We have learned “history that is not yet history”

“These are the times that try men's souls”

 “In the past year, we organised workshops with several groups, talking about the wars in Yugoslavia in the 1990's. We learned about most of the background information for the showcased images by first participating in the workshop ourselves, and later, we were given insight into some further details on their context. Overall, the experience was as challenging and educational as it was entertaining.” I will start with the words of my student Matija, as I think that they are the best indicator of how successful we’ve been while teaching history that is not yet history.

It has been exactly two months since I last entered a classroom that was full of students. Since the school closed, we were obliged to adapt ourselves to this new situation. We reacted without any delay. 

In the same week, I received a call from the principal of the high school in which I am working who asked me to participate in the project “Learn from home” (“Uči doma“). My answer was “Inform me when we are starting.” A couple of days later, I was once more in my classroom, this time standing in front of the camera. My task was to prepare lessons for high school students, I chose to prepare lessons for the third and the fourth grade.

It was a bit difficult to analyse certain historical topics, without anyone there to ask questions or for explanations. To make a comment about something…anything. I had to change the approach and it was obvious for me what was needed. I needed to include my students somehow!

So, phase two started – ‘Let’s try to do some workshops online.’ It wasn’t easy, I can tell you that. But, it was awesome! We connected ourselves through online platforms and started preparing workshops. One day I posted a question in one of our groups which said: “Are we doing the 90s?” 

Well, this is the answer -  Istorija za IV razred opšte gimnazije - Nestanak Jugoslavije (History for the 4th grade of general high school - The disappearance of Yugoslavia)

We decided to use the materials that were created in cooperation with EuroClio. So, all those projects I was involved in, including “Learning history that is not yet history” and EuroClio's cooperation with the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals in researching their archives, finally gained wider audience in my country – the most important audience, I would add! We have shown every fourth grader in Montenegro that we can discuss this sensitive period that many of them believed is not yet history. For the first time in history, we have discussed and presented this topic to hundred-thousands people, and this was broadcasted on the national Montenegro television in prime time. The reactions from the student, colleagues and parents were awesome. I would say that we have fulfilled our main task.

The material we have used the most while preparing this lesson was a War(s) in photos workshop. Pupils used visual sources to explain their perspective of the topic, they tried to elaborate how the common people were affected by the war, what was the role of soldiers and what was the role of politicians. I have to say that this wasn’t the first attempt to discuss these subjects with students in a classroom workshop in the past few months, but it was by far the best and most successful one. I was extremely happy and proud that we were able to promote this topic by using a multi perspective approach, not excluding any of the points of views and sides of the people that participated in the war.

Another student that contributed to this workshop, Mina, stated  “I have had an opportunity to be a part of this workshop more than once and every time it was a new experience. As the topic is quite a taboo, I found presenting the facts about the war fairly challenging. But, when you choose the fear of starting a controversial lecture over education, you compromise people's future abilities to understand and forgive each other. In my opinion, this workshop completely breaks the stereotype of this topic as something upsetting that creates divisions, it is a creative way to overcome the limitations and start to openly speak about a topic that is shaping the generations to come. With putting the effort, you can teach in a way that can be only  prosperous and never harmful or offensive.

As I wrote in a similar article a couple of weeks ago, “These are the times that try men's souls.” But these are also the times when we need to show our responsibility. And I think that this was one of the ways we have done it. I will conclude with the words of my student Anja, which wrote about her experience while doing this topic “As important as it is to shine light on the topic of wars of the 90s as a professor it might be even more important to be thoroughly involved in a serious subject such as this one as a student. I personally felt that it was my responsibility to establish the communication with the other peers because it was a crucial part to them understanding and sharing personal opinions and beliefs on this topic, which in the end I think I did well with the help of my friends.”

 

Written by Igor Radulović, history teacher from Podgorica, Montenegro. As a member of HIPMONT (History teachers association of Montenegro), Igor participated in the project “Learning history that is not history”, which won the Global Pluralism Award for 2019. He is also involved as a trainer in EuroClio's collaboration with the UN 's International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals. 

