sträuli, Euroclio Research Trainee

Historiana: a new source collection on Medicine and Anatomy is now available!

EUROCLIO continuously works to improve its innovative educational platform Historiana. To do so, it has been collaborating with Europeana in the creation of source collections. The aim of this collaboration is to guarantee to teachers across all Europe the possibility to have free access to historical content, learning activities and innovative digital tools. We are now working on many new collections focusing on the Renaissance, and on how the ideas of the Renaissance fed into different disciplines (painting but also sculpture, cartography, music, literature, architecture, philosophy, and science), across different countries.

Newly available is the collection “Medicine and Anatomy” that focuses on how Anatomy and Medicine evolved as the scientific method gained prominence during the Renaissance period. This collection gives an overview of some of the key ideas that influenced medical thought, as well as of all the important thinkers of that era. The main purpose of this source collection is to give students the possibility to explore and understand the changes throughout Europe of how people perceived medicine and the human body, as well as scientific advancements. Ultimately, it helps students to pose questions about progress and declines of the Renaissance period.

Starting of cooperation with makers TV Documentary “In Europe Now”

Together with the VPRO broadcasting company and the VGN, the Dutch History Teachers Association, EUROCLIO is working on a new exciting project In Europe at School – History Caught in the Act. The project will result in an educational toolkit based on the follow-up of the VPRO series In Europe, made with Geert Mak, the author of the books on which both series are made. The new series will focus on the question what changed in Europe during the last twenty years.

As part of the project, students will make their own documentary on a topic from the series, which means they will have to do their own research on history and learn to communicate it to others. There will be lesson plans for the topics and tutorials on how to make documentaries. There are history lessons on the specific topic to show the continuity and change in, of example, migration. Furthermore there are lessons to show how to find this topic locally and how to research it in order to produce a documentary. The produced documentaries are shared with a partner school from a different country, which means that the students will see the same topic, but from an entirely different perspective.

The first meeting with VPRO’s Educational Coordinator, Odette Toeset, and the EUROCLIO authors of the lesson plan, Daniel Bernsen, Harri Beobide and Marian Heesen, took place this month at the EUROCLIO Secretariat in The Hague. The team agreed on a structure that could be used for all topics, and decided on the topics and key questions for the first two lessons. We are looking forward to work more with our partner and authors on this creative project.

The first lessons of the toolkit will be ready when the series airs in the end of 2019.

Introducing our New Executive Director – How to make EUROCLIO future proof? 

Agustin De Julio Association, EUROCLIO

During the board meeting in Gdansk this April, the EUROCLIO Board signed a Management Agreement with Steven Stegers, appointing him as Executive Director, with a mandate until 2021. What does this mean for our organization? I talked to Steven about his proudest moment at EUROCLIO, and how he aims to make our organization future-proof, as was asked by the Board in the vacancy.

Having been involved with EUROCLIO since 2006, Steven has witnessed our organization change over the years. ‘The scope of EUROCLIOs work has changed significantly over the years’ he explains: ‘When I started to work at EUROCLIO, we worked mostly on a national and regional level. There were less projects, but the projects that we did have were big and lasted multiple years. They focused on network and capacity building where history educators worked on joint publications. Now, most projects are European projects, with less educators from one country, but more countries overall.’ Also the language of the publications changed: ‘Now most educational resource are made in English, whereas most of the earlier publications were made in local languages’. ‘Of course, ideally you want both’.

Of the dozens of projects and countries he was involved with, I ask Steven which one he is most proud of. ‘That is a really hard choice,’ he initially counters my question. But when forced to choose, he mentions the Crossroads of Cultures publication as one of the highlights of his career. It was the first project he was involved with from start to finish (for 4 years). He worked with more than a hundred people from over twenty countries on this publication, which shows that it is possible to overcome differences, also in countries who have a shared difficult past.

For the future, Steven wants to make EUROCLIO a global community of history education professionals, where they can find inspiration and support, and share ideas, research and practices. ‘Meeting the needs and wishes of those educators who are actually teaching history needs to be the main focus of EUROCLIOs work.’ As a first step EUROCLIO started to organize webinars. Fees from individual members will be used to offer more and more value for the professional community of history educators.

To decide how to best meet your needs, we are interested in the issues and topics our members want to have addressed. Please share your views, ideas and suggestions for future projects and educational resources or strategies, and let us know via secretariat@euroclio.eu!

Jilt Jorritsma