Learning to Disagree Offline – An in-person workshop for teacher trainers in Miskolc, Hungary

Djoera Otter Articles, Report

Learning to Disagree Offline – An in-person workshop for teacher trainers in Miskolc, Hungary

Picture: Participants discuss the Lesson Plan in small groups.

 

Learning to Disagree is slowly but steadily coming to an end. This project was initiated in response to the needs of educators who experience difficulties in addressing sensitive and controversial issues in their classrooms.  The project offers workshops and support materials for teachers to face these controversial topics head-on in their classrooms.

This is of course bittersweet as the team has had a wonderful time working together over the past three years. However, this also means that we can finally share the learning activities with the wider EuroClio community. The sharing of the learning activities often happens during national teacher trainings, which would usually have people meet in person. Unfortunately, COVID-19 and the subsequent restrictions to limit the spread of the disease, have made meeting people in person a little difficult. Nonetheless, we are happy to report that Zsolt Vódli, core member of the Learning to Disagree team and board member of the Hungarian History Teachers’ Association (Törtenelemtana'rok Egylete), managed to organise a national training in person on September 18, 2020.

The workshop was held at the University of Miskolc at the faculty of Arts and Humanities. 19 graduating teacher trainers, most of who majored in history, partook in the workshop that presented the learning activity Leaders in Times of Turmoil, created by Zsolt and Juraj Varga.  This learning activity allows students to work in small groups and discuss provocative statements about decision made by leaders at the most pivotal times in history. Then, according to the Four Corner Teaching Strategy that is incorporated in the learning activity, students must decide whether they strongly agree, agree, disagree, or strongly disagree with the statements and come to a shared understanding.

Thus, besides gaining a more in-depth understanding of the historical context in which these decisions were made, students will simultaneously develop a plethora of skills and abilities, such as: substantiating their opinion with relevant (historical) sources, eloquently and respectfully voicing their opinions to others, considering and valuing different viewpoints, critical thinking, and it goes without saying that they learn to disagree. These are all skills and abilities students will be able to enjoy long after leaving secondary education.

During the workshop Zsolt taught the teacher trainers that were present how they could foster and facilitate this process of learning for students, by illustrating and discussing how teachers could directly implement the lesson plan in their own classroom.

The participants found the content of the material very informative, as it provided a wide range of historical background knowledge. This was specifically considered valuable in the Hungarian context in which the workshop took place, as students in secondary schools do not learn much about the events of recent past, and in particular of events from other countries. The four-corner strategy was also received very positively as participants said the statements were provocative and generated interesting discussions and helped to improve critical thinking as well as debate tactics. Some of the participants said the activity could be supplementary material in secondary schools, as it was so well grounded in both history and civic education. We are happy to conclude that the workshop was a great success!

You might now wish you could have joined Zsotl’s workshop. And if you do, we have good news for you! While COVID-19 might prevent us from meeting face-to-face in most situations, it hasn’t stopped us from meeting online. You can join Zsolts’ workshop, which he will host with Juraj, online on November 16, at 16:30 at EuroClio’s Annual Conference! For more information on the workshop and how to register, please click here.

Besides registering for Zsolts’ workshop, do check out the other workshops that are part of EuroClio’s Annual Conference as well. EuroClio’s (first!) Online Annual Conference and Professional Development Training Course: Controversy and Disagreement in the Classroom will present 20 different workshops that will give you hands-on, ready-to- use lesson plans that will help you teach your students to articulate and substantiate their arguments in a debate.

To see the full, ambitious programme of our conference, please click here.

Can’t wait to use the learning activity? Check out the learning activity on Historiana here!

Public Report Potsdam Training December 2019

EuroClio Project Updates, Report

The fifth Learning to Disagree training took place in in Potsdam, Germany from 13 to 15 December 2019. It was organized by EuroClio in cooperation with the Georg Eckert Institute and the Leibniz Centre for Contemporary History Potsdam. Nineteen history and citizenship educators were present from the following 17 countries: Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. During the training, they continued to work on the project results, especially on familiarizing themselves with the Training Package that has been created to support the organisation of the National Trainings. The National Trainings will be organised between February and July 2020 to disseminate the final products to the wider community of history educators.