 

WEBINAR In Europe Schools: A Unique Exchange Project for European Schools

Charlotte Pontifell Uncategorized

Do you want to join a transnational team of schools from across Europe developing interactive education kits about our recent history? 

In Europe Schools is a one of a kind European exchange project in which students film their recent history, and research and compare themes like democracy, human rights, privacy, difficult histories, climate change and migration. Schools from all over Europe will take part in this project and work on the same themes. All their short documentaries will be gathered in a playlist by VPRO, a Dutch public broadcaster.

Interested in having your school joining us on this exciting project? To learn more, attend our online presentation webinar on either 20 or 29 April at 5pm CEST:

 

Register for the April 20 Webinar here -> 

Register for the April 29 Webinar here -> 

 

During the webinar, one of the authors of the educational resources, Harri Beobide, will present the project in further detail. Harri will discuss the matching process, and will provide a further explanation of the Education Kits, as well as the learning outcomes and the final product made by the students. At the end of the Webinar, you will have the opportunity to sign up for a new round of school matches, starting in September this year!

Background & more information

In February 2019 Dutch Broadcasting Company VPRO and EuroClio joined forces and launched the In Europe Schools project, developing online educational resources on the Modern History of Europe, based on the VPRO documentary series In Europe – History Caught in the Act. The project offers a unique online exchange project between schools across Europe, with students working on different historical themes, conducting research and interviews as well as producing and editing their own short documentaries. Currently, the piloting phase of the project has come to an end, during which 50 schools across Europe have partnered up and exchanged their documentaries. The Education Kits that are currently available are Difficult History and Migration, with two new Kits in the making: Climate Change and Gender Equality. In addition to these Kits, tutorials help students to develop a variety of skills related to conducting research and interviews as well as documentary making: Research, Extended Research, Interviewing, Filming, and Editing. The documentaries are shared and uploaded to the In Europe Schools YouTube Channel, feel free to have a look beforehand!

From Tribunal to Classroom

First round of trainings with UN Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals completed

The UN International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) has partnered with EuroClio in delivering training to history teachers in Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Hercegovina, North Macedonia and Kosovo.

With the prosecution work of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) nearly completed, its successor body IRMCT, has turned its attention to the ways in which the Tribunal’s legacy can be used in educational settings. The partnership with EuroClio targets educational professionals who are faced with the challenges of teaching students about the recent violent history of the former Yugoslavia.

Facilitated by expert teacher trainers from the History Teachers’ Associations of Montenegro, North Macedonia, Kosovo and Serbia, along with individual teacher trainers from Bosnia-Hercegovina, the first round of trainings was completed in Pristina 1 February 2020. Previous editions of the workshop were held in Belgrade, Podgorica, Sarajevo and Skopje, with a second round commencing in Podgorica 22-23 February 2020.

A session introducing the archives of the Tribunal will also be held in connection with EuroClio’s Annual Conference in Belgrade.

As part of the training workshop, local history teachers are not only introduced to the archives of the ICTY, but also given guidance on how these sources can be used in their classrooms. Aided by the local teacher trainers, they are furthermore offered the opportunity to design their own learning materials with the available sources.

EuroClio is proud to work with the IRMCT in this important work, showing how the sources available from the transitional justice process can be used in a responsible way, instilling students with the critical thinking skills needed for tackling a recent and difficult past still very much felt in contemporary society across the former Yugoslavia.

We direct a particular mention and thanks to the facilitators Natasha Kostic, Emina Zivkovic, Igor Radulovic, Milos Vukanovic, Mire Mladenovski, Donika Xhemajli, Admir Ibricic, and Arna Daguda-Torlakovic, as well as Rada Pejic-Sremac and Anisa Suceska-Vekic from IRMCT.