This meeting was conducted within the framework of the EuroClio Erasmus+ project “Learning to Disagree” (L2D) which runs from September 2017 - August 2020.

The 3-day training consisted of a variety of activities that were relevant to the project topic and functioning, including multiple “Train the trainer” sessions, a sharing round on the lessons learned from the piloting of the developed material, and the collaborative creation of three source collections on controversial cultural heritage. Two active workshops were also held, using materials developed by the project team, and an active training session on contested memories in Potsdam.

The main aims of this meeting were:

● To design the National Trainings
● To share experiences, tips and tricks on training on formative assessment and teaching strategies
● To discover the reality of contested memories in Germany
● To design collaboratively the source collections on controversial buildings, monuments, and street names
● To finalise the development of the Variety of Viewpoints by peer reviewing the titles and descriptions of every viewpoint
● To share the results of the external piloting and peer reviewing of the lesson plans

Results

The training in Potsdam resulted in a further exchange between educators from across Europe, on experiences and methods related to Learning to Disagree. The participants discussed their experiences and different approaches from piloting of the materials developed during the project. They reviewed and finalized the Varieties of Viewpoints and lesson plans on the topics of ‘People on the Move’, ‘Borders, Secession, Annexation’, ‘Surviving under pressure’, and ‘Cultural Heritage’. Furthermore, it results in 12 draft programme for National Trainings, including tentative budget and tentative dates, and in the finalisation of 3 source collections on controversial cultural heritage.

 

Read the Full Report Here:

 

Public Report Utrecht Training August 2019

Charlotte Pontifell Report

Public Report Utrecht Training August 2019

The fourth training of the Learning to Disagree project took place in Utrecht (The Netherlands) from 19 to 21 August 2019 and was organised by EUROCLIO and Utrecht University. For the training 23 history and citizenship educators were present from the following 16 countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey and United Kingdom. This includes staff of the project partners, and a core team of Historiana volunteers that was formed during the previous short-term training that took place in 2018 Serbia. During this training, they continued to work more intensively on the project results, especially on  the historical content that will be featured on Historiana[1], lesson plans that will accompany the content, and National Trainings that will be organised between February and July 2020 to disseminate the final products to the wider community of history educators.

 

This meeting was conducted within the framework of the EUROCLIO-led Erasmus+ project “Learning to Disagree” (L2D) which runs from September 2017 – August 2020.

 

The 3-day training consisted of a variety of activities that were relevant to the project topic, including the visualisation of the online environment where the final results will be published. In addition, participants received an active training session on multiperspectivity in history education. There were also 11 active workshops on the leasson plans developed by the core team, and an interactive session (World Café) on controversial buildings, monuments, and changing street names in the countries represented at the training. Further work was done on the Variety of Viewpoints, one of the key project outputs, and finally the participants learned more about the controversy around street names related to the colonial past of the Netherlands.

 

The main aims of this meeting were:

  • To work together on designing source collections and learning ideas related to Cultural Heritage.
  • To enhance knowledge on the controversies and sensitivities related to Cultural Heritage in the Netherlands.
  • To peer-review the developed lesson plans and provide inputs for finalisation for piloting process.
  • To be trained in the use of dialogue, debate and discussion in relation to the topics 1) People on the Move, 2) Changing Borders and 3) Surviving under Pressure.
  • To agree on the piloting procedure including what inputs to collect, how to integrate this, and timing.
  • To co-design the framework for the training package that will be used to organise the 13 national training events in Spring 2020.

[1] Historiana is a webplatform build by EUROCLIO that Historiana offers free historical content, ready to use learning activities, and innovative digital tools made by and for history educators across Europe. For more information see: https://www.historiana.eu

 

Full Report: Public Report Utrecht Training August 2019