 

For more information on the project or potential collaborations with EuroClio, please contact Andreas Holtberget at andreas@euroclio.eu

 

Education for Sustainable Peace – Georg Arnhold Senior Fellow – Call for Applications

EuroClio Opportunities, Uncategorized

The Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research. Member of the Leibniz Association (GEI) is pleased to announce the Call for Applications for the 2021 Georg Arnhold Senior Fellow. The appointment, for the fellowship including a research stay of up to six months at the GEI, offers outstanding scholars and experienced practitioners in the field of peace education the opportunity to carry out work in the area of education for sustainable peace, preferably with a focus on educational media and transformation societies, and to discuss their project and findings with other scholars and practitioners at the annual international Summer Conference of the Georg Arnhold Program.

The application deadline is January 31, 2020. Further information and the application form are available at http://bit.ly/GeorgArnholdSeniorFellow.

Call for Papers for National History Educational Conference is the global and the local – glocal history

Veronika Budaiová Uncategorized

The theme for the XIV National History Educational Conference is the global and the local – glocal history. Whether to prioritize and foreground local, national and/or global perspectives in history education has for a long time been a discussion in history educational research. Global goals, such as the United Nations Human Rights Charter, includes ideals about understanding across and beyond cultural and geographical borders. Combining these perspectives is a challenging task for history education. It raises questions about students’ possibilities and limitations in regards to understanding what is close and what is far away. Thus, key issues for the conference will be in what ways local, national and global history may support or complicate history teaching? Other topics of interest are: How can ‘World history’ and more local history stimulate or hinder different understandings of the past? How does universal global ideals relate to local perspectives? Is Glocal history a theoretical and practical possibility or impossibility in schools? Is it reasonable to assume that different grades and stages require different glocal foci? In what ways can the Global citizenship concept of “thinking global; acting local” relate to history education?

Submissions from across the field of history education are welcome, although we encourage applications and papers that in one way or another discusses one or several questions relating to glocal history.

Keynote speakers for the conference are Prof. Keith Barton, Indiana University Bloomington, and Dr. Denise Bentrovato, University of Pretoria. Professor Barton and Dr. Bentrovato have studied local, national and global perspectives in teaching in countries such as Rwanda, Northern Ireland, Colombia, South Africa and New Zealand, and will present interesting glocal contrasts to stimulate further discussion during the conference.

Presentations in any of the Scandinavian languages or English are welcome. You are most welcome to submit your abstract of 200 – 300 words here. Please note that the deadline for submitting abstracts is February 9, 2020. Accepted papers should be submitted at least 14 days before the conference via this link. Presentations without papers will be given less time.

Would you like to host an Historiana Training at your National Event? – Fill in this Call for Interests

Alice Modena Opportunities, Uncategorized

This year, we have the possibility to give a series of Historiana trainings in EU Member States. These trainings will focus on practical tips and tricks about how to use the Historiana eLearning environment to create tailored eLearning Activities that promote historical thinking. The workshops can be adapted to your needs, using exemplar  material relating to any of the following topics:

  1. Ancient Rome and Greece;
  2. The Age of Discoveries;
  3. Napoleon and his Time;
  4. The Industrial Revolutions;
  5. European Renaissances;
  6. Reform and Counter Reforms.

We believe this would be a great opportunity for us to do something exclusive with our members. We have the opportunity to include a training on Historiana with one of our trainers in an event, conference or training that your Association organises between October 2019 and April 2020. Due to donor requirements, the trainings need to take place in a EU-country.

If you are interested to make use of this opportunity, please fill in this call for interests by the 31st of August. We have budget to cover travel and 1-night stay for the trainer for around 6 trainings. We will discuss the suggested options with our trainers mid-September and decide based on availability of the trainers. We will inform all interested members by 20 September.

The results of the call will be shared by the 20 September 2019.

Please insert here the full name of the member association in English

Will your national event be the Annual Conference of your association? A teacher training event? Another type of event? Please, describe briefly what the event will be about and what will be in the programme